As Coronavirus Spreads, Trump Officials Can’t Defend Trump Cutting Public Health Programs

Today, top CDC officials are testifying before Congress, where they’ll have to defend Trump’s proposed budget cuts to public health programs as coronavirus spreads worldwide. Secretary Pompeo would’ve had to do the same, but he was too scared to testify.

As coronavirus spreads worldwide, Trump has proposed cuts to CDC programs focused on infectious diseases and preparedness.

New York Times: “Lawmakers have been skeptical. The president’s budget request for the fiscal year that begins in October would slash the C.D.C.’s budget by almost 16 percent, and the Health and Human Services Department’s by almost 10 percent. Tens of millions of dollars would come from the department’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response and its Hospital Preparedness Program, which helps hospitals handle surges of patients during disease outbreaks.  The administration also proposed cutting more than $85 million from the C.D.C.’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. The center directly works on outbreaks like the coronavirus, which is believed to have emerged from live animals in Wuhan, China.”

Had Pompeo appeared today, he would have had to answer for the administration’s repeated attempts to cut global health programs.

ABC News: “But the budget request proposes reducing funding for global health programs from the $9.1 billion Congress allocated for them in Fiscal Year 2020 to $6 billion for FY 2021. … The proposal would also cut funding to the World Health Organization by 53% and to the Pan American Health Organization by 75%.”

As it slashed funds for public health programs, Trump’s budget extended his tax cuts for the wealthy and funded his unnecessary border wall.

CBPP: “The budget’s tax cuts and program changes would increase income inequality and widen racial disparities. The budget would permanently extend the 2017 tax law’s tax cuts for individuals, including those that confer large benefits on high-income taxpayers and heirs to multi-million-dollar estates. Most of the individual income tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of 2025; extending them would cost $1.4 trillion through the end of the decade.”

Wall Street Journal: “The plan requests $2 billion in new funding for construction of the wall on the southern U.S. border—Mr. Trump’s signature 2016 campaign promise that sparked fights with Democrats, leading the president to trigger a historic five-week government shutdown last winter after lawmakers refused to fund the project.”