President Donald Trump's budget proposals revealed last Thursday (16 March) will make Americans stupid, weak and sick if enacted as is, according to prominent American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
In a series of tweets on Sunday the scientist, famous for hosting shows like 2014's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, weighed in on the Trump administration's policies after he said that he would hold off criticism until Trump began challenging America's scientists.
"I will act when they actually try to put legislation into place," deGrasse Tyson told The Late Show host Stephen Colbert on 15 March. Many concrete policies hadn't yet emerged from the Trump administration, he said, "lately people are just talking".
The day after the interview, however, Trump's $1.5tr (£937bn) budget proposals emerged with large cuts to the arts, science, the environment, education and other departments. The cuts are being made to fund $54bn for the military and law enforcement.
The budget proposes doing away with former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan to tighten regulations on climate change-producing carbon emissions, and to cut 50 programmes and 3,200 employees from the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures Americans have clean air and water.
The proposals also eliminate $5.8bn from the National Institutes of Health, which carries out biomedical and health research. It also slashes $9.2bn from the Department of Education for teacher training, funding for summer- and after-school programs and aid for about 1.6 million needy low-income undergraduate college and university students.
Trump also proposed to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which largely funds PBS, where deGrasse Tyson hosted the show NOVA ScienceNow from 2006 to 2011.
"The fastest way to Make a America Weak Again: Cut science funds to our agencies that support it," deGrasse Tyson said in the first of a series of tweets criticising elements of Trump's budget proposals.
"The fastest way to Make America Stupid: Cut funds to programs that support education," he wrote. "We all want to Make America Great Again," deGrasse Tyson said, echoing Trump's campaign slogan, "but that won't happen until we first Make America Smart Again."
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