Press Release

Big Cities Health Coalition: President Proposes Funding Cuts That Leave Americans at Risk

February 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 10, 2020              

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Big Cities Health Coalition today condemned the President’s annual budget request to Congress. Among other things, the plan would cut funding at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by 10 percent, including a 9 percent cut to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an overall cut to domestic spending of 6 percent across the federal government.

The Coalition is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member healthy departments serve nearly 62 million people, or one in five Americans. 

The proposed funding cuts come as health departments at the local and state level respond to the novel Coronavirus. While the outbreak is currently only 12 confirmed cases, preventing the spread of disease, in part by monitoring those who may at risk of developing it, is incredibly resource intensive. This outbreak comes on the heels of measles outbreaks in 2019, a disease which we thought we had eradicated in the U.S., not to mention during a particularly deadly flu season. Federal health officials said that the proposed budget will preserve funding to protect against the Coronavirus, but current funding levels are inadequate, and include cuts to emergency preparedness activities at the CDC as well as additional dollars to a rapid disease response fund, surely to be depleted by this Coronavirus response. 

“While we are optimistic that these cuts will never take effect, they are incredibly ill-timed and show a contempt for the incredible work that happens in communities across the country each day,” said Chrissie Juliano, Executive Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “These budget cuts go to the core of protecting the public’s health from emerging diseases like Coronavirus, not to mention threatens the safety net that supports the country’s most vulnerable people, such as our youth.”

The President’s budget also zeros out important funding for gun violence prevention that address it as a public health issue and rolls back additional funds allocated last year to support tobacco prevention in the midst of a vaping crisis. 

CONTACT: Chrissie Julianojuliano@bigcitieshealth.orgor 202-557-6507

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About the Big Cities Health Coalition

The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact nearly 62 million people, or one in five Americans. For more information, visit https://www.bigcitieshealth.org.