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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rdowns, Apr 27, 2009.
Just more proof that God hates Republicans. This, of course, comes right on the heels of rising GOP star Bobby "exorcism" Jindahl mocking volcano monitoring mere weeks before as Alaskan volcano erupted.
And, of course, to be fair, there were Democrats who took up this Rove talking point and helped strip pandemic preparedness from the stimulus package.
Playing politics with your health... Thanks folks!
From the Huffington Post:
And Here's a google map of H1N1 Swine Flu cases.
Pandemic preparedness should have been passed in another bill. No reason for it to be part of an emergency stimulus bill.
So things arent going to get done anymore in the name of "it should have been done before?". Heres the reality, IT WASNT DONE BEFORE.
Wrong. Obey specifically noted in adding this item to the stimulus bill that this needed to be included because of the specific risk of a pandemic striking while the economy was in such dire straits. The effect of businesses suddenly losing employees as they either become sick themselves, or are faced with caring for children that either become infected or attend a school where a potential virus strikes is directly tied to stimulating the economy. Kinda difficult to stimulate the economy when your employees aren't able to come to work.
No, this was just a political move, attempting to paint Democrats as wasteful spenders; just as Jindahl's criticism of volcano monitoring was. And just like the volcano monitoring issue, it has backfired.
Democrats would be smart to hammer this one home repeatedly.
From the original article link:
Makes sense to me.
The probabilities were low enough that I would not consider it for a stimulation tactic, we could also justify money for many other projects that are not truly stimulative just because there is some probability that they would happen and in some way have a negative impact on the economy.
The stimulus bill should have been a targeted strike on the economy; pandemics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and apocalypses should be dealt with on a case by case basis.
You mean after they happen, right?
The government already has agencies in place for disease prevention, if a pandemic happens we are already prepared to close our borders, shut down schools, etc. Not sure what else you really want the US to do, we usually hear about a potential pandemic well before it happens and its not like you can stockpile vaccines before you know what the virus is going to be (especially since the strain is usually mutated).
As for the volcano/earthquake danger areas, the state can tax for those programs, I personally don't live near an active volcano because I don't want to die.
I seem to remember a Government Organization already in place for emergencies. Oh what is it called? FEMA, that's it! And they did such a great job during and after Hurricane Katrina.
Yeah, "no one could have predicted...", right? Seems to be the mantra of the right these past few years.
Not to mention, how is pandemic preparedness NOT stimulative? Presumably it would involve stocking supplies that would have to be purchased from manufacturers, employing emergency preparedness managers to produce contingency plans, training emergency workers and volunteers (someone's gotta train them, right?), updating communication links, and a host of other tasks that all require someone to work on them. Which, of course, is the definition of "stimulative".
On a related note, it sure would be nice to have a HHS Secretary:
Presumably you also do not live in an earthquake zone, tornado-affected area, hurricane zone, wildfire zone, nor flood plain?
That sounds more like a long term plan with an indefinite ending to me, the purpose of a government stimulus is to shore up the private sector in the short term until it can get back on its feet.
Nursing/med professionals are already qualified to give vaccinations and we wouldn't have a plan to administer them until the vaccine was created anyways. The US already has plans locally and federally to deal with disease outbreaks. Even Mexico has plans that are being currently implemented to stop the spread of the disease.
The CDC hasn't even decided whether to start stockpiling vaccines for this potential pandemic yet last that I heard.
The idea, if I understand Obey correctly, was to pump that money into the economy immediately. It could certainly -- and hopefully was -- a part of a long-term plan, but this was money that would have been spent over the next 12 - 24 months that would have provided insurance against a pandemic destroying what the rest of the stimulus package was doing, as well as stimulating the preparedness sectors of the economy at the same time.
The point of preparedness isn't to protect specifically from the swine flu, it's to be prepared for a whole host of pandemic threats, including H5N1 which has long been known to be a threat.
Lets add some perspective
Mexico has 1300 or so cases of "Swine Flu". Mexico's population is nearly 110,000,00 people.
What defines a pandemic these days?
Its much bigger than SARS.
You can stockpile anti-viral medicines.
The WHO considers the UK well prepared (relative to the US) to deal with an influenza pandemic, and the UK only has enough anti-viral drugs for half the population.
Additionally, the labs need to have the facilities and funding to be able to create vaccines once vaccines are able to be manufactured.
A pandemic is a [human] disease that is present over a wide geographical spread (affecting many peoples in multiple regions of the world), as opposed to an epidemic that's geographically contained. A pandemic, in addition to meeting geographical guidelines, must also meet ALL three of these conditions: emergence of a new disease (including new strain of a disease), the infectious agents have been demonstrated to cause serious illness in humans, and the infectious agents can spread human-to human.
This new influenza strain does meet all the requirements to be called a pandemic:
1. Present in multiple regions of the world
2. New strain (a/H1N1 with unprecedented mixture of avian, swine, and human proteins)
3. This strain has been confirmed to cause death
4. As the pandemic level has been raised today from 3 to 4, that means there is confirmed evidence the agent can spread directly from human to human, and not just human-to-human, but SUSTAINED human-to-human infection.
A disease is not a pandemic just because it kills many people.
Do you not understand what a pandemic is?
The definition hasn't changed, however the ability to quickly disseminate information has.
Back to the subject. What would have been the rate of spending of the proposed money? What is the present annual budget for the CDC and its anti-pandemic measures?
According to a CNN article, today, this particular flu bug is new, and it is not known if present vaccines would be useful. It is said that the bug has been identified and that vaccine development is underway--but it will take four to five months to have the new vaccine in quantity.
Assuming that CDC/WHO data for the article is factual, what good would the proposed pandemic money have done or could do? Napolitano says that the raise to Threat Level 4 (or whatever terminology) frees up funds for the anti-pandemic effort. That means that funds are already available.
It looks like that this Pandemic-$$$ could be one of those Good Things which is not really needed at this point in time, given the available funding.
Why does everyone assume a vaccine is the immediate route of action? Anti viral medications are a huge part of this.
If bacterial pneumonia is a consequence of swine flu, then massive amounts will be needed of antibiotics.
As far as Rat's maybe the money isn't needed right now, Of course, we'll only know that when it's all over. The very nature of flu is too unpredictable to know in the first few weeks as to how serious it will be.
The GOP these days fight against everything that makes sense.