So the other day, among the conga-line of jacktards bloviating on Ebola, some supergenius came out and tried to palm off Ebola, and the lack of a vaccine to prevent it, on Republican cuts to the CDC and the NIH.
Which only has two problems: The budget for the Dept. of Health and Human Services has risen in every year, probably as far back as you'd like to check. And while my concept of the powers of government may be a bit fuzzy, I seem to recall that the Department of Health and Human Services is a cabinet-level agency in the executive branch of the federal government, and that the Secretary of HHS is appointed by, and serves at the direction and pleasure of the President of the United States.
So if there's some shortage of money, and it isn't getting spent on the important things, maybe someone can tell me who the hell's been the president since January 20, 2009?
And secondly, maybe show me the links to stories stating who the ever-missing "they" are, who were crying, wailing, and begging on their knees for more money for an Ebola vaccine, until the mean old Republicans said "No!".
Yeah, thought so.
This isn't about partisanship, it's about competence. Or the lack of it.
So, I got to wondering what has it been like over at CDC anytime lately.
Let's check the videotape, sportsfans:
CDC.GOV Budget Overview FY2012(at the bottom of Pg. 4 if you're checking)
Improving Preparedness and Response to Public Health Emergencies The FY 2012 Budget request provides more than $1 billion for biodefense and emergency preparedness activities in CDC, a decrease of $70 million below FY 2010. Within the total, $643 million is requested for the Public Health and Emergency Preparedness grants, a decrease of $72 million below FY 2010. Great progress in preparing for public health emergencies has been made at the State and local level with the Federal investment of nearly $9 billion in funding from 2001-2012 for these efforts. CDC will work with states to prioritize preparedness activities and focus on areas of need. These grants support local public health preparedness efforts.
That was Fiscal Year 2012. Three years ago. Under two presidents. So I'm sure they got more than another $Billion since then, but I'm frankly too disgusted to get into that detail, and would rather understate it than overstate it. It's clearly been at last $10,000,000,000 since 2001.
For "Biodefense and Emergency Preparedness Activities".
Which, a reasonably intelligent person might be forgiven for assuming, ought to have conveyed some bare rudimentary ability to deal with one Ebola patient arriving on our doorstep.
The Reality: Not just no, but HELL NO!
Were we prepared to put protocols in place to prevent the entry of infected persons, after some pestilence overseas had run wildly out of control for 6 months?
Did we have any screening methods in place that would prevent someone infected from bringing a deadly disease to the heartland of the country?
Were there any procedures that all hospitals were so well-drilled in, that were an infected person to seek treatment, they would be properly noted, safely sequestered, medically isolated, and properly treated?
Are there standards and guidelines for every hospital that are easily referenced and foolproof in practice, that would ensure the flawless activation of response and containment, should such an infected person turn up here anyways?
Have any lists of proper equipment, isolation and treatment procedures, and clinical area layouts been proposed, rigorously tested in the field, modified by clinical experts, and then disseminated to every hospital in the country, and who've been drilled on them not less than annually, in case of any sort of biological outbreak crisis or terrorist attack emergency?
Is there a vast reference library of government information available on the internet, including well-thought out and expert peer-reviewed protocols and procedures, along with government-produced explicit training videos, updated regularly, and available to anyone who'd ever want them, free and instantly, at the click of a mouse on the Internet, to cover every major and minor aspect of proper preparation and performance?
Oh God No.
Which can only lead one to wonder,
JUST WHAT IN BLISTERING HELL HAVE YOU MORONS AT THE CDC BEEN SPENDING NEARLY A BILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS PER YEAR ON FOR NEARLY FIFTEEN YEARS, THAT WOULD HAVE COME IN HANDIER IN THE CURRENT BIOLOGICAL CRISIS THAN MERELY SENDING THAT CASH TO CHARLIE SHEEN TO SPEND ON HOOKERS AND COCAINE, OR ELSE JUST SETTING THE CASH ON FIRE?
"I have no frickin' idea where that money went."