CDC Could Shrink Massively Under Trump

Concerned with the CDC’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its suggestions on safety measures like masks and vaccines, conservatives are demanding the agency’s dissolution.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, has proposed a Presidential Transition Project for 2025 that would significantly shrink the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The plan calls for a firewall to separate the two departments, one handling public health surveillance and the other “limited” public health recommendations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be unable to track and contain an outbreak as quickly or as effectively as before if this strategy is used.

Conservatives have long voiced their disapproval of the CDC’s expansive mandate; according to conservative think tank experts, the incoming Trump administration will assess the agency’s operations to identify which programs may be transferred to other agencies. One such example is the transfer of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, an organization that provides advice on avoiding becoming sick on the job, to the Labor Department.

Severino proposed extensive reforms to the CDC’s operations, including data collection. These included dismantling its reporting networks regarding vaccine safety, allocating funds to research on the dangers and problems of abortion, and ceasing data gathering regarding gender identity. Despite the inherent subjectivity in studies of gender identification, he maintained that the CDC is now collecting this data to reduce LGBTQ+ healthcare inequalities and promote more trusting relationships between providers and their patients.

Public health should be handled by an additional agency with a “severely confined ability to make policy recommendations.”

Separating the departments would require new legislation, and if that process drags on too long, the Trump administration’s first-term executive order may be reinstated. Among other possible changes to the department, a Trump-led HHS could roll back religious conscience regulations and fight against a plan by the Biden administration to expand healthcare civil rights in 2022.