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Did Trump Cut The Cdc Budget

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Exclusive: Us Slashed Cdc Staff Inside China Prior To Coronavirus Outbreak

Former CDC director says Trump budget cuts would make Americans less safe

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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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Budgets are like the first move in a chess game with, Ill be honest, a fairly profligate Congress, Azar said. And the president starts that move with a budget knowing that were going to get a lot higher there as we work with Congress.

As health officials gear up to confront a potential outbreak, the administration is asking Congress to authorize an additional $2.5 billion in supplemental funding for 2020 aimed at accelerating vaccine development and other containment measures. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has suggested that figure is not sufficient, and Congress should allocate an additional $8.5 billion for fighting coronavirus.


But its not just the presidents budget proposals that are under the microscope as fears of a new coronavirus outbreak mount. Bloomberg also took aim at Trump for eliminating a position from the National Security Council responsible for coordinating administration efforts to combat infectious disease.

Us Underprepared For Coronavirus Due To Trump Cuts Say Health Experts

US preparedness to deal with the threat of coronavirus has been hampered by the personnel and budget cuts made by the Trump administration over the past three years, according to health experts.

There is no one in the White House tasked specifically to oversee a coordinated government-wide response in the event of a pandemic, since the post of senior director for global health security and biothreats on the national security council was eliminated last May.

The office was established in 2016 after the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa demonstrated the US government was not set up to move with the speed and decisiveness necessary to react to a really lethal epidemic.

The White House global health czar was supposed to coordinate international, national, state and local organisations, public and private, to confront a global epidemic, backed by the direct authority of the president.


After he became national security adviser, John Bolton eliminated the office as part of an NSC reorganisation, as he did not see global health issues as a national security priority.

You have to at least now be anticipating and responsibly planning against a sort of pandemic level scenario reaching the US, Jeremy Konyndyk, who ran foreign disaster assistance in the Obama administration, said.

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The budget requests additional funding for investments in areas considered crucial for American competitiveness, particularly advanced technology, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing and 5G telecom networks.

The White House has proposed allowing the Commerce Department to auction off more telecom spectrum to private companies, one of the main bottlenecks in the countrys effort to advance 5G. The change would give private companies more access to a scarce resource and generate $670 million over the next 10 years, the administration said.


Ana Swanson

Trump Budget Proposal A Disinvestment In Us Health: Cuts To Cdc Hrsa

Liberty in the Time of Coronavirus Part 2

Despite increasing health threats, the White House is calling for slashing hundreds of millions of dollars from the countrys lead public health agencies.

In February, President Donald Trump released his federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, calling for a cut of more than $693 million at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as a $742 million cut to programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration. Overall, the presidents budget proposes a 9% funding cut at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a 26% cut at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, massive cuts in Medicare and Medicaid spending, and funding decreases for safety net programs such as food and housing assistance.

This budget, put simply, is a disinvestment in the health of Americans, said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, in a news release. We have an incredibly dedicated public health workforce that is ready to act. But we need federal investments to make that happen. An adequate and rational investment in the health of Americans is missing from this budget.

While White House budget proposals are typically considered dead on arrival meaning the final budget that makes it out of congressional negotiations and is signed into law will likely look nothing like Trumps proposal health advocates warn that it still serves as a starting point for negotiations.


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Trumps Who Cutoff Sends Officials Allies Scrambling

One of the presidents top public health officials also distanced himself from the move.

Alex Brandon/AP Photo

04/15/2020 02:24 PM EDT

President Donald Trumps 60-day freeze on U.S. funding of the World Health Organization was met with swift criticism Wednesday, with defenders of the United Nations agency denouncing the directive as a risky and baffling maneuver amid the very kind of global pandemic it was meant to combat.


Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist who has pledged billions to help speed development of a coronavirus vaccine, tweeted that halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds.

Inside the State Department, officials scrambled to make sense of the White Houses decision. James L. Richardson, the director of U.S. foreign assistance resources, informed his staff in a brief email that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had instructed diplomats and aid officials to identify and utilize alternative implementers for foreign assistance beyond the WHO.

CORONAVIRUS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

President Donald Trump and Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid-19.

Trump Proposes 16% Cut To Cdc As Global Number Of Coronavirus Infections And Deaths Rise

An additional 34% reduction is proposed for overall global health programs, but Trump is asking for … $115 million to be set aside for global health security.

Alex Wong/Getty Images


Topline: As the coronavirus continues to spread, President Trumps proposed 2021 budget calls for drastic cuts to funding for the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization that critics say could prevent preparedness for a pandemic at home.

Chief critics: The Senate Budget Committee as the ranking member) said Trumps budget would destroy discretionary programs cutting them by $1.9 trillion. These are things like Section 8, Head Start, WIC, LIHEAP, public housing, NOAA, NIH, NASA, NSF, the CDCmost of the programs that we think of when we think of what the government does. And James Hamblin, a doctor who writes for The Atlantic, that the budget doesnt consider pandemic preparedness a matter of national security.

What to watch for: How Trump and his administration continue to respond to coronavirus. During a Monday speech in New Hampshire, Trump said, By April . . . when it gets a little warmer, miraculously goes away, a theory debunked by infectious disease experts. The president is a known germaphobe, and experts are concerned that Trumps phobia, combined with his suspicions of foreigners and previous dismissals of the validity of science, could be dangerous.

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Asked about the criticism at a House budget hearing Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that, during the presidents tenure, every part of our preparedness and infectious disease program activity has been enhanced and expanded.


Azar went on the say the presidents budget proposals are just the jumping-off point for budget negotiations.

National Institutes Of Health

Trump threatens to cut funding of schools that don’t reopen

The proposed budget outlines an 18% cut to the NIH, which funds biomedical research, including cancer research. A number of organizations came out against the cuts

A group of medical schools, patient organizations, and doctors spoke out against the cut, instead asking Congress to increase the NIH’s budget by $2 billion in a full-page ad in Politico and the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

And Republican Rep. Tom Cole told Vox that cutting research would be “penny wise and pound foolish.”

“You hurt your ability to deal with disease in your country and disease is enormously expensive not just for individuals but society in general,” Cole said.


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Congress Rebukes Trumps Bid To Slash Cdc Funding Amid Outbreak

By: Robin Bravenderâ March 11, 2020 9:15 am

Rep. Mark Pocan

WASHINGTON U.S. House lawmakers resoundingly rebuffed a Trump administration request to cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amid the coronavirus crisis.

The CDC director testified Tuesday before the House Appropriations Committee, where Republicans and Democrats alike said Congress wont comply with the budget cuts requested in Trumps fiscal year 2021 spending plan. The White House proposed to cut CDCs overall spending by 9% in the next fiscal year.

This subcommittee will not be pursuing the administrations proposed cuts. To cut from our public health infrastructure during an outbreak is beyond consideration, said Rep. Rosa DeLauro , the chairwoman of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the CDCs budget.

Instead, Congress will aim to funnel more money into the CDC and the nations public health system, she added. We will not lurch from crisis to crisis and lapse into complacency in between. We cannot. This coronavirus outbreak makes that clear.

Rep. Tom Cole , the top Republican on the subcommittee, agreed. Im quite sure that we wont be cutting the CDC anytime soon. I suspect quite the opposite, Cole told the CDC director.

The answer is different in different areas, Redfield said. Were in a containment in certain areas. I would say in general were in a containment, blended mitigation, in some areas were in high mitigation.

I cant predict, Redfield told her.

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.

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Partly False: President Donald Trump Cut Funding To The Cdc Fired The Pandemic Response Team Refused Who Tests And Wasted Two Weeks Calling This Outbreak A Democrat Hoax

Explanation: Trump did attempt to cut the CDCs funding, but Congress prevented it from happening. While officials in charge of the U.S. response to pandemics did leave in 2018, its unclear if they were fired. The U.S. was not on a list of countries receiving COVID-19 tests from the WHO. But the U.S. does not usually rely on the agency for diagnostic tests, and the testing delay was due mainly to an error with the CDCs protocol. While Trump has called the Democratic response to the coronavirus a hoax, he has not used the term to describe the virus itself.

Trump Cuts To Cdc Worry Health Experts In Ny

Seemorerocks: Trump hands reins over to Pence who presided over the ...

The 17 percent cut would leave the CDC with its smallest budget in more than 20 years. | AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

05/23/2017 05:36 PM EDT

On the Friday before Donald Trump was elected president, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out an alert notifying hospitals and the public that 13 cases of Candida auris, a drug resistant fungus, had been detected in the United States.

Three of those cases had been found in New York and two of those patients had died.

The CDC knew of the new cases because five months earlier, in June , 2016, the agency asked hospitals and labs to be on the lookout for the fungus, which was discovered in 2009 in Japan.

The state Department of Health sent out an advisory to hospitals, nursing homes, regional health offices and local health departments telling them to watch out for the fungus and how to respond.

There have been 53 cases and 20 deaths in New York as of the first week of May, although all of those patients had underlying conditions so it isnt clear that the fungus is the culprit. What is clear is that the state, guided by the CDC, has taken action to prevent the fungus from spreading.

The 17 percent cut would leave the CDC with its smallest budget in more than 20 years.

A presidents budget isnt meant to pass as-is. Its usually described as a set of guiding principles for Congress. This budget is no exception and while it wont pass as it is currently written, Republicans in Congress cant entirely ignore it either.

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Asked about the criticism at a House budget hearing Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that, during the presidents tenure, every part of our preparedness and infectious disease program activity has been enhanced and expanded.

Azar went on the say the presidents budget proposals are just the jumping-off point for budget negotiations.

Despite increasing health threats, the White House is calling for slashing hundreds of millions of dollars from the countrys lead public health agencies.

In February, President Donald Trump released his federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, calling for a cut of more than $693 million at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as a $742 million cut to programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration. Overall, the presidents budget proposes a 9% funding cut at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a 26% cut at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, massive cuts in Medicare and Medicaid spending, and funding decreases for safety net programs such as food and housing assistance.

This budget, put simply, is a disinvestment in the health of Americans, said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, in a news release. We have an incredibly dedicated public health workforce that is ready to act. But we need federal investments to make that happen. An adequate and rational investment in the health of Americans is missing from this budget.

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The senators requested a response by Feb. 27, but the NSC did meet that deadline, nor did it respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Retired Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer held the position of senior director for global health security and biodefense on the NSC from April 2017 to July 2018. He previously coordinated the Presidents Malaria Initiative under President George W. Bush, and is now the senior deputy assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at the US Agency for International Development .

Cutbacks at that agency under the Trump administration are also receiving new scrutiny.

Last year, the USAID program known as PREDICT was shuttered. The initiative was launched in 2009 and designed to improve the detection and discovery of zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential. The program is credited with identifying nearly a thousand new zoonotic viruses, which are transmitted between animals and humans, and influencing the response effort currently being employed to combat the coronavirus, which is a zoonotic infection.

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Did Trump Try To Cut The Cdc’s Budget As Democrats Claim: Analysis

The allegations come amid the emergency over the COVID-19 coronavirus.

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.

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