Fred Hutch Statement Regarding Proposed Budget Cuts

Statement from Dr. Gary Gilliland on the impact of President Trump’s budget proposal
News conference with Gary Gilliland, Stan Riddell, patient Beth Caldwell in response to proposed NIH budget cut.
News conference at Fred Hutch with Dr. Gary Gilliland, Stan Riddell and Beth Caldwell on March 16, 2017 in response to proposed NIH budget cut. Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch News Service

‘Patient lives are at stake’

As many of you have heard, President Donald Trump released a proposed budget that includes deep cuts totaling nearly 20 percent to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), from a current budget of $31.7 billion to $25.9 billion.

Fred Hutch’s first advocacy priority is federal funding for science. At Fred Hutch, federally-sponsored research revenues comprise about 85 percent of our total sponsored funding. We are the recipient of more NIH grants than any other cancer research center in the country. We are at an inflection point in our efforts to develop cures for cancer and related diseases. In that context, the proposed cuts are indefensible and would severely impede our progress. Patient lives are at stake.

I want you to know that we are fighting these cuts on behalf of our patients, our families and the entire scientific community. While we enjoy healthy partnerships with industry and receive generous philanthropic support, these sources could never replace the federal funding needed to undertake and advance this critical research.

These cuts are devastating and unacceptable. We will work with our partner institutions, with our delegation, and with other advocacy groups to push back against these proposed cuts. We cannot slow our urgent quest to find cures. Two years ago, I made a public statement that I believe curative therapies for most, if not all, cancers, will be within our reach in the next decade. I have no intention of going back on that commitment. Anything less is akin to pulling the plug on our countdown to cures.

The budget cuts proposed by the White House today face strong bipartisan resistance. We will join the fight against these cuts with members of Congress from both parties who have, and will continue to push for increased NIH funding.

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