Biden Bashes Trump's Proposed "Draconian Cuts" to NIH Funding | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In a speech about finding hope in the war against cancer, former Vice President Joe Biden didn’t mince words about President Trump’s approach to funding biomedical science:

 

“He’s proposing draconian cuts — not only to biomedical research, but also to the entire scientific expertise across the board,” Biden said, speaking at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting in Washington.

 

This comes in stark contrast with Biden’s speech at South by Southwest festival last month in Austin, in which he was reluctant to criticize the Trump administration. But his tone seems to have shifted in the wake of the president’s new budget blueprint (read “Trump's Budget Would Put NIH & U.S. Medical Research into a Nose Dive!”; http://sco.lt/5qbezp).

 

Biden said the proposed $5.8 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health would be a stunning blow to scientific progress.

 

“This would set the NIH budget, and biomedical research, back 15 years — and that’s not hyperbole,” Biden said. “The chance of getting a grant would almost certainly reach an historic low.”

 

Grants, he pointed out, are funded for multiple years — and as the NIH is already committed to funding existing grants, the massive cuts would interfere with its ability to dole out further funding to researchers. In his speech, Biden cited “one reliable estimate” that up to 90 percent of grants in 2018 would be cut. It would close labs, end careers, and delay scientific breakthroughs, Biden said.

 

“This is no time to undercut progress, for god’s sake,” Biden said. “It’s time to double down — time to be sure we can deliver on the promise of science and technology to extend and improve lives.”