ASM Responds to Extreme NIH and CDC Proposals

June 27, 2024

Washington, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives appropriations proposal for Fiscal Year 2025 would significantly cut funding for research and public health programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill would also ban funding for “gain of function” research and attempts to ram through radical structural and policy reforms for NIH. 

“The drastic changes to American research and public health infrastructure proposed in this bill would have potentially disastrous repercussions,” said ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi, Ph.D., MPH. “The restructuring of science agencies like NIH should be a thoughtful and deliberate part of the legislative process that includes input from the scientific community.”

The proposed legislation would cut CDC’s overall budget by $1.7 billion. The bill’s proposed increase to address emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases is a recognition of that important work, but that increase cannot make up for the extreme cuts proposed for CDC. 

Protecting public health and security requires investments in emerging and infectious disease research. “Virtually all basic research funded by NIH would be impacted by an outright ban on ‘gain of function’ research,” Bertuzzi said. “Even efforts to more narrowly define what is covered by such a ban will set back our progress on anticipating, understanding and responding to the next infectious disease outbreak.”

Similar language banning “gain of function” research was included in the House National Defense Authorization Act and the recently released House draft of the FY25 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

ASM is monitoring these developments and will work with Congress to convey the potentially dire consequences of these proposals. 

The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of over 32,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

Author: ASM Advocacy

ASM Advocacy
ASM Advocacy is making it easy and providing opportunities for members to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.