As I have written before, IDSA continues to actively engage the new
administration, vowing to remain committed to our priorities as a Society,
guided by what matters most to the physicians and scientists we represent and
the patients we care for. The budget blueprint released recently from the Trump
administration, while containing a few rays of hope, also provides significant
cause for concern.
Of utmost concern, the blueprint proposes a $5.8 billion cut to the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) and a restructuring of the Health and Human Services
(HHS) emergency preparedness programs and other Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) activities that would likely result in cuts.
On a positive note, it also includes an important new federal emergency response
fund for outbreak response and cites as key priorities the Ryan White program
and efforts to address opioid abuse, which has fueled new cases of HIV and
The budget blueprint would also honor U.S. commitments to the Global Fund to Fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as global immunization efforts while
maintaining PEPFAR funding for patients currently receiving antiretroviral
treatment, although the administration’s commitment to maintaining PEPFAR’s
overall budget is unclear.
Strengthening America’s role as the world leader in biomedical research and investing in the next
generation of scientists are longstanding bipartisan priorities that have led
to unrivalled health and economic benefits for the country. While it is unclear
exactly how the $5.8 billion proposed cut to NIH would be apportioned, IDSA
strongly opposes any funding cut to infectious diseases research and has
serious concerns about the proposed elimination of the Fogarty International
Center which has made many contributions to infectious disease education and
training. NIH has led essential research to develop new vaccines in response to
outbreaks, new tools to address antimicrobial resistance, and breakthroughs in
IDSA also strongly supports the essential role of the CDC in keeping America safe from infectious diseases
threats, including outbreaks and other emergencies, as well as everyday threats
such as vaccine-preventable illnesses and antimicrobial resistance. IDSA has
repeatedly called for the creation of a new public health emergency fund to
ensure that the U.S. can respond rapidly to outbreaks, and we are pleased to
see such a proposal included in the blueprint. However, many important details
about CDC’s budget remain unclear. In particular, IDSA is concerned that cuts
to preparedness funding would hamper state and local health departments’ abilities
to prepare for and respond to a variety of issues, such as foodborne illnesses,
influenza, and Zika.
As with any budget blueprint, this is a proposal, and one that is sure to face a
great deal of scrutiny as it moves through the legislative process. IDSA will
continue to advocate for the funding necessary to keep the public safe from
infectious diseases and continue important research progress. Earlier this
month, I joined other members of IDSA’s Board of Directors and our staff to
meet with congressional offices, including staff for Sen. Roy Blunt, from my
home state of Missouri, who chairs the congressional subcommittee charged with
funding public health and health research agencies and programs. We discussed
federal funding for research and public health, as well as ID physician
compensation and antimicrobial resistance. IDSA has also been leading advocacy
efforts for coalitions of other organizations who share our priorities, hosting
congressional briefings to spotlight our issues, and will continue making the
case for a robust federal investment in ID research and public health.
Your voice is essential to our voice being heard. Most assuredly, you will be seeing action alerts and requests to reach
out to Congress and to share your stories about how federal funding supports
your work or impacts your patients and communities. Our only chance of being
successful is for you to answer those requests.
March for Science
An exciting opportunity to lend your voice is coming up next month. A March for Science has been planned for April 22 (Earth Day) in Washington, DC,
with concurrent events scheduled in satellite cities around the country.
The Earth Day Network and the March for Science are co-organizing a rally and a
teach-in on the National Mall, which will include speeches and trainings with
scientists and civic organizers to highlight the vital public service role
science plays in our communities and the world.
IDSA and HIVMA will be organizing a group for the march in Washington,
DC and can provide materials that may be used for signs, posters or social
media efforts for satellite events around the country. Use this link to let us know where you’ll be marching
and to sign up to receive details regarding meeting locations for the march in
Washington or printable materials for your local efforts. Learn more about the
March for Science on the official event page, and find updates on
IDSA/HIVMA’s efforts on our site.