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During coronavirus epidemic, Trump proposes slashing budget for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ars Technica reports:

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

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

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

Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Trump proposes cutting roughly $427 million in funding for the chronic disease category—a roughly 34.5 percent drop from enacted 2020 spending.

The budget also cuts funding for infectious-disease responses, including a 13 percent cut to programs under the category of “emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases.” (Zoonotic infectious diseases are those that spread from animals to people, of which the novel coronavirus is one.) This category includes cuts to programs addressing antibiotic-resistant infections, food safety, and healthcare-associated infections. [Continue reading…]

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