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Published On: Tue, May 23rd, 2017

CDC budget cut proposal generates tons of hyperbole

It seems like every Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget, regardless of who is in power in Washington, there are complaints that there is never enough money.

Image/bykst via pixabay

During the chikungunya outbreak in the Americas of a few years ago, former CDC Director, Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH complained of budget cuts: “Yet in the past four years, CDC’s budget authority has been cut by nearly $1 billion, including nearly $600 million in the past fiscal year alone. These cuts hurt our ability to protect Americans against health threats, both old and new, including those from emerging and resistant microbes, natural disasters, and bioterrorism.”

When the West Africa Ebola outbreak touched the United States in 2014, the CDC was criticized by many (I wasn’t one of them) and the knee-jerk reaction from politicians and bureaucrats was there wasn’t enough money.

Apparently nothing can be cut from any federal agency. It must be that money tree behind the Capitol (or maybe the printing presses keep running) but it seems that no one realizes we spend way too much on everything. Each year we spend about a half-trillion more than we take in and the national debt is ever so closer to $20 trillion (more than $61,000 per citizen and about $166,000 per taxpayer).

When the Trump administration released their 2018 budget proposal, you could just hear the heads popping off. Then came the hyperbole.

It started with Dr Frieden on Twitter–“Proposed CDC budget: unsafe at any level of enactment. Would increase illness, death, risks to Americans, and health care costs.” Sound very much like his previous comments?

A variety of public health agencies also chimed in including Trust for America’s Health which noted in a press release: “The proposed $1.2 billion cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would be perilous for the health of the American people.

Even now, with a relatively stable FY 2017 budget, CDC is operating with nearly 700 vacancies and will function with diminished resources once the Zika emergency supplemental funding runs out. The $1.1 billion has already been burned through?

Then the Twittersphere went bonkers with comments from people who seem to think that only this administration cut the CDC budget. Here is a sample:

SpeakerRyan said budget was pro-business. It is anti-everyone else. The gop seems to want to make us sicker and unsafe.

#GOPbudget will see a rise in disease.

Trump’s actions are nothing less than mass murder. Myself and millions like me would not be alive today if it were not for cancer research.

Even on my own Facebook page, one person commented on an Ebola in DRC post:

When it reaches the United States we’ll have no scientists and no healthcare.

Clearly, our financial ills are much bigger to me than it is to many others; however, they are nonetheless very real.

Maybe some of the commenters on Twitter and Facebook should demand the CDC be better stewards of taxpayer dollars (Check out this 2014 article)

Lastly, spending must be decreased across the board in all agencies and more accountability on waste must be enforced. It’s always easy to spend in a carefree way when it’s OPM.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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