Letter: Budget cuts will hurt research projects

Harold Varmus was the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1993 to 1999 and of the National Cancer Institute from 2010 to 2015. He had this to say about President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut the budget of NIH by 18.3 percent, about $5.8 billion (New York Times, March 22).

The cut would be “devastating”. “Over 80 percent of its resources are devoted to competitively reviewed biomedical research projects, training programs and science centers, affecting nearly every district in the country ... A substantial NIH budget cut would undermine the fiscal stability of universities and medical schools, many of which depend on the NIH funding; it would erode America’s leadership in medical research and it would diminish opportunities to discover new ways to prevent and treat diseases.”

NIH is one of the reasons that America is already great. Varmus knows that. Trump apparently doesn’t.

Kenneth A. Hubel M.D.

Iowa City

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