NIH Vows to Fight White House Proposed Budget Cuts [VIDEO]
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to lose as much as 20 percent of its annual allocation as the Donald Trump administration tries to consolidate federal spending. The budget proposal is entitled "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again".
The NIH intends to fight back and is preparing with the scientific committee, a demonstration they dubbed "March for Science" slated to happen this April in Washington, DC. The Maryland-based federal agency is America's primary driver of scientific research. A large chunk of its budget is distributed to research institutions, schools, and grants to scientific investigators that are at the forefront of scientific research here and abroad.
The budget blueprint intends to remove the duplicate programs in the NIH and those that have limited impact to society and public health, the Los Angeles Times reports. The "America First" policy also cuts into the collaboration between foreign agencies and the US research funded by the NIH.
The NIH contends that cutting its funding is detrimental not only to the scientific community, but also to the economy. The cut is described by the American Association for the Advancement of Science as crippling for science and technology enterprise, The Washington Post reported. The health industry depends largely on the innovations made by biomedical research. The slash would mean that clinical trials for drugs may be stopped and in turn halt or stall production of pharmaceutical companies.
Other fields such as earth science and energy research are also in danger of closing down their own studies if funding is stopped. The Advanced Energy Research Projects Agency-Energy that research innovations on metals, batteries and matters related to electricity is being eyed to shut down completely in the budget blueprint.
The scientists and researchers are scoring the Trump administration's lack of initiative to support science. They have pointed at examples of other countries like China and India that are vigorously putting money into research and development. If the move to cut the NIH's budget will prosper, the US is going to be in danger of losing its place in leadership in science and technology.