Trump Proposes CDC Budget Cuts As Coronavirus Deaths, Infections Continue Rising
As the coronavirus continues its spread, now infecting more than 43,000 people globally and causing over 1,000 deaths, President Donald Trump is proposing cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC, which is tasked with preparing for and responding to such infectious disease outbreaks, would see its budget slashed by 19 percent under Trump’s budget proposal, ArsTechnica reported.
The administration said its intent is to “re-focus CDC’s core mission on preventing and controlling infectious diseases and other emerging public health issues, such as opioids.”
One element of the agency that is on the chopping block is funding for the CDC’s infectious disease response, which would see a 13 percent reduction for programs under the category of “emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases.”
ArsTechnica noted that “zoonotic infectious diseases are those that spread from animals to people, of which the novel coronavirus is one.” Trump’s cuts would include programs that address antibiotic-resistant infections, food safety, and healthcare-associated infections.
The budget also proposes shaving 10 percent from “public health scientific services,” which “includes funding for health statistics, surveillance, epidemiology, and informatics activities.”
Trump wants to cut “public health preparedness and response” programs by 3 percent and global health programs by 7 percent.
Further, the administration proposes “cutting roughly $427 million in funding for the chronic disease category—a roughly 34.5 percent drop from enacted 2020 spending.”
It is worth noting that the proposal would boost funding for programs involving influenza planning and response, tick-borne diseases, HIV/AIDS, and the opioid epidemic.
But on the whole, the CDC’s 2021 budget would drop 18.6 percent under Trump’s proposal, which comes to $1.27 billion less than the agency received from enacted 2020 spending.
Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reacted to the proposal by saying in a statement that “the Trump Budget does not see a problem in this country it cannot somehow make worse.”