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Curtis: Vote for medical funding


Much higher spending levels for biomedical research are clearly needed.

In 2024, there are no very good treatments for many terrible and common diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), schizophrenia, and brain and spinal cord injury.

In 1971, US President Richard Nixon predicted that his “War on Cancer” research funding initiative could conquer cancer in less than 10 years. Fifty years later in 2021, cancer death rates have been cut by only about 27%. At the rate we are going, it will take about 136 more years to eliminate cancer.

We must support politicians who favor much higher levels of both basic and clinical biomedical research.

President Joe Biden has proposed increasing research spending in many medical and public health areas including increasing National Institutes of Health (NIH) by 46%, which includes the “Cancer Moonshot” program to fund 240 new cancer research projects.

On the other hand, former President Donald Trump in 2017 proposed cutting National Institutes of Health by 18%, recommended cutting Centers for Disease Control (CDC) by 17%, and wanted to cut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 31%.

Dr. Luke Curtis
East Carolina University

Editor’s note: Dr. Luke Curtis is an Adjunct Professor of Public Health at East Carolina.

health, funding