As for the research on fusion, both hot and cold, a much worse damage than wasting money has been to mislead the public and the decision makers, providing them an easy excuse not to face the global resource problems in a truly effective and long lasting way. The illusions spread by the FUSION chimeras have largely contributed to creating the current critical situation. Part of this responsibility lies on ambitious or unscrupulous professors and other public researchers
For cold fusion, I don't think so. Outside a small community of enthusiasts, most scientists don't spend either time or resources examining cold fusion or LENR. Hot fusion is another story. How much should be spent on that can certainly be argued. And when if ever it will be practical can also be argued. However, unlike LENR, that the concept works can not.