March 18, 2019

GHTC statement on the President’s FY 2020 budget

For the third consecutive year, the Trump administration has proposed significant cuts to critical government programs that advance innovation to improve the health of millions of people in need around the world, including Americans. The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) is deeply concerned by President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget proposal. If enacted, the funding reductions proposed would undermine the United States’ legacy of global leadership in the development of vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other technologies for neglected diseases and conditions that affect the world’s most vulnerable people.

The proposal cuts funding to global health research and development (R&D) at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH). If enacted, groundbreaking research and the creation of new tools to address the world’s greatest global health challenges would slow or stop. These cuts would also weaken global health security, undermining our ability to prevent and contain disease outbreaks. For example:

While the proposal’s cuts to global health programs at USAID, the State Department and essential research activities at CDC and NIH are worrisome, GHTC was pleased to see steady funding for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and a funding boost for the Food and Drug Administration included in the budget request. These entities play important roles in the global health R&D ecosystem, and GHTC appreciates the administration’s recognition of their contributions.

“The United States is the global leader in research and development of new tools for the world’s most pressing health challenges—benefiting Americans at home and communities around the world,” said Jamie Bay Nishi, GHTC’s Director. “Cutting funding for global health R&D programs at USAID, CDC, and NIH would undermine decades of patient investment in R&D which is on the cusp of delivering ground-breaking new tools to prevent, treat, and respond to the most pressing global health challenges and health emergencies. We have seen past budget cuts shelve promising research on tools for threats like Ebola and cannot afford to be caught empty-handed for the next health crisis.”

Strong congressional support for global health R&D has maintained and increased funding for this lifesaving work despite past proposals for cuts by the Trump administration, and we urge Congress to continue its history of bipartisan support for global health and medical research and for a third year in a row reject this short-sighted budget proposal.

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