The CDC and NIH Budgets Have Not Been Cut | Citizens Against Government Waste

The CDC and NIH Budgets Have Not Been Cut

The WasteWatcher

The hysteria over the Chinese coronavirus grows day by day, thanks to a press corps and politicians that appear to be more interested in stoking panic and arguing what the name of the virus should be rather then calming the populace and presenting them with unbiased information from health experts on what to expect.

A new claim being propagated by Democrats and operatives in the press is the entire coronavirus crisis should be blamed on the Trump administration response, that his proposed budget cuts have hurt the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH), and that top scientists have been silenced.  Nothing could be farther from the truth and FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, has pointed this out in a March 3, 2020 FactCheck Post, “Democrats’ Misleading Coronavirus Claims.”

Here’s the bottom line.  It is true that the president’s budget proposals have called for reducing funding for the CDC and the NIH, and many other federal agencies.  But there is an old saying in Washington, “The President proposes, and the Congress disposes,” which means the executive branch can recommend anything it wants but it is Congress that determines the spending in the Federal government.

And that is exactly what has happened.  Both the CDC and the NIH have received funding increases from Congress during the Trump administration.

Silencing top federal scientists, like Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, MD, is also not true.  When Vice President Mike Pence was appointed to lead the coronavirus task force, Dr. Fauci was asked to cancel some appearances and to coordinate his messages with the new task force.  In response to numerous press questions about being “muzzled” by the Trump administration, he said, “So let me clarify.  I have never been muzzled ever, and I’ve been doing this since the administration of Ronald Reagan.  I’m not being muzzled by this administration.  What happened – which was misinterpreted – is that we were set up to go on some shows, and when the vice president took over, we said, ‘Let’s regroup and figure out how we’re going to be communicating.’ So I had to just stand down on a couple of shows and resubmit for clearance.  And when I resubmitted for clearance, I got cleared.  So I have not been muzzled at all.  That was a real misrepresentation of what happened.”  Dr. Fauci continues to be interviewed on television.

Any administration has and would use their prerogative when necessary to have agency heads run any public statement through the White House, or their appointed representatives that oversee the agencies, to make sure they are representing the administration’s policy.

What is unacceptable is that too many politicians and journalists are on the “never let a crisis go to waste” train and are using the epidemic to criticize any action taken by the administration and as a political tool to implement big-government spending initiatives and mandates that will do nothing to stem the coronavirus.