The fake news is flying fast and furious in recent weeks as the enemies of the Trump administration salivate over the possibility of creating a disaster they can then blame the president for. One of the most repeated claims of late is that the Trump administration stripped the CDC’s global health protection fund.
This is absolutely false. In fact, President Trump has overseen the doubling of that fund vs the Obama years while also streamlining what was the previously monolithic/slow moving pandemic response unit that was embedded within the National Security Council. Those duties were never eliminated as continues to be falsely reported by media outlets and then repeated over and over again via social media.
Read on to learn more…
As the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus has spread around the world, a number of politicians, news organizations and public figures have made the false claim that the Trump administration cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s anti-pandemic work in over 40 countries to just 10.
The CDC told us that’s not true.
The claim appears to have been based solely on outdated news reports from early 2018 that said the CDC was preparing to dramatically reduce its work helping to prevent infectious-disease epidemics. Those reports said much of that work on the Global Health Security Agenda, a pact between over 60 nations that began in 2014, had been funded by a five-year, nearly $600 million supplemental package that was dwindling. That one-time funding, which Congress originally appropriated in response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, ran out at the end of September 2019.
…Those hypothetical cuts were avoided, however, because Congress later provided more funding for the CDC’s global health programs, the CDC told us in a statement.
But in remarks from the Senate floor on Feb. 24, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed the Trump administration made “drastic cuts to the global health division at CDC,” before saying, “In 2018, CDC was forced to reduce the number of countries it operated in from 49 to 10.”
Three days later, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut made a similar claim on Twitter — though he used slightly different figures.
“President Obama set up anti-pandemic programs in 47 vulnerable countries, as a way to protect against something just like Coronavirus breaking out across the world,” Murphy wrote. “Experts begged Trump to keep them open. He closed 37 of them.”
Murphy’s tweet appeared to catch the attention of Joy Behar, co-host of ABC’s “The View,” who made the same claim on the daytime talk show March 9.
Murphy’s office did not respond when we asked for a source for his statement, and Schumer’s office told us Schumer relied on a New York Times article that was published the day of his floor remarks. That Times piece was not the only one from a news outlet to state that the cutbacks the CDC warned about in 2018 had actually gone into effect.
As we said, the CDC told us that’s false.
CDC operating budget plans show that its funding for global public health protection — which includes global disease detection and emergency response and global public health capacity — increased from $58 million in fiscal year 2017 to around $108 million in fiscal years 2018 and 2019. (And that does not include any remaining supplemental funds available for use.) The increases included nearly $50 million more each year for CDC’s global health security initiatives.
Those amounts went up again in fiscal year 2020, when the CDC was awarded $183 million for global public health protection, overall, and $125 million specifically for its global health security efforts.
For fiscal year 2021, President Donald Trump has requested that CDC funding for global disease detection and other programs be increased further — to $225 million total, with $175 million going directly to global health security.
With its current funding, Bartee said, the CDC is actually working in “more than 60 countries” — not 10 — to address the threat of global infectious diseases and outbreaks.