Dismantling Safety Net Programs
As the coronavirus outbreak worsens, it is likely that businesses will begin to close, workers will lose jobs, and an unprecedented number of people will turn to federal programs and benefits, such as unemployment insurance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , to help make ends meet. Claims for unemployment insurance, for example, exploded last week and are likely to increase further as the economic fallout from COVID-19 worsens. But the Trump administration has spent much of the last three years attempting to gut safety net programs and make them more difficult for people to access.
In December 2019, the Trump administration issued a new ruling that limited states ability to account for local unemployment rates in determining whether and for how long someone can receive SNAP benefits. This means that even in the event of an economic downturn, people who lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic may end up losing their access to food assistance as well. Legislation recently signed into law temporarily suspends this rule until shortly after the public health emergency is lifted, but after this, localities would still be unable to provide benefits to all who need them as they continue to experience the effects of the recession. The administration has also proposed further stripping funding from the program: Its most recent budget proposal included $182 billion in cuts to SNAP over the next decade.
Politicstrump Admin’s Lack Of A Unified National Coronavirus Strategy Will Cost Lives Say A Dozen Experts
Under Obama and a mostly Republican-controlled Congress, public health spending declined. Per capita public health spending, adjusted for inflation, rose from $39 in 1960 to $281 in 2008, and fell by 9.3 percent from 2008 to 2016, according to a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Public Health. It has fallen further under the Trump administration, records show.
The Centers for Disease Control’s budget fell by 10 percent from 2010 to 2019, and the CDC’s funding for state and local preparedness was cut by a third from 2003-19, according to a report from the non-profit, non-partisan Trust for America’s Health.
“Public health has been a stepchild in American health care for probably 30 or 40 years, and we have undernourished it and underappreciated it,” said Leavitt.
Stewart Simonson, who served in the Bush administration and is now at the WHO, wrote in a 2010 health journal article that “Pandemic preparedness has not been a part of the national dialogue long enough to be securely imbedded in the policymaking process this means it is highly vulnerable to shrinking budgets and shifting priorities.”
Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, wrote a memo dated Jan. 29 saying the virus could kill half a million Americans and cost nearly $6 trillion. But Trump continued to downplay the situation.
“Every administration has at some point in time gotten religion and realized there is a program and dusted it off and used it,” Clarke told NBC News.
“Except this one.”
Massive Cuts To Science And Medicine In Trump Budget
The budget proposed by United States President Donald Trump calls for massive cuts to spending on medical and scientific research, public health and disease-prevention programs, and health insurance for low-income Americans and their children. It has drawn intense criticism from many corners, including scientists, physicians and politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties. The only good thing about this horror of a budget, according to one pundit, is that it will likely get eviscerated in Congress.
Under the proposed budget, formally delivered to Congress yesterday, the National Institutes of Health would see its annual budget shrink 18% from $31.8 billion to $26 billion. This includes cuts to the National Cancer Institute , National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute , and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would lose 17% of its budget, a cut of $1.2 billion. This news prompted former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden to and rebuke this assault on science that will devastate programs that protect Americans from many deadly conditions, including diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. He noted that the cuts would give the CDC its lowest budget in 20 years and lead to an increase in illness and deaths.
Deep cuts to science and medicine in Trump budget draw intense criticism.
Also Check: Does Trump Donate To Charity
Ly False Claim: Trump Fired Entire Pandemic Response Team In 2018
6 Min Read
Correction: the headline of this fact-check earlier read Trump fired pandemic response team in 2018, it has been amended to Trump fired entire pandemic response team in 2018
Numerous posts and images circulated on social media make the claim that President Donald Trump fired the “entire pandemic response team” in 2018, .
This claim comes amid an escalating coronavirus outbreak that as of March 24, 2020 has infected over 372,000 people and left over 16,000 dead worldwide, .
The Global Health Security and Biodefense unit responsible for pandemic preparedness was established in 2015 by Barack Obamas National Security Advisor, Susan Rice . The unit resided under the National Security Council a forum of White House personnel that advises the president on national security and foreign policy matters.
In May 2018, the team was disbanded and its head Timothy Ziemer, top White House official in the NSC for leading U.S. response against a pandemic, left the Trump administration, the Washington Post reported . Some members of the global health and security team were merged into other units within the NSC, the article said.
The reorganization followed John Boltons appointment as national security advisor, and the departure of Tom Bossert, the homeland security advisor who the Post wrote had called for a comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks.
Did Trump Try To Cut The Cdc’s Budget As Democrats Claim: Analysis
The allegations come amid the emergency over the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Bipartisan concern grows over federal response to coronavirus outbreak
President Donald Trump is taking heat from Democrats for proposing budget cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amid growing fears about a new coronavirus outbreak in the United States, but administration officials say CDC funding has steadily increased since Trump took office.
An ABC News analysis of the presidents budget proposals compared to the congressionally approved spending plans ultimately enacted show both claims are true.
The president introduced his fiscal year 2021 budget proposal on Feb. 10, just 11 days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concerns. The spending plan included a 16 percent reduction in CDC funding from the 2020 spending levels.
In fact, all of Trumps budget proposals have called for cuts to CDC funding, but Congress has intervened each time by passing spending bills with year-over-year increases for the CDC that Trump then signed into law.
During the Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina Tuesday, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg accused the president of defunding the CDC, claiming the result is that we dont have the organization that we need.
Read Also: When Did Trump Get Impeached
Did Trump’s Budget Include A $2 Trillion Cut For Medicare Medicaid And Social Security
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump said he wouldnt try to cut Medicare or Medicaid.
But his federal budget proposal broke that promise, according to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York City.
“He can’t talk about his own budget, where he threatened to cut $2 trillion from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,” Jeffries said about Trump during an interview on CNNs State of the Union.
Trumps budget director, Mick Mulvaney, released the presidents federal budget proposal in February. The plan was met with little fanfare because Congress had already passed a two-year spending deal a few days earlier, making the presidential blueprint largely irrelevant.
Like any other budget proposal, Trumps showed where he wanted to spend money and where he didnt. Did he want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid by $2 trillion?
Wheres $2 trillion from?
Jeffries spokesperson did not get back to us with information supporting his claim.
In a literal sense, Trumps budget did propose about $2 trillion in savings from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid over 10 years.
The majority of those savings about $1.4 trillion would come from Medicaid, according to projections from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
About $530 billion in savings would come from Medicare and $25 billion would come from Social Security. Collectively, that totals almost $2 trillion.
What experts say
We rate the statement False.
Exclusive: Us Slashed Cdc Staff Inside China Prior To Coronavirus Outbreak
11 Min Read
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration cut staff by more than two-thirds at a key U.S. public health agency operating inside China, as part of a larger rollback of U.S.-funded health and science experts on the ground there leading up to the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters has learned.
Most of the reductions were made at the Beijing office of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and occurred over the past two years, according to public CDC documents viewed by Reuters and interviews with four people familiar with the drawdown.
The Atlanta-based CDC, Americas preeminent disease fighting agency, provides public health assistance to nations around the world and works with them to help stop outbreaks of contagious diseases from spreading globally. It has worked in China for 30 years.
The CDCs China headcount has shrunk to around 14 staffers, down from approximately 47 people since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the documents show. The four people, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the losses included epidemiologists and other health professionals.
The material reviewed by Reuters shows a breakdown of how many American and local Chinese employees were assigned there. The documents are the CDCs own descriptions of its headcount, which it posts online. Reuters was able to search past copies of the material to confirm the decline described by the four people.
Chinas embassy in Washington, D.C. declined to comment.
Don’t Miss: What’s Donald Trump’s Credit Score
Some Personnel Remained In The Trump Administration
Though the unit was disbanded, not all members of the team left. Some moved to other units in the NSC, like those focused on weapons of mass destruction and international organizations, per The Washington Post.
At the time of the disbanding, National Security Council spokesman Robert Palladino told the Post the Trump administration “remains committed to global health, global health security and biodefense, and will continue to address these issues with the same resolve under the new structure.
After the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic in mid-March, the decision to disband the global health unit received fresh scrutiny. Bolton defended the restructuring on Twitter.
“Claims that streamlining NSC structures impaired our nation’s bio defense are false,” he wrote on March 13. “Global health remained a top NSC priority, and its expert team was critical to effectively handling the 2018-19 Africa Ebola crisis.”
Bolton attributed the attack to partisan politics.
“The angry Left just can’t stop attacking, even in a crisis,” he wrote.
Even critics of the choice to disband the unit like Beth Cameron, its head under Obama noted that not all pandemic preparedness personnel left the administration.
How Trump Gutted Obamas Pandemic
To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
When the first reported cases of Ebola in Guinea came to light in March 2014, it set off a mad scramble inside the Obama White House to track and contain the spread of the virus, which killed around 50% of the people it infected. Though not nearly as contagious as the current coronavirus, an epidemic, or even a pandemic, seemed possible if the disease werent confined to its West African redoubts. The Obama White House had clear protocols and chains of command for these kinds of threats. The way to stop the forest fire is to isolate the embers, Beth Cameron, a former civil servant who ran the White Houses National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, told me. Cameron and her colleagues quickly drew up a memo to Susan Rice, the national-security adviser, and Lisa Monaco, the homeland-security adviser, outlining what was known about the outbreak, setting off a chain of action that went up through the Oval Office, then spread through the government.
In the summer of 2018, on John Boltons watch, the team Cameron once ran was one of three directorates merged into one amid an overhaul and streamlining of Donald Trumps National Security Council. And the position Monaco previously held, homeland-security adviser, was downgraded, stripped of its authority to convene the cabinet.
Read Also: How Much Does It Cost To Stay At Trump Hotel
Budget Would Thwart Progress
A few medical groups on Monday quickly criticized Trump’s proposals.
“In a time where our nation continues to face significant public health challenges including 2019 novel coronavirus, climate change, gun violence and costly chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer the administration should be investing more resources in better health, not cutting federal health budgets,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association, in a statement.
David J. Skorton, MD, chief executive and president of the Association of American Medical Colleges also urged increased investment in fighting disease.
“We must continue the bipartisan budget trajectory set forth by Congress over the last several years, not reverse course,” Skorton said in a statement.
Trump’s proposed cuts in medical research “would thwart scientific progress on strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure medical conditions that affect countless patients nationwide,” he said.
In total, the new 2021 appropriations for HHS would fall by $9.46 billion to $85.667 billion under Trump’s proposal. Appropriations, also called discretionary budget authority, represents the operating budgets for federal agencies. These are decided through annual spending bills.
Congress has separate sets of laws for handling payments the federal government makes through Medicare and Medicaid. These are known as mandatory spending.
Did Donald Trump Fire Pandemic Officials Defund Cdc
If Your Time is short
- Fired may be a little strong, but in 2018, top national security officials handling pandemics left abruptly and were not replaced by the Trump administration.
- As for funding, theres no question that the Trump administration sought to cut key CDC budget categories. But thanks to Congress, that funding was restored and even increased in bills that Trump ultimately signed.
During a CNN town hall before the South Carolina primary, Mike Bloomberg a former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate was asked whether he had confidence in President Donald Trump to handle a potential coronavirus pandemic, officially known as the COVID-19 virus.
After jokingly saying, “I feel so much better,” Bloomberg told the audience, “No. 1, he fired the pandemic team two years ago. No. 2, he’s been defunding the Centers for Disease Control. So, we don’t have the experts in place that we need. I hope he’s right that the virus doesn’t come here, that nobody gets sick. That would be a wonderful outcome. But the bottom line is, we are not ready for this kind of thing.”
Bloomberg had a point that the Trump administration ousted some of its officials dealing with global pandemics, but “defunding” the CDC is more complicated than he let on.
Instead, Trump has looked within his administration to fill roles for the coronavirus response.
You May Like: Was Melania Trump A Prostitute