Trump Acting Budget Director Russ Vought Defends 15% Budget Cut To CDC Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
The acting director of the White House Office of Management reiterated his proposal of a $9.5 billion cut to Health and Human Services, despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The proposal included cutting funding to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention by 15% and decreasing the budget for the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund’s annual contribution by $35 million.
A top trump aide *today* stood by the administration’s request to slash the CDC’s budget by $1.2 billion (15%) and cut $35 million from the Infection Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund. You read that right. Idiocy. pic.twitter.com/aezDowuJCM
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) March 10, 2020
“The question is today, as we sit here and we know about coronavirus and the impact it’s taking on the people of the world and the economies of the world and the stock market and everything, as you sit here today, are you ready to take that back?” Cartwright prodded.
“If you’re asking if I’m sending up a budget amendment, no, I’m not sending up a budget amendment,” Vought responded.
A spokesperson for the OMB told The Hill that the budget cuts would not affect infectious disease, and that the president had allocated $4.3 billion for Infectious Diseases and Preparedness.
“The $4.3 billion funds all of the CDC programs that focus on infectious disease and emergency preparedness activities,” the spokesperson said. “This figure reflects that the Administration is prioritizing funding for infectious disease and emergency preparedness efforts at CDC, compared to non-infectious activities, like studying the health and safety risks of infrequent bathroom breaks for taxi drivers.”