#trump may face his first big legislative action on #Health care research if President Obama doesn’t get the 21st Century Cures Act on his desk before his term expires. But would the President Elect approve of spending $4.8 billion on biomedical research when he has said: "I hear so much about the NIH, and it's terrible." The 21st Century Cures Act, which passed unanimously by The House in July, will give the National Institutes of Health billions to study brain diseases and cancer as well as “precision medicine,” that is, tailoring treatments to individuals based on genetic profiling.
Trump intentionally unenlightened
But the bill has yet to pass The Senate and if it doesn’t make it to President Obama for his signature, many wonder whether a President Trump who skips National Intelligence Briefings and has stated that he “has a very good brain” and “will mostly consult with himself” knows or cares enough about medical research that he will support this sweeping biomedical legislation which, among other things, creates The Research Policy Board, a new quasi-government program, to oversee research projects.
We already know President Elect Trump seems to avoid learning about subjects which he isn’t conversant with and a fresh viewpoint is sometimes useful, but ii's important to know just who is advising him on biomedical research. The 21stCenturye Cures Act has already been cut to 4.8 billion in the Senate compromise version.
Trump - would he Savage NIH?
Back in October then candidate Trump appeared on Michael Savage’s syndicated conservative radio show and Mr. Savage made a pitch to be appointed head of the NIH under a Trump Administration. This is troubling to the research community because in 2008 Mr. Savage said, “I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.”
Mr. Savage has also called combat veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder losers. He said of PTSD, "I am so sick and tired of everyone with their complaints about PTSD, depression. Everyone wants their hand held, and a check — a government check. What are you, the only generation that had PTSD? The only generation that’s depressed? I’m sick of it. I can’t take the celebration of weakness and depression.”
More worrisome to many researchers was Mr. Trump’s reply to Mr. Savage’s suggestion that he (the talk show host) be appointed head of the NIH, “Well, you know you'd get common sense if that were the case, that I can tell you, because I hear so much about the NIH, and it's terrible.”
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of The House, and major Trump advisor, is strongly in favor of increased spending by NIH and researchers have expressed the hope that President Elect Trump will listen more to Speaker Gingrich.
Trump tutorial on science
Some scientists and researchers have called for a project to provide President Elect Trump with a tutorial on current scientific and biomedical research efforts. Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational #Science Institute and professor of genomics at the Scripps Research Institute said, “It’s so hard to know [what the Trump White House will do].”
But the big question is whether the Trump Transition Team would listen to any tutorial or if they would resent being “lectured.” We know that Mr. Trump himself has skipped most of the daily intelligence briefings offered to every President Elect to prepare them for the burdens of office that include split second decisions which could lead the U.S. into or away from war, saying, I'm relying on a number of sources instead."
Mr. trump has yet to meet with Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.