Mike the Mad Biologist

double-facepalm
(from here)

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.

Comments

  1. #1 WIll
    February 8, 2010

    bwahaha I want to know what episode that image is from!

  2. #2 WIll
    February 8, 2010

    Because you know someone is a good director.

  3. #3 WIll
    February 8, 2010

    I feel like they must be in a courtroom.

  4. #4 WIll
    February 8, 2010

    down with photoshop

  5. #5 addie
    February 8, 2010

    “It would also eliminate all grants to states for the successful Get Smart in the Community program to combat improper uses of antibiotics.”

    Intensive livestock operations are responsible for 80% of antibiotic usage, in constant “therapeutic” doses.

    I say, cut that “Get Smart” grant and put that money into safe food and incentives for meat producers to think outside the CAFO.

    I’m not hijiking the blog here; MSRAs are not coming from local communities overusing cough medicine.

  6. #6 Lyle
    February 8, 2010

    Ok what other part of medical research do you cut to pay for this. We need to think of a fixed size pie for the biological research community, and specify what else not to do to pay for this area. With the budget deficit one needs to not denounce every cut unless you provide a defined offseting cut, which is the essence of the pay-go concept. Maybe we should cut university research by the same amount to fund these programs. Perhaps a cut in post docs makes sense because they will likley never find permanent jobs, so the sooner they realize it the better.

  7. #7 Diane
    February 8, 2010

    Just once I’d like to have a president who wants to fully fund science programs and fully defund faith-based programs. I doubt I’ll see that in my lifetime and I have at least 40 more years on this planet thanks to scientific advancements. Thanks a lot Obama. I want my vote back.

  8. #8 Hopeychangey
    February 8, 2010

    Now if he would cut Planned Parenthood, ACORN, the ACLU, most of the space program, PBS, crap and trade, and about a thousand other programs that could be privately funded, we could have some money for something important. He’s oof to a good start. Now let’s kill the HELLthcare bill and crap and trade.

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