Well, as it turns out, volcano monitoring wasn't the only worthwhile public safety program that was deemed extravagant in the stimulus package, funding for pandemic preparation was axed as well. Famously, Maine Senator Collins, the supposedly moderate Republican who demanded cuts in health care spending in exchange for her support of a watered-down version of the stimulus, fumed about the pandemic funding: "Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill No, we should not." Even now, Collins continues to use her official website to highlight the fact that she led the fight to strip the pandemic preparedness money out of the Senate's version of the stimulus measure.
Naturally, it's tough to keep an economy stimulated if productivity gets diminished by a pandemic. And, hey, it turns out that the lack of a stable and well-funded public health infrastructure may not be so good for economic recovery as a whole: On Monday, the question began to be answered, as Associated Press reported -- under the headline: "World Markets Struck By Swine Flu Fears" -- that: "World stock markets fell Monday as investors worried that a deadly outbreak of swine flu in Mexico could go global and derail any global economic recovery." Before U.S. markets opened, the Wall Street Journal reported: "U.S. stock futures fell sharply Monday as the outbreak of deadly swine flu stoked fears that a possible recovery in the global economy could be derailed."
TPJ: Ironic that in opposing a universal health care system that could benefit all, opens the door for people with swine flu from getting the treatment they need thus exposing more people to the virus. If we had some kind of basic coverage for everyone we could most likely reduce the spread of these kinds of outbreaks. And the conservatives thought denying others health care coverage wouldn't affect them?
Try telling that to the swine flu that infected you and turned your organs into liquefied shit because the person who infected you didn't have the health care to treat them and keep the disease from spreading to you. Just another example of why having a healthy population is vital to our national security and economic security. Karl Rove too opposed spending on pandemic flu prevention as well:
What nefarious programs were Democrats trying to insert? Among other things, Rove cited $900 million for “pandemic flu preparations.”
Dr. Paul Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy earlier this year he was concerned that the provision’s deletion from the stimulus package might mean that resources would never arrive for flu preparedness.
“We are extremely concerned about the diminishing funding for state and local preparedness as well as the removal of all funding for pandemic flu, and the decrease in funding for hospital preparedness.” Jarris said. “Along with the state budget cuts, this is a matter of losing the infrastructure created over the past several years.”
“We will pursue everything we possibly can, but there are no guarantees,” he added. “I wouldn’t say there are any promising leads we’re following right now. It seems that Congress is turning a blind eye to state and local health preparedness.”TPJ: Meanwhile, the Republicanistical party has been (and is as of today) holding up the nomination of the Health and Human Services Secretary:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), which is responsible for preventing the spread of swine flu, is managed by Health and Human Services (HHS) - a 65,000-person federal department lead by the HHS Secretary. At this moment, the office of HHS Secretary is empty. The reason? Republicans are blocking a vote to fill the office.TPJ: That's right, we have no one in charge of the Heath and Human Services Department in the middle of a health crisis. Playing politics with your health--It's the new Republican Party everybody!! Maybe their plan for winning the next election is to hope that this swine flu kills off all the Democrats? Who knows, they've shown no limits to their desperation up till now.