By way of Maryn McKenna, we find that the Obama Administration has decided to massively cut the funding for the CDC’s antimicrobial resistance and vaccination efforts. I thought this was the kind of anti-science bullshit that the Bush Administration did. From the IDSA (pdf):
Under CDC’s proposed budget, the agency’s already severely strapped Antimicrobial Resistance budget would be cut dramatically by $8.6 million–roughly 50 percent. This vital program is necessary to help combat the rising crisis of drug resistance, a critical medical problem that the agency deems “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems.” Yet the President’s FY 2011 budget would allow CDC to target only 20 state/local health departments and health care systems to be funded for surveillance, prevention, and control of antimicrobial resistance, down from 48 this past year. It would also eliminate all grants to states for the successful Get Smart in the Community program to combat improper uses of antibiotics.
This is profoundly stupid. If we’ve learned anything from TEH SWINEY FLOO!!, it’s that surveillance matters, even if it’s not done as well as we might like. With KPCs–carbapenamase-resistant bacteria that can’t be treated with any penicillin derivative–just getting off the ground, this is absolutely the worst time to cut antimicrobial resistance surveillance funding.
The Get Smart program is one of the best awareness/education programs we have–to kill its funding is stupid. But there’s extra vaccination-related stupidity (italics mine):
IDSA also is troubled by the reduction in CDC’s Section 317 immunization program funding. Immunization has been one of the most cost-effective public health interventions, saving lives plus millions of dollars in unnecessary medical spending. In part through the Section 317 program, the United States has made significant progress toward eliminating vaccine-preventable diseases among children. However, with the conclusion of additional 317 support provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the program will lose nearly 21 percent in vaccine purchase grants and state infrastructure grants in the next fiscal year. At a time when new vaccines are available and a greater commitment to immunizations for both children and adults is necessary, the cuts to this program will reduce the total number of persons with access to immunizations….
Given the events associated with the influenza outbreak of the past year, it is distressing that the President’s budget would call for a cut of nearly $300 million in pandemic influenza preparedness and response funding at HHS. Thankfully, supplemental funding passed by Congress last year will continue to allow for purchases of influenza vaccines and for additional antivirals to restock the Strategic National Stockpile. It is not a question of whether another pandemic will happen, it is only a question of when one will occur.
Even the Bush Administration wasn’t this bad.
I am not feeling hopey or changey.