The political dogs were frothing this week. They blamed George W. Bush for the Ebola outbreak. One TV ad proclaimed that “Republican Cuts Kill”. It claimed big healthcare cuts slowed down development of an Ebola vaccine.
A top doc at our National Institute of Health claimed we likely would have had a vaccine. But NIH lacked the money. The head of the Center for Disease Control said something similar.
Meanwhile the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee lamented the deep healthcare cuts. He assured us they have held back our response to the Ebola outbreak.
There are just a few problems with this. One is that the CDC budget today is 25 percent higher than in 2008. It is 188 percent higher than it was in 2000. As for the NIH budget, it is double what it was 14 years ago. NIH is part of Health and Human Services. Its budget is up 9-fold since 1970. Does this sound like a starvation diet to you?
Besides, if the Republicans are so horrible, how did the NIH budget this year get to be $1 billion more than the President asked for? The CDC budget this year is also higher than the President requested.
Getting back to the flat-lining of the NIH budget. Before the flat-lining began, its budget soared 58 percent in four years.
Over the last 10 years HHS asked for and got billions for an outbreak of this type. It got funds for a new office devoted to this and this alone. Two other big bills gave the agency billions to handle situations like this. So what happened to that money?
The President appointed a czarina to do exactly what is required for an outbreak of this type. She seems to have vanished. No word from her in this crisis. Last we heard from her was when she was caught funneling huge no-bid contracts to a big Democrat donor. She steered the contracts away from a company that happened to be developing treatments for Ebola patients. Boo boo maximus.
Meanwhile, was Ebola really so important to the NIH? Over the last few years it has granted $400,000 to research diseases among male sex workers in Peru. Also $600,000 to study why chimps fling feces. Also $1 million to study sexual attraction among fruit flies.
Then there was $700,000 to study the impact of TV and gas generators on villages in Vietnam. And $175,000 to a university to study how cocaine affects the sex drive of Japanese quail. And $500,000 for a study that will send text messages in “gay lingo” to meth addicts. Do you suppose some of this might have better gone to Ebola research?
Its CDC agency spent $106 million for a swanky visitors’ center. Duplicating one it already had. It spent $10 million for new furnishings for its lavish headquarters. And $1.7 million to advise Hollywood on medical plots. Also CDC has a multi-billion-dollar slush fund. Much of it spent on other whacky projects.
All of this certainly shows that George W. Bush’s screw-ups brought on the Ebola crisis. By the way, news this week claimed that our troops did discover massive amounts of chemical weapons in Iraq. But wait. How could that be? After all Bush lied and… Well, I’m sure he will be showered with apologies from people who claimed he lied.
So what is the truth in this Ebola mess? With such conflicting claims, who can tell? The following is strictly a guess. Based on human nature. The part of human nature that causes guilty people, backed into a corner, to come out fighting.
My guess is that the NIH and CDC guys know that their agencies have screwed up. Their first reaction: Blame Congress. Blame the Republicans. Blame the cleaning ladies. Blame the Koch brothers. Blame… Hey! Let’s blame Bush!
From Tom...as in Morgan.