What We're Reading: Proposed Budget Cuts; Alzheimer Treatment Fails; CDC Confirms 13th US Coronavirus Case

February 11, 2020

The 2021 budget request from the Trump administration involves budget cuts for agencies such as HHS, CDC, and the Environmental Protection Agency; an investigational treatment for Alzheimer disease failed to slow or stop cognitive decline in patients involved in an international clinical trial; CDC confirmed a new case of coronavirus in San Diego, California.

Trump Seeks to Cut Budgets of Science, Health Agencies

In the 2021 budget request announced yesterday to Congress, the Trump administration included a nearly 10% cut to HHS and a 26% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, according to The Washington Post. The proposed budget would also trim funding for the CDC by almost 16% and reduce overall funding for global health from $571 million to $532 million in 2021. The Trump administration in turn seeks to increase funding for research on quantum computing and artificial intelligence, with President Donald Trump additionally seeking to give NASA a multibillion-dollar grant to assist the agency in putting astronauts back on the moon.

Tested Treatment for Alzheimer Disease Fails

Data from an international study, called DIAN-TU, determined that the use of gantenerumab, made by Roche, and solanezumab, made by Eli Lilly, had no effect on slowing or stopping cognitive decline in healthy participants who had a rare genetic mutation guaranteeing they would develop dementia, according to The New York Times. Participants of the study received monthly infusions or injections of 1 of the 2 experimental drugs and underwent annual blood tests, brain scans, spinal taps, and cognitive tests. The data from the study are still being analyzed and will be presented in April and July at scientific conferences in Vienna and Amsterdam, respectively.

CDC Identifies 13th Case of Coronavirus in the United States

Federal health officials from the CDC confirmed that an evacuee from Wuhan, China, who was in federal quarantine in San Diego, California, has developed the coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 13, according to The Hill. The patient had initially been allowed to leave the University of California San Diego hospital after a testing mistake originally showed no evidence of the virus, but further testing revealed the infection. An additional patient from quarantine was also transported to the hospital, with evaluations and tests currently taking place.