Free Markets, Free People

Sometimes … most of the time … you just have to raise the “BS” flag

The latest reason for hoisting said banner is this apparent decision by political operatives on the left to blame Republicans for the ebola epidemic.  Because of them, so the meme goes, we’ve had a lack of funding.  And that lack of funding is blamed for the failure to have a viable ebola vaccine.   Per the NIH chief, they’d have likely succeeded in creating an ebola vaccine if only they’d had the money:

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, said that a decade of stagnant spending has “slowed down” research on all items, including vaccinations for infectious diseases. As a result, he said, the international community has been left playing catch-up on a potentially avoidable humanitarian catastrophe.

“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

As the following chart shows, the problem wasn’t money at all:


Since 2001, tons of money have gone toward global health programs.  Tons.  And the upward move was made during Republican control.  So to say his point is BS is to be kind.

In fact, it is likely to have been all about priorities instead, and ebola wasn’t a priority.  Secondly, as Glenn Reynolds points out, it had to do with mission creep.

As The Federalist‘s David Harsanyi writes: “The CDC, an agency whose primary mission was to prevent malaria and then other dangerous communicable diseases, is now spending a lot of time, energy and money worrying about how much salt you put on your steaks, how close you stand to second-hand smoke and how often you do calisthenics.”

These other tasks may or may not be important, but they’re certainly a distraction from what’s supposed to be the CDC’s “one job” — protecting America from a deadly epidemic. And to the extent that the CDC’s leadership has allowed itself to be distracted, it has paid less attention to the core mission.

So money which could have been and should have been dedicated to the core mission was instead spent on ideologically supported nonsense.  Any wonder why “money” wasn’t available?  Because it was wastefully spent elsewhere in the structure of the CDC and NIH.

Gov. Bobby Jindal gives us more facts on the problem:

In recent years, the CDC has received significant amounts of funding. Unfortunately, however, many of those funds have been diverted away from programs that can fight infectious diseases, and toward programs far afield from the CDC’s original purpose.

Consider the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a new series of annual mandatory appropriations created by Obamacare. Over the past five years, the CDC has received just under $3 billion in transfers from the fund. Yet only 6 percent—$180 million—of that $3 billion went toward building epidemiology and laboratory capacity. Especially given the agency’s postwar roots as the Communicable Disease Center, one would think that “detecting and responding to infectious diseases and other public health threats” warrants a larger funding commitment.

Instead, the Obama administration has focused the CDC on other priorities. While protecting Americans from infectious diseases received only $180 million from the Prevention Fund, the community transformation grant program received nearly three times as much money—$517.3 million over the same five-year period.

There are the numbers of funds available to the CDC for its core mission.  $3 billion dollars.  Spent on its core mission from that fund? $180 million.  So how again is that the GOP’s fault?

Instead the truth of the matter is we have a bureaucracy with a supposedly single mission (for heaven sake, its even in their name – “Centers for Disease Control”) which has instead done what bureaucracies always do … creep their authority out into areas where they don’t belong (with the approval of the administration, of course), doing things that mostly fulfill an ideological agenda instead of an agenda of real worth to the citizens it supposedly serves.  The money that should have gone toward heavy research into communicable disease threats such as ebola instead went to “fund neighborhood interventions like “increasing access to healthy foods by supporting local farmers and developing neighborhood grocery stores,” or “promoting improvements in sidewalks and street lighting to make it safe and easy for people to walk and ride bikes.”

So while we sit here and watch the left attempt this bit of BS (and watch a certain segment of the citizenry lap it up), let’s remember the reality of why there’s no ebola vaccine.  It has absolutely nothing to do with money and everything to do with political priorities.

In this case the priority chosen has put us in a position to be essentially defenseless in the face of a disease for which we should have developed a vaccine by now.  But I bet we have some great bike paths out there.

And that failure, friends, is clearly attributable to the administration in power which is responsible for that shift in priorities.

Utter failure.


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40 Responses to Sometimes … most of the time … you just have to raise the “BS” flag

  • I’ve written over the last week or two about the Collectivist capture and mission creep of virtually ALL Federal agencies, and that certainly is a play here.

    One wag noted that the cure for Ebola was lost in favor of a study about the dating habits of fat lesbians. Or salt intake, the effect of guns in society, or the terror of big soda.

    As government gets bigger, it gets stupider.

    • As government gets bigger, it gets stupider.

      Probably has something to do with a limited supply of smart people. When there are no more of them to be had, or the ones that are left have no desire to become government employees, there are more than enough willing idiots that can fill the ranks.

      • I think it also comes about from the process of looking for something to do that…

        1. “makes a difference”,

        2. increases the justification for AT LEAST the previous budget,

        3. conforms with the idea of BIG GOVERNMENT as necessary and desirable.

        Remember, there is NEVER a dearth of “crises”, and NOTHING is EVER resolved. The environment is VASTLY cleaned up, but we’re all still gonna die because…Koch. The civil rights of all people in America are WAY assured, but race relations are at their worst since at least the 1950s. Women enjoy unprecedented rights and choice, but…WAR on wimmins.

  • As long as they’re having their flights of fantasy on what COULD have been done but wasn’t because REPUBLICANS!!!!! why don’t they claim they could have cured cancer, I mean, why stop with blaming conservatives for the lack of an Ebola vaccine.

    Maybe afterwards they can explain how Thomas Eric Duncan was allowed to come to the US, with no job, to see a woman he hadn’t seen in 13 years, from an Ebola infected country and lying on his entry forms.
    THAT must have been caused by Republicans too.
    Maybe they can explain why we’re still not limiting flights from Ebola ville into the US, and how the Republicans are behind that too.

    “Oh look Martha! The horse has gotten out of the barn! Damn those Republicans!”

    • Other too-obvious measures include a quarantine on either end of a journey from West Africa. NOT too much to ask a traveler, and certainly consistent with simple, time-honored disease control.

      But that was from the era when diseases didn’t have a race or a flock of PC flacks to poo-poo common sense.

    • The only problems that Obama can address are those he blames on Republicans.

      • It’s the ‘Community Organizer Way’. Blame everything on someone else, and then make enough of a stink that ‘The Man’ comes in and fixes it.

        Obama has just never internalized the fact that he is now ‘The Man’, and is responsible for fixing things – not that he’d even know how, or surround himself with people who knew.

  • Its about opening the conversation with the opposition (most visibly republicans) on the defensive. They know this is going not end well, they are setting the tone for the ensuing fallout.

    Even better we end up talking less about EV-D68. Ebola is sensational but ultimately won’t create a lot of fluster because getting it is still in the ‘more likely to be struck by lightning’ category at the moment. EV-D68 is not at least not for children.

    • I saw an article earlier today on the ‘suffering’ of the ILLEGAL immigrant children who snuck in over the course of the year.

      Perhaps when the intrepid reporters are done writing that story, they can write as story about the suffering of American children who caught EV-D68 from the ILLEGAL immigrant children that the US government whisked around and deposited all over the country (and would really prefer if we didn’t talk about or make a connection to).
      Then maybe a follow up story on the suffering families who have already lost children to EV-D68.

  • Oh, the desperation!

    In the meantime….time for Dr. Collins to lose his (her? I don’t really care anyway) job.

  • Per the NIH chief, they’d have likely succeeded in creating an ebola vaccine if only they’d had the money:

    Sounds like every Democrat running for office here in Arizona; they intend to fix the schools by throwing a ton of money at the schools, but you know it’s going to go to the Teachers Unions who, well, are funding the Democrats running for office.

  • George Soros and Warren Buffet are killing thousands of innocent Africans.

    They EACH coulda funded a vaccine out of a tiny portion of their inequitable wealth.


  • I’ve read somewhere in the sea of articles, one about DoD working with drug manufacturers to be able to produce large amounts of drugs for minimal costs on quick order. The writer said that pilot exercises had been very successful.

    • Damn pilots get all the best stuff…

      (That’s what they used to tell me when I was in the Army. Jealousy…never pretty.)

  • Shorter HuffPo: “Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

  • Two can play this counterfactual game. If the sniveling establishment GOP lackeys had any moxie, they would be pointing out every stupid program in which the CDC has gotten involved. There are lots of lists around the web, with stuff like salt, guns, and other totally non-infectious leftie causes.

    For every one, they could do a video saying the same basic message: “If the CDC had not been wasting time and money on treating guns as an epidemic, they could have had an Ebola vaccine. “

  • I’ll have you know Dr. Francis is one of our top men. Top Men.

  • Top. As in spinning like a.

  • ISIS is probing deeper into Baghdad, apparently killing pretty much who they want, how they find most convenient.

    We are pretending to fight. I wonder if Erp has any idea of what ISIS tactics really are yet.

  • Not that I’m willing to waste my time looking it up, but wasn’t there also some study having to do with drunken monkeys?

    Oh, and not off-topic at all, did you see Maxed Out Mama’s latest:

    She starts with Jerkface Jackson and the Duncan family, then says that the rest of us aren’t going to get the level of care Duncan got. (She’s reacting to new CDC guidelines which include avoiding AGP’s – Aerosol Generating Procedures. Like ventilation, intubation, … you know, the maintain-life-when-your-systems-start-failing procedures; the life-support stuff that keep a person breathing and circulating blood long enough for his system to “clear” the Ebola virus.) Then she says, “So all bets are off. Bullets and bleach and gloves. That’s the ticket. If you think I’m joking, you’re wrong.”

    Hoo, boy.

    • She starts with Jerkface Jackson and the Duncan family, then says that the rest of us aren’t going to get the level of care Duncan got.

      I seem to recall it being mentioned in an article that Duncan’s medical bills are expected to end up somewhere around half a mil.

      • Before or after Jesse proves that every possible mistake was deliberately made and every half baked procedure done for theater and the entire hospital stay was actually an effort to kill him because of the color of his skin.
        After all, we didn’t contaminate ambulances and jets and Godall knows what else to fly him to the magic white treatment center in Nebraska.

        They want to sue someone – try DHS for letting Thomas Eric Duncan into the country.

    • Yeah, but you know, you can’t catch this except from “bodily fluids”. Uh….it’s all good. Don’t panic, under control, don’t worry.
      TOP MEN.

      • I seem to recall that the Top Men were assuring us at one time that AIDS was almost impossible to get from normal heterosexual sex.

        • Ever read Calvin and Hobbes?

          There’s one strip where Calvin comes in to the room where his parents are sitting, reading. He’s mumbling about ‘buckets’ and how he just happens to need one, and how there’s nothing to be concerned about, he just….needs a bucket…and some other stuff, “dum-de-dum”.
          He comes back a couple of times, continuing to mumble about something he needs (clearly related to clearing up a liquid mess) and how there’s no need for fear.

          Eventually the two of them lock eyes in panic and fly out of their chairs to address whatever disaster he’s caused that they didn’t need to be alarmed over.

          Except for the utter lack of humor in this situation, that’s what this reminds me of.

        • These would be the same Top Men who would have invented an AIDS vaccine by now if only there had been more money spent by non-Republicans?

  • Huh…??? Who knew…??? We ALREADY have an Ebola Czar.

    So, it isn’t “top men”. It’s “top women”. Who you never heard of in the last several weeks.

    • She’s probably been very busy ‘losing’ emails from ‘crashed’ hard drives or something.

  • No problem folks – The latest nurse (that would be today, on the 15th) to be diagnosed flew from Cleveland to Dallas on the 13th – a day before she was officially ‘symptomatic’

    The CDC is ‘reaching out’ to the passengers on the flight.

    They’re reaching out.

    Well, I really hate to be right about this crap, but I was right about this crap.

    We have EVERY reason NOT to trust the CDC and their competence to handle this.

    • Strangely, Ellis Island seems to have worked excellently well to defend America from the spread of dread diseases by isolating travelers.

      But, according to our “brights”, that only makes diseases spread faster.

      Strange logic. Collectivists HATE reality, and fight it hard.

  • So there are a few things to keep in mind as we think about this disease. The first is that politicians have almost nothing to contribute when it comes to keeping us safe. If you hear a candidate for office talking about it, and he says much beyond, “Let’s just make sure the CDC has the resources it needs,” he’s probably just trying to frighten you.

    Damn, just when I was ready to divert funds form AGW to Ebola.

  • And I want to point out how selfish it was for that nurse to get sick and wreck the New York Times “BOOOOOSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHH!” headline about the fact that there were still chemical weapons in Iraq that the Pentagon ‘hid’ from us.

    They’re trying so hard to find something else for us to pay attention to dammit, and this Ebola thing just won’t frickin go away.

  • “Less than two weeks later, Frieden admitted that the government wasn’t aggressive enough in managing Ebola and containing the virus as it spread from an infected patient to a nurse at a Dallas hospital.

    “We could’ve sent a more robust hospital infection control team and been more hands-on with the hospital from day one about exactly how this should be managed,” he said Tuesday.

    Frieden outlined new steps designed to stop the spread of the disease, including the creation of an Ebola response team, increased training for health care workers nationwide and changes at the Texas hospital to minimize the risk of more infections.

    “I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the patient — the first patient — was diagnosed. That might have prevented this infection,” Frieden said.”

    Well no shirt Sherlock. You’re FIRED Tom, we’ll have security bring your personal effects around to your house once we’ve cleaned out your office.

    Here you all, and certainly I, thought the CDC DID have a team on the ground the day the first patient was diagnosed. THAT’S THEIR JOB!!!!!!!!!!!! The biggest part of the job we expect them to do, they DIDN’T DO.

    Were they golfing?

    Recall, bonuses, or firing – which are we going to do NOW.

    Nothing to panic about, we are officially the third world nation that the administration set out to create in 2008.