May 24, 2017
On March 23, President Donald Trump released his budget. It includes a long list of deep cuts that will devastate not only US led global health activities around the world, but also vital domestic programs that assist many people, especially the most vulnerable. Instead of making the US and the world a safer, more secure place, this budget will make it sicker, poorer and less secure.
A comprehensive list of the cuts requested for the next decade can be found at this NYT article but a few of the highlights include the following: $87 billion to the National Institutes of Health, $160.1 billion to international development and humanitarian assistance (this includes $24.8 billion to global health), $183.3 billion to higher education (including $33 billion for student financial assistance), $45 billion to the State Department, $18 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $627 billion to Medicaid, $194 billion to food stamps, $1.91 trillion to health care services, $71.5 billion to primary & secondary education, $24.4 billion for international disaster assistance, $25.1 billion for development assistance, $4.6 billion to USAID operations ( even the Peace Corps is slated to have its budget reduced by $676 million), $131.5 billion for the environment, and $16.8 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
This budget is a list of priorities, and we anticipate that Congress will now be rewriting many parts of it. However, we cannot be sure of the outcome of their deliberations. In order to affect the budget process it is vital that everyone calls and emails their local senator and representative and voices their opposition to these devastating cuts. The number of calls matter, so please call them often. Linked here are the key Republicans on the two crucial appropriations committees for global health. Please call these offices because they will have an enormous influence for determining what will or will not be in the final budget for many global health activities.
This month the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released their new report, Global Health and the Future of the US. We held an excellent webinar on May 24 with three of the report’s authors. Please visit our website to view the webinar.
Also, on our website you will see presentations, videos and photos from our 2017 conference in Washington, DC. Please feel free to see and use them.
Lastly, it is with deep sadness that that I wish to inform you that on May 20 our good friend, Dr. Thomas Hall, passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness at a hospice in San Francisco surrounded by his family. Tom was a mentor to many global health practitioners and beloved by many more. Humble, generous, kind, highly intelligent and insatiably curious, he epitomized the ideal global health practitioner. In fact, in 2015 he was bestowed CUGH’s highest honor, our distinguished leadership award.
Tom was an ardent supporter of CUGH and in particular, our educational activities which he financially supported for many years. Tom will be missed deeply but his spirit will live on in the lives he changed. Our profound condolences go out to Tom's wife Liz, his son Tefel and his wife Michi.