Sequestration responsible for slowing the increase in the federal government's massive deficit spending remains the leftist bogeyman

The GOP Caused the Ebola Outbreak?

By —— Bio and Archives--October 15, 2014

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The GOP Caused the Ebola Outbreak

As the American public has begun to grasp the massive ineptitude behind the Obama administration’s response to Ebola, a leftist non-profit, the Agenda Project Action Fund (APAF), has sprung to the rescue. An ad campaign entitled “Republican Cuts Kill” features several prominent Republicans, and implies that budget cuts to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are responsible for the current Ebola outbreak—all over the world.


“Like rabid dogs in a butcher shop, Republicans have indiscriminately shredded everything in their path, including critical programs that could have dealt with the Ebola crisis before it reached our country,” Erica Payne, founder and president of APAF told supporters in an email.

Unfortunately for the American left, research compiled at the twitter feed of CounterMoonbat illuminates a few of those “critical programs” in which the NIH and CDC involved themselves. They include $325,525 for a study showing “wives would be happier if they could calm down faster” during marital spats, $386,000 to study rabbit massage, $939,771 on “why fruit flies fall in love” and $666,905 to study mood relationships with those who watch Seinfeld reruns. Another $350,000 studied the relationship between golfers and their imagination, $702,000 was spent studying the impact of TV’s and gas generators in Vietnam, $150,000 went to China “to learn more about acupuncture” and $423,000 was used to determine why men “don’t like to wear condoms.”

That’s the small stuff. The NIH has a whopping $90 million to fund various health projects in China, including $17 million to learn “whether 420 prostitutes and 241 of their clients were willing to use ‘microbicides’ during sexual activity to combat sexually transmitted diseases.”

Apparently such absurdities were not enough to derail the leftist attempt to demonize Republicans. In a shameless attempt to maintain this effort, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told the Huffington Post last Sunday an Ebola vaccine “likely” would have been available, were it not for budget cuts. “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.”

What “slide” is that? Between 2004 and 2013, the NIH’s budget increased by more than a billion dollars, from $28.03 billion to $29.31 billion. One might be more correctly left to wonder if diverting funds from vaccine research to support the aforementioned absurdities—or a $1.5 million study of why most lesbians are obese, or the $2.5 million spent making sure Chinese prostitutes drink less while working—might have made the difference.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal illuminates the CDC’s equally warped priorities in response to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s contention that spending reductions mandated by sequestration has robbed the CDC of resources “they used to have” and hurt their response to Ebola. Jindal explains that of the $3 billion the CDC received over the last five years from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created to appropriate money for ObamaCare, “only 6 percent—$180 million—of that $3 billion went toward building epidemiology and laboratory capacity.” By contrast, $517.3 million went to a community transformation program that funds support for local farmers and grocery stores, as well as improvements in streetlights and sidewalks, making it easier for people to walk and ride bikes.

As for what the CDC “used to have” they have put out two numbers. Their 2010 budget was $6.467 billion, and their 2014 budget was ostensibly $5.882 billion. What they fail to mention is that between 2001 and 2010 their budget tripled.

Furthermore, the latter number may be inaccurate. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the $1.1 trillion budget deal reached by Congress on Jan. 13, 2014 resulted in an 8.2 percent budget increase for the CDC to $6.9 billion, $567 million more than it received in 2013—and $300 million more than Obama’s $6.6 billion budget request.

Nonetheless, the sequestration responsible for slowing the increase in the federal government’s massive deficit spending remains the leftist bogeyman, save for one salient reality: it was Obama’s idea. It’s also easy to forget how much non-essential garbage this government wastes money on, like the $4.1 million spent by the IRS on a 2010 party for 2,609, employees that included line-dancing, “Star Trek” parody videos, party “swag” free meals, cocktails, and hotel suite upgrades. Or the $800,000 spent by the General Services Administration (GSA) for a 2012 Las Vegas “conference” that included funds spent on a mind-reader, t-shirts and in-room parties. Or the $1.3 million the government spent just on alcohol in 2014, quadrupling the $315,000 spent in 2005. Or perhaps even the $44 million spent on travel and vacations by the First Family, most of which was charged to the American taxpayer.

One is also left to wonder whether the existing culture at the CDC still resembles the one described in a 2007 report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). Entitled “CDC Off Center” it speaks to “how an agency tasked with fighting and preventing disease has spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars for failed prevention efforts, international junkets, and lavish facilities, but cannot demonstrate it is controlling disease.”

CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden’s latest effort, blaming Ebola victim Nina Phan for a yet-to-be determined “breach of protocol,” even as he admitted the CDC has to “rethink the way we address Ebola infection control,” suggests little has changed. So does the reality that he supports continued flights from disease-stricken West African nations, even as nearly 60 percent of the American public understands the necessity for stopping them.

Payne remained undeterred. “In launching this (advertising) effort, we will be the first major progressive group to directly blame GOP budget cuts for the nearly 4,000 deaths caused by the Ebola crisis,” Payne wrote. “Our hope is that this ad and the accompanying report will spark a national conversation about the utter stupidity of the GOP’s approach to government policy,” she added.

This is not Payne’s first dalliance with over-the-top hysterics aimed at conservatives. In 2010, the Agenda Project launched a “f*ck tea” ad campaign “to help people all over the country F*ck Tea,” Payne told Politico at the time. In 2012, another ad depicted “grandma” being pushed over a cliff by a Paul Ryan lookalike, and accusing Rep. Ryan (R-WI) of literally killing senior citizens.

Payne also helped found the Democratic Alliance, the left’s largest fundraising and collaboration entity, and its leftist mega-donors also helped to build the Center for American Progress. The Democratic Alliance also serves as a pass through organization for millionaires and billionaires devoted to causes promoted by still other left-wing entities, such as Media Matters for America, the Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA, and Organizing for Action (OFA), Barack Obama’s former campaign apparatus reincarnated as a nonprofit advocacy group. It has been embraced by George Soros, who brought together 70 like-minded millionaires and billionaires who believed conservatives were a “fundamental threat to the American way of life.”

Their biggest concern this year is keeping control of the Senate, and this new ad campaign demonstrates the Left’s “by any means necessary” approach to politics is still in play. Hence it will “target more than two dozen Republicans, including almost every candidate in a competitive House or Senate race,” Payne said on Monday.

In the meantime, America watches and waits while the World Health Organization warns that we face 10,000 new Ebola cases per week in as little as two months—and 75 percent of American nurses feel unprepared to treat patients for the disease. Speaking to the Washington Post, CDC spokeswoman Abbigail Tumpey inadvertently reveals where the CDC really stands. “We let our guard down a little bit,” she said referring to the nation’s health-care systems. “We as a health-care system have to make sure not to let our guard down and be vigilant that patients with Ebola could show up at any U.S. health-care facility. .... Now that we’ve seen this happen, we know now that we need to do more to make people feel prepared. We realized this week that this is a teachable moment, and despite the guidance we have sent out [to hospitals], people don’t necessarily understand how to implement it,” she added.

Here’s a better “teachable moment”: institute clear and concise national protocols for containing the spread of the infection, advocate for shutting down flights from the afflicted countries and demand that the nation’s borders be secured immediately. Anything less is politics. Life and death politics.

Yet if politics must be served, Americans need to ask themselves which political party prefers maintaining those flights and those open borders, along with a largely unresponsive bureaucracy whose ineptitude grows in direct proportion with its ever-increasing size and scope. One more thing should become transparent to the public as this crisis intensifies: all the money in the world can’t buy genuine leadership.


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Arnold Ahlert -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Arnold Ahlert was an op-ed columist with the NY Post for eight years.

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