Only an ignoramous would slash NIH budget

With the risk of a disease outbreak so high, why would any president reduce support for NIH?

In President Donald Trump's so-called budget, he would institute massive cuts in the funds allocated to the National Institutes of Health ("Trump's budget suggests major changes in Md.," March 16).

Perhaps President Trump doesn't remember, or more likely never knew, that in the immediate aftermath of World War I, there was an outbreak of avian influenza that killed as many as 100 million people worldwide. The world is long overdue for another such event, and it is the NIH that monitors outbreaks of avian flu worldwide and then works with the host country to destroy the infected livestock.

Equally alarming is the ongoing problem with resistant bacteria and, as recently reported in The Sun, resistant fungi. It is the NIH that monitors these situations and conducts research to fight these problems. Add to that the work the NIH did with the HIV and Zika viruses, and one can understand the absolute necessity of strongly funding this agency.

Reducing funding to the NIH would be perhaps the most ignorant act yet proposed by the Trump administration, and that's saying a mouthful.

Dr. Marc Raim, Baltimore

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