Critics blast Trump's self-congratulatory tweet about the decline in cancer deaths after his administration decimated research budgets

Critics blast Trump's self-congratulatory tweet about the decline in cancer deaths after his administration decimated research budgets
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

President Donald Trump is often quick to take credit for any good news – while pawning off responsibility for negative outcomes on others, especially his predecessor. But social media users were stunned – and many outraged – when Trump tweeted Thursday morning a clear pat on the back for himself on recent news the rate of cancer deaths in America took a steep drop.

“Cancer Death Rate in U.S. Sees Sharpest One-Year Drop,” a New York Times headline reported Wednesday. “The cancer death rate in the United States fell 2.2 percent from 2016 to 2017 — the largest single-year decline in cancer mortality ever reported.”

President Trump was not even in office for the full year of 2017, so it’s literally impossible that anything he has done has contributed to the welcome decline in the cancer death rate.

But he took credit nonetheless.

Many were furious, given that Trump’s budget has slashed funding for cancer research and prevention. His 2020 budget cuts $35 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its cancer screening and prevention programs, Cancer Health reported.

But that’s a fraction of the devastating $897 million gutting of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There are also massive cuts proposed for other agencies that work to help fight cancer.

“The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases would see the second largest cut, at $769 million, and the National Human Genome Research Institute would lose $80 million.”

And if anything, Trump’s damaging decisions are doubtlessly increasing future rates of cancer and other preventable diseases and deaths:

Here’s how social media users are responding:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.