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February 11, 2018

The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) is deeply concerned over President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget proposal, which includes 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 United States has long led the world in developing vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other technologies for neglected diseases and conditions that affect the world’s most vulnerable people, and the President’s budget proposal threatens to undermine this scientific and humanitarian legacy. 

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, these cuts will hamper the creation of new tools to address the world’s greatest global health challenges and undermine our ability to prevent and contain disease outbreaks. For example:

  • Across the board cuts for USAID global health programs, including the elimination of funding to support HIV/AIDS research, represent a backslide in US humanitarian leadership and threaten to slow the creation and roll out of new health innovations that both save lives worldwide and make our foreign aid programs more effective and efficient.

  • Cuts to CDC’s global health activities at the Center for Global Health (CGH) and the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) will further constrain an agency already under-resourced to address the magnitude of health challenges we face at home and internationally. While GHTC is pleased to see the Administration prioritize investment in global health security, this increased funding should not come at the expense of other vital CGH programs that support R&D of technologies and other activities to detect, prevent, and respond to health threats. Likewise, proposed cuts to NCEZID programs that develop interventions to combat infectious diseases run counter to the Administration’s global health security goals and will directly compromise domestic and international preparedness.

  • Cuts to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Fogarty International Center at NIH could erode America’s leadership in medical research and jeopardize important work to build research capacity in partner nations to fight global diseases. While GHTC is encouraged to see the Administration did not propose eliminating the Fogarty Center, as it did last year, it is important to ensure the center's activities are fully funded.

“The United States is a leader in research and development that drives biomedical solutions to the world’s most pressing health challenges—benefiting Americans at home and populations in need overseas,” said Jamie Bay Nishi, GHTC’s Director. “Funding cuts to global health R&D programs at USAID, CDC, and NIH cede this leadership, retreat from humanitarian values that define us as a nation, and leave Americans and the world vulnerable to longstanding and emerging health threats.”

GHTC was pleased to see Congress reject similar cuts proposed by the Administration last year, and we urge Congress to continue its history of bipartisan support for global health and medical research and once again reject these proposed cuts.