Health and science professionals warn that budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump could be devastating for future generations, potentially gutting spending on biomedical and environmental research.
Billionaire medical magnate George Yancopoulos, the co-founder of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (regn), told Bloomberg that it’s time for the country to “make some decisions about what to invest in,” arguing for more emphasis on health and less on tech development.
“We should only be working on two things, health and the freaking environment,” Yancopoulos said. “The last thing we need is another freaking browser and app — those things are eroding our national intellect.”
Some of Trump’s proposals would slash funding for the National Institutes of Health by $1.23 billion, Bloomberg reports, and could bring research spending levels back to their level in 2000. The administration has also proposed cutting funding for the Department of Health and Human Services from $84.6 billion to $65.1 billion.
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David F. Arons, CEO of the National Brain Tumor Society, said in a statement that the country should be “doubling down on biomedical research funding, not pulling back,” according to Bloomberg.
Several lawmakers, however, have shown their reluctance to drastically reduce spending on medical science and disease control.
“I’d much rather fight Ebola in West Africa than in West Dallas,” Tom Cole, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, was quoted as saying. “Defense is generally important. These things are part of the defense of the country and its development too.”’