Liberals Blame Supposed Inability To Combat Ebola On “Budget Cuts”

Yes, they went there. They can’t help themselves.

Budget Cuts “Eroded Our Ability to Respond” to Ebola, Says Top Health Official

On Tuesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmedthe first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States; the infected patient was a man who traveled from Liberia to visit family in Texas. It’s the latest development in the ever-worsening outbreak of the virus, which so far has sickened more than 6,500 people and killed more than 3,000. The United States government has pledged to send help to West Africa to help stop Ebola from spreading—but the main agencies tasked with this aid work say they’re hamstrung by budget cuts from the 2013 sequester.

On September 16, the Senate Committees on Appropriations and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing to discuss the resources needed to address the outbreak. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) asked NIH representative Anthony Fauci about sequestration’s effect on the efforts.

“I have to tell you honestly it’s been a significant impact on us,” said Fauci. “It has both in an acute and a chronic, insidious way eroded our ability to respond in the way that I and my colleagues would like to see us be able to respond to these emerging threats. And in my institute particularly, that’s responsible for responding on the dime to an emerging infectious disease threat, this is particularly damaging.” Sequestration required the NIH to cut its budget by 5 percent, a total of $1.55 billion in 2013. Cuts were applied across all of its programs, affectingevery area of medical research.

Dr. Beth Bell, director of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, testified before the committee, making a case for increased funding. Her department, which has led the US intervention in West Africa, was hit with a $13 million budget cut as a result of the cuts in 2013. Though appropriations increased in 2014 and are projected to rise further in 2015, the agency hasn’t yet made up for the deficit—according to Bell, $100 million has already gone toward stopping the Ebola epidemic, and much more is needed. The United Nations estimates it will take over $600 million just to get the crisis under control.

Yeah, about that

CDC wins in budget deal (Jan 17, 2014)

This influx of cash will raise the CDC budget to $6.9 billion, which is $567 million more than it received in 2013.

567>13.

This is more than the agency anticipated, because the president’s fiscal year 2014 budget request for it was just $6.6 billion — a decrease of $270 million from fiscal 2012.

Wait, wait, wait. Why didn’t Mother Jones mention anything about Mr. Obama wanting to reduce the CDC’s budget?

Of the $6.9 billion, $1.3 billion was allocated to protect the United States from foreign and domestic threats, both intentional and naturally occurring. $255 million will go to support bio-defense efforts, and $160 million will be set aside for states to address their most pressing public health needs. The CDC will get $30 million for Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD), which will help identify potential disease outbreaks earlier and more accurately.

That’s a lot of money. What, exactly, are they doing with it?

Meanwhile, Just One Minute says you should be Concerned over Ebola in the U.S. Especially since thousands from Ebola stricken nations have entered the U.S.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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