Secret Service Returns To Treasury
The White House officially proposed moving the Secret Service from the Department of Homeland Security to the Treasury Department.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been in talks with D.H.S. officials and members of Congress to secure an agreement over legislation that would return Secret Service to Treasury, where it existed ahead of the national security reshuffling that occurred after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The budget argues that moving it would create new efficiencies in the investigation of financial crimes and prepare the United States to face the threats of tomorrow, such as the use of cryptocurrencies to finance terrorism.
There appears to be bipartisan support for the move, but Mr. Mnuchins unwillingness to provide documents ahead of the 2020 election on what it has cost the Secret Service to protect the president and his family has complicated the effort.
The Trump administration wants to allocate $2.4 billion to the Secret Service, up from $2.3 billion a year ago.
Food And Drug Administration
The FDA, which is responsible for regulating food and drugs, along with medical devices, blood donations, veterinary products, and cosmetics, is getting its direct budget slashed, though its making up for it with user fees.
The budget does cut the direct funding to the FDA by 31%, though the agency will end up receiving more from user fees that companies have to pay to get their drugs vetted, which will end up increasing its budget.
Robert Califf, who served as FDA commissioner under President Barack Obama, opposed any budget cuts in a tweet prior to the budget’s release.
Robert M Califf May 22, 2017
Scientists Sidelined Silenced And Ignored
At a campaign rally this week, Trump suggested that if he were re-elected, he would fire much-revered and long-standing infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health , since 1984. Fauci has earned international acclaim as an adviser on HIV/AIDS to six US presidents, and is one of the most-cited researchers in the world.
This display follows a pattern of Trump attempting to silence and discredit Fauci throughout the pandemic: in May, in an unprecedented move, the administration blocked Fauci from testifying about the US pandemic response in front of the Democrat-led House of Representatives appropriations committee. Never in my 30-plus years here in Washington do I recall ever a White House refusing to let an NIH expert testify before Congress, says Zuckerman. The White House did not respond to Natures request for comment.
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Who Launches Independent Review Of The International Response To The Covid
Even the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, which represents state health departments, wont always advocate for increased CDC funding because so many state health departments are overseen by Republican governors who oppose increasing taxes, Frieden said, adding that ASTHO is still a very good association. .
Michael Fraser, the executive director of ASTHO, acknowledged the limits of what his organization can do to boost the CDC.
Just in terms of money and influence, we are very different from the NIH that has universities and deans, FDA which has industry and consumers, Fraser said. Public health has had a much smaller advocacy voice.
Public health groups have been complaining for years over the CDCs chronic underfunding. A 2019 report from Trust for Americas Health found that the CDCs budget fell by 10 percent over the last decade, when adjusted for inflation.
The Trump administration has also proposed massive cuts to the CDCs budget, although Congress has rejected those requests. The administrations 2021 budget proposed cutting $1.2 billion from the CDCs budget and roughly the same amount in 2020.
CDC scientists used to say to me, Isnt it great we are in Atlanta? We dont have to get bugged by the folks in Washington all the time. But wow, why is our budget so low?
Tom Frieden, former CDC director
Many told STAT they see the CDCs ability to ignore politics in favor of science as an achievement, not a fault.
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.
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Major Cuts To Medicaid
The budget proposes numerous changes to Medicaid that reduce spending on the health program for the poor and the disabled. Combined with a section of the budget devoted to health care reform vision, it cuts spending on Medicaid and subsidies for the Affordable Care Act by a combined trillion dollars.
The budget specifies changes that would tend to reduce enrollment in Medicaid and that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated would cause some states to reverse their expansions of coverage to childless adults without disabilities as part of the Affordable Care Act. Many Medicaid beneficiaries would be subjected to work requirements and asset tests, and states would be pressed to verify eligibility for the program more often under the budgets proposals, strategies that have been shown to reduce enrollment even among those who are eligible. States that preserve their Medicaid expansions under the Affordable Care Act would be asked to gradually pay a larger share of the medical bills for those patients.
The budget would also reduce the federal share of spending for all Medicaid patients, by changing rules about how states can offer extra payments to certain health care facilities run by state or county governments, a policy that the administration has already proposed as a regulation. It would reduce a funding stream meant for hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of uninsured patients.
Coronavirus And The Three
The devastatingly slow and fumbling response of the Trump administration to COVID-19 has exposed not just the administrations ineptitude, but a larger project to reduce federal capacity in public health and environmental science to a bare minimum. Largely below the radar of public awareness, the Trump administration has enrolled us all in a far-reaching and potentially fatal experiment to test how little knowledge and expertise our government can get away with. For a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now at the forefront of the federal push against the pandemic, the answer seems obvious: they went too far.
Researchers from the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative analyzed data on CDC budgetary proposals and staffing cuts from the CDC Budget Justifications to Congress for fiscal years 2013 to 2021. We found that the Trump administration has indeed succeeded in shearing the CDCs capacities, undermining the federal governments ability to respond to the crisis at hand. Comparison of actual funding and staffing trends with Trump administration proposals also shows how much worse off we would have been had it gotten more of its budget-slashing way. We have Congress to thank for why the federal scientific capacity in public health has retained the integrity it has, instead of becoming that mere shadow of itself that Trump officials have more or less intentionally sought.
Chart 4: Proposed and allocated funding for CDCs Global Health Program . Source:
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Ap Fact Check: Democrats Distort Coronavirus Readiness
Bloomberg is repeating the false allegation in a new ad that states the U.S. is unprepared for the virus because of reckless cuts to the CDC. Trumps budgets have proposed cuts to public health, only to be overruled by Congress, where theres strong bipartisan support for agencies such as the CDC and NIH.
Us Is Less Safe From Coronavirus When Cdc Goes Quiet Former Director Says
The CDC directors weak position often forces them to rely instead on the HHS secretary for political support.
The relationship between the CDC director and the HHS secretary is really important, because the secretary can either use their political connections in the White House to protect and support the CDC or they can take a step back and let the CDC be hung out to dry, a former CDC official told STAT. Its kind of crazy: This huge, highly influential agency and we had almost no political heft behind us.
Some of the blame for the CDCs failure to ward off political pressure this time around should fall on health secretary Alex Azar, former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala told STAT in an interview.
When the White House wants to interfere, theyll interfere not directly through the CDC director, but through the secretary, Shalala, who now serves as a Democrat in the House of Representatives, said. The secretary has to make it very clear: Do not touch.
In the case of Redfield, there are tensions with the White House beyond the usual structural ones: While Redfield was once dubbed the MAGA whisperer for his willingness to appeal directly to Trumps ultraconservative base, Trump has beaten up viciously on the CDC. Rumors have swirled for months that Redfields job is in danger because of Trumps ire.
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How Will Cdc Cuts Affect Health Programs Abroad And At Home
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recently lost hundreds of millions of dollars in funding cuts, including a $750 million cut in December. On Friday, President Trump signed a bill that slashed $1.35 billion from its Prevention and Public Health Fund over the next 10 years. Ashley Yeager, associate editor at The Scientist, joins Hari Sreenivasan from Raleigh, North Carolina.
Trump Administration Strips Cdc Of Control Of Coronavirus Data
Hospitals have been ordered to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all patient information to a central database in Washington, raising questions about transparency.
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WASHINGTON The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.
The new instructions were posted recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department not the C.D.C. will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
Officials say the change will streamline data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and remdesivir, the first drug shown to be effective against the virus. But the Health and Human Services database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions.
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Four Ways Trump Has Meddled In Pandemic Science And Why It Matters
Trump and his administration have sidelined scientists like Anthony Fauci throughout the pandemic when the scientists’ messaging did not align with political agendas.Credit: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty
As the United States votes today on who will be its next president, Donald Trumps response to the COVID-19 pandemic looms large. One issue that resonates with the research community is the extent to which the current president and his administration have meddled with science and scientific advice during the pandemic often with disastrous results.
Last month, a coronavirus-crisis sub-committee within the US House of Representatives released a report documenting 47 instances in which government scientists had been sidelined or their recommendations altered. And the report notes that the frequency of meddling has been increasing in the lead-up to the US election.
Its hard to express how unbelievably demoralizing this experience has been, says Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, a non-profit organization in Washington DC.
If Trump wins a second term, researchers fear what that could mean for public health and the scientific enterprise. If Democratic challenger and former vice-president Joe Biden wins, hell have his work cut out for him to restore the reputation of the US science agencies that Trump has damaged.
Overall Funding Has Increased Every Year
Hillary Clinton appeared on CNNs Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday and claimed that President Donald Trump had cut funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control had been given the responsibility under the Obama administration to be vigilant and try to get ahead of where viruses like this were formulating, especially if they were animal-to-people transmission viruses, so there was a lot that was done under the Obama administration, said Clinton.
The Trump administration severely cut back the CDC budget, cut back on this program of overseas vigilance, but I don’t think it’s a time to point fingers whether it’s from the past or from the present.
Hillary Clinton is hardly the first person to make this claim. Other Democratic politicians, including the partys frontrunner for presidential nominee Joe Biden, have made the same assertion. Michael Bloomberg accused Trump of slash funding of the CDC and other essential health agencies, Rep. Adam Schiff tweeted that The Trump Administration has slashed CDC funding, and Sen. Brian Schatz claimed Trump cut CDC by 9 percent.
However, while Trump has attempted to cut funding to the CDC, overall funding to the agency has increased under the Trump administration.
If you have a claim you would like to see us fact check, please send us an email at . If you would like to suggest a correction to this piece or any other Dispatch article, please email
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