Yesterday The Hill posted an article about Democrat campaign ads claiming that the Republicans cut funds to the Center for Disease Control and that is the reason we are not successfully fighting Ebola.
The article reports:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) launched an ad campaign on Monday blaming Republicans for cutting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) budget to fight diseases like Ebola.
“Republicans voted to cut CDC’s budget to fight Ebola,” the paid online ads state, citing a 2011 budget vote that included cuts to the agency’s spending. At the same time, the ads point to the most recent House GOP budget resolution and argue that “Republicans protect tax breaks for special interests.”
That is a rather serious charge. Thankfully, it is not true.
On Sunday, Politico posted an article by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal that explained that the CDC budget has not been cut–the problem is how the money going to the CDC has been spent.
The article at Politico explains:
Unfortunately, however, many of those funds have been diverted away from programs that can fight infectious diseases, and toward programs far afield from the CDC’s original purpose.
Instead, the Obama administration has focused the CDC on other priorities. While protecting Americans from infectious diseases received only $180 million from the Prevention Fund, the community transformation grant program received nearly three times as much money—$517.3 million over the same five-year period.
So where is the money going? The community transformation program pays for such things as “increasing access to healthy foods by supporting local farmers and developing neighborhood grocery stores,” or “promoting improvements in sidewalks and street lighting to make it safe and easy for people to walk and ride bikes.” So the problem is not how much money the CDC received–it has to do with how the money was spent. There is nothing wrong with helping communities, but it is not wise to do it at the expense of doing research on infectious diseases–the actual mission of the CDC.
Governor Jindal reminds us what the duties of our government are:
Our Constitution states that the federal government “shall protect each of [the States] against Invasion”—a statement that should apply as much to infectious disease as to foreign powers. So when that same government prioritizes funding for jungle gyms and bike paths over steps to protect our nation from possible pandemics, citizens have every right to question the decisions that got us to this point.
We need to get back to following the U. S. Constitution–it works very well when it is followed.