While the US National Institutes of Health has invested more and into research during Francis Collins' tenure as director, NPR notes that there has been little improvement in the overall health of Americans.
Collins was nominated as NIH director by former President Barack Obama and was confirmed to the post in 2009. He stayed on throughout the Trump Administration and now into the Biden Administration but announced in October that he would be stepping down from the position by the end of the year.
Collins tells NPR, which asks about the generally worse health of US adults as compared to those in peer countries, that while the agency is able to fund and conduct research into a range of health issues like obesity, opioid addition, and COVID-19 , it cannot always put the solutions into practice. "In all of these instances, as a research enterprise — because that's our mandate — it feels like we're making great progress," Collins tells it. "But the implementation of those findings runs up against a whole lot of obstacles, in terms of the way in which our society operates, in terms of the fact that our healthcare system is clearly full of disparities, full of racial inequities. "
He adds that NIH is often focused on disease rather than strategies to keep people healthy, but that that is an area where he is hopeful that the All of Us Study will provide more data.