Archive for the ‘Ebola’ Category
Published on The Weekly Standard (www.weeklystandard.com)
The Blame-Deflection Game
The ScrapbookOctober 27, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 07
The Ebola outbreak understandably has Americans on edge. How the Obama administration has redefined the expectations of government competency for even the most cynical among us has a lot to do with it. Rather than stepping up to meet a potential health crisis, the government is instead deflecting blame. “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,” National Institutes of Health head Dr. Francis Collins said last week. And we presume the Ready for Hillary crowd isn’t ready to stop Ebola; Clinton is also blaming a lack of funding for impeding the ability to combat the disease.
As with nearly every governmental problem we face, more money is not the answer. It’s true that over the last 10 years, NIH funding has risen from $28.03 billion to “only” $29.31 billion. However, Collins neglects to mention that from 2000 to 2004, the NIH’s budget spiked by 58 percent. As for whether that money is well spent combating public health threats, NIH waste is not hard to come by. Just to scratch the surface, the agency recently spent $175,000 funding a study on how cocaine affects the sex lives of quail, $500,000 to send text messages in “gay lingo” to methamphetamine addicts, and $1.5 million to study obesity among lesbians. The waste is not confined to NIH, either. The Weekly Standard reported last year that the Centers for Disease Control, which presumably should also be fighting Ebola, was using part of its $12.5 billion Obamacare slush fund to campaign for tougher state liquor laws. A 19-month investigation by watchdog Cause of Action concluded the use of these funds violated the law and was “a front for lobbying, government propaganda, and cronyism.” (more…)