The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) are alarmed by the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to FY2017 funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) public health preparedness and response grants, global and domestic HIV and TB efforts at the CDC, and global health programs at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department. IDSA urges Congress to reject the administration’s proposal and provide robust funding to support these vital programs that keep America healthy and safe by confronting infectious diseases at home and abroad.
The administration’s proposed $1.2 billion cut to FY2017 NIH funding would weaken America’s role as the world leader in lifesaving biomedical research and endanger a major economic engine in communities across the country. Because of the longstanding bipartisan commitment to fund innovative studies at the NIH, we now have new vaccines in response to outbreaks, new tools to address antimicrobial resistance, and breakthroughs in HIV prevention and treatment. Additionally, the administration’s $50 million cut to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will hamper research into improved methods for preventing healthcare associated infections, promoting antibiotic stewardship and improving care delivery for HIV and other serious conditions. IDSA strongly supports ongoing bipartisan congressional efforts to grow investments in research in FY2017.
Further, the administration’s proposed cuts would jeopardize CDC’s ability to keep America safe from infectious diseases threats, including outbreaks and other emergencies, as well as everyday threats such as vaccine-preventable illnesses and antimicrobial resistance. The administration would slash CDC’s public health preparedness and response grants by $49 million. Cuts to preparedness funding would hamper state and local health departments’ ability to prepare for and respond to a variety of issues, such as foodborne illnesses, influenza, and Zika, and Congress must help ensure states and local communities have the resources to protect America from these threats. Cuts to domestic HIV prevention would set back critical progress in reducing new HIV cases and increasing the number of people living with HIV who are diagnosed and can initiate the treatment that keeps them healthy and prevents transmission to others.
IDSA also is troubled that the administration is proposing deep reductions to global health programs at CDC and USAID for FY2017. Despite the fact that infectious diseases do not respect borders, the administration would cut CDC’s global HIV programs by $50 million, and PEPFAR by $242 million. Further, the administration would cut $44.6 million for global TB efforts, $13.3 million for neglected tropical disease programs, and completely eliminate funding for the Global Health Security Program at USAID, a cut of $72 million. As we’ve seen with recent outbreaks of Ebola and Zika, addressing infectious diseases abroad is an essential component of protecting the U.S., and Congress should not accept these proposed reductions.
As Congress continues its work to finalize FY2017 funding, IDSA looks forward to working with Congress to ensure that funding for these essential programs reflects bipartisan priorities for protecting patients and public health from infectious diseases threats.
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