It seems that the Trump administration's stance on science and research, especially proposed budget cuts for medical research, has failed to create a positive impression on many. Among them is former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
On Monday, April 3, at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in Washington, Biden criticized the proposed "draconian" budget cuts, which he believes will eventually harm medical advancement.
A Tech Times report illustrated how the current administration looks to reduce the funding, which goes into scientific research and studies annually.
The Proposed Budget Cuts: Biden's Thoughts
Biden asserted that the proposed budget cuts for fiscal year 2018 would not only undermine research prospects, but also discourage brilliant young minds from pursuing relevant medical studies for fear of lack of adequate funding.
"This is not the time to undercut progress, for God's sake. This is the time to double down," stated Biden strongly opposing the proposed spending cuts in relation to science and medical research.
According to reports, the proposed budget aims to cut down almost $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health's annual funding, which is equal to about 19 percent of its total budget. Biden believes that if this proposal is followed through, it would set back NIH's budget by 15 years.
However, his speech largely centered on cancer research — mostly because of the "Cancer Moonshot" initiative, which Biden launched in 2016 at former President Barack Obama's behest. During the speech, Biden outlined the progress the initiative had made in studying, as well as determining new ways of fighting cancer.
Beau, Biden's son, died of brain cancer in 2015. This tragedy is said to have spurred Biden to promote studies, which could eventually come up with proper treatment for the disease. In December 2016, Biden even convinced lawmakers to authorize the funding of $1.8 billion, over a course of seven years, to continue the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
What The Trump Administration Says
The current administration would disagree with Biden's outlook on the proposed budget, which was presented on March 16. Regarding NIH, the Trump administration stated that it would "rebalance federal contributions to research funding." It also called for eliminating the Fogarty International Center.
"We think there's been mission creep. We think they do things that are outside their core functions," explained Mick Mulvaney, the budget director for President Trump, justifying the move.
It remains to be seen if Congress passes the proposed budget, or if it decides to change some terms. It is on them to decide whether the NIH and other medical research initiatives get adequate funding, or if their budgets are reduced considerably.