Ebola

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The National Institutes of Health reported that we could have had an Ebola vaccine by now, if not for a decade of budget cuts. Dr Francis Collins, the head of the NIH, remarks that "NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001:"

"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." [...] "We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference," he said. [...] "Money, or rather the lack of it, is a big part of the problem. NIH's purchasing power is down 23 percent from what it was a decade ago, and its budget has remained almost static."

What does the Right believe about all this? Corpulent conservative Erick Erickson claims that fat lesbians got all the Ebola dollars (yes, really):

Erickson's post, titled "Fat Lesbians Got All the Ebola Dollars, But Blame the GOP," cites an NIH-funded study examining why lesbians confront higher rates of obesity; the research is in line with other demographic studies examining public health challenges, but Erickson seized on the study to wage a demagogic attack on the agency for frivolously "studying the propensity of lesbians to be fat." He also attacked CDC research on gun violence and smoking cessation.

What a douche.

On a larger scale, Salon points out that the Right's anti-government mania is harming America, and that "most of the media coverage of the politics of Ebola to date has centered on whether President Obama has adequately and/or honestly dealt with the disease:"

"I remain concerned that we don't see sufficient seriousness on the part of the federal government about protecting the American public," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters. Cruz is probably the wrong guy to talk about seriousness: his government shutdown forced the NIH to delay clinical trials and made the CDC cut back on disease outbreak detection programs this time last year.

I find myself wondering: When, if ever, will the political debate over Ebola center on the way the right-wing libertarian approach to government has made us less safe? [...] The GOP's anti-government crusade has hampered our ability to face the Ebola challenge. In an election year, there's nothing wrong with Democrats saying that clearly.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on October 13, 2014 2:13 PM.

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