Higher education in the US weaves, for many students, a fantastical dream.
You can do what you want and people will pay you for it!
Any intellectual pursuit that interests your young brain will end up as a paying career!
This explains why there are so many English majors who can't get jobs upon graduation. I know, an easy target. Also see Comm majors.
But we academic scientists are the absolute worst at this.
It results in a pool of postdoc scientist PhDs who are morally outraged to find out the world doesn't actually work that way.
Yes. High JIF pubs and copious grant funding are viewed as more important than excellent teaching reviews and six-sigma chili peppers or wtfever.
In another context, yeah, maybe translational research is a tiny bit easier to fund than your obsession with esoteric basic research questions.