Sat. Oct 1st, 2022
A man speaks from a podium while being overshadowed by an Abraham Lincoln painting.
enlarge US President Donald Trump speaks during a business session of the Governor’s White House in Washington, DC, on Monday, February 10, 2020. Trump’s budget expects gross federal debt to exceed $30 trillion over the next decade, despite deep proposed cuts to social programs.

Amid an explosive outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China that has killed more than 1,000 worldwide and sickened more than 43,000, US President Donald Trump has proposed a nearly 19 percent budget cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the agency primarily charged with preparing and responding to such outbreaks and other serious health threats.

In the president’s proposed 2021 federal budget released Monday, the administration says the changes to the CDC’s funding are intended to “refocus the CDC’s core mission of preventing and controlling infectious diseases and other emerging public health problems, such as opioids.”

The proposal reduces and consolidates CDC funding for programs in the “chronic disease prevention and health promotion” category. That includes programs on heart disease, cancer, diabetes, tobacco use, stroke, diet, physical activity and arthritis.

Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Trump is proposing to cut about $427 million in funding for the chronic disease category — a drop of about 34.5 percent from stated 2020 spending.

The budget also cuts funding for infectious disease response, including a 13 percent cut for programs in the “emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases” category. (Zoonotic infectious diseases are diseases that spread from animals to humans, including the novel coronavirus.) This category includes cuts to programs that focus on antibiotic-resistant infections, food safety, and healthcare-associated infections.

In addition, Trump is proposing a 10 percent cut to “scientific public health services,” including funding for health statistics, surveillance, epidemiology and informatics activities. There is also a 3 percent cut in “public health preparedness and response” programs and a nearly 7 percent cut in global health programs.

The CDC budgets that Trump proposed to increase included programs to plan and respond to the flu, tick-borne diseases, HIV/AIDS and the opioid epidemic.

But overall, the CDC’s discretionary budgetary authority for 2021 would be about $5.56 billion under Trump’s proposal, a $1.27 billion (or 18.6 percent) drop from its 2020 funding commitment.

The proposal lands as public health experts work to get ahead of the rapidly escalating 2019 (2019-nCoV) novel coronavirus outbreak. While the risk to the US is still considered low for now, the CDC and other US health officials are working to prepare state and local hospitals and health care facilities in the event of an outbreak. A common refrain among health professionals at all levels is the need for dedicated and sustainable funding for such prevention and preparedness activities.

Senate Budget Committee Ranking member Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement that “the Trump Budget sees no problem in this country that cannot somehow make it worse.”

By akfire1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.