Trump on NIH: Not Making Americans Safe Again

Trump on NIH:  Not Making Americans Safe Again

Trump is gutting the domestic budget by 10.5% to boost the military budget by 9%, or $54 billion.  But strangely, besides attacking climate science and clean energy, he has focused on the National Institute of Health, cutting it 18%.  Besides the nation’s external threats, all of us face our own internal threats of medical problems.  The NIH carries out its own research in top notch institutes, as listed in the previous article, and gives out grants to top hospitals and universities to carry out research on improving medical knowledge and treatments for Americans.  Making drastic and unjustified cuts to the NIH is not improving Americans’ safety.

In case you haven’t thought about it lately, the USA is surrounded East and West by two vast oceans.  On the North is friendly Canada, and on the South, friendly Mexico.  Foreign adventures have not turned out well for a long time.  Yet as we all live and age, we have to protect ourselves from diseases and the decay of our own bodies.  Medical research has made extraordinary strides during our lifetimes.  It is an attack on ourselves and our progeny to not safeguard our health by the best research and treatments available.

Medical advances is a very productive and job creating field.  The US now has the slowest annual growth rate in medical research among North America, Europe, and Asia, at 1.0%.  China leads with 16.9%, Australia has 9.3%, Japan has 6.8%, Canada has 4.5%, Europe has 4.1%, and other Asian Countries have 20.8%.  The rate of approval for submitted grant requests at the NIH has fallen to 17.5%.  To throw an almost 20% cut on top of this is ridiculous.

President Trump surrounds himself with healthy people.  We don’t see anyone in his cabinet, among his press representatives, in the industrial leaders he invites to conferences, even in his family, who have any visible disabilities.  While he is the oldest person to enter the White House, his doctor guarantees us that he is the healthiest.  House Speaker Paul Ryan is 47 and a workout advertisement, OMB director Mick Mulvaney is only 49, and First Lady Melania Trump is only 46. In an old article, Trump used to fire any non-beautiful people at his country clubs.  This is the Trump brand.  He does not hang out with anybody that is not so rich that they cannot fund their own healthcare.  He may not feel this way four years from now at 74 when he runs for re-election, but we are concerned about the here and now.

Even those who are young now and can afford their own healthcare, will still greatly benefit when they need it by research advances that can be achieved now.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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