Monday, April 27, 2009

GOP killed pandemic preparedness

It looks like the GOP's obstructionism is going to come back to bite them in the butt. They thought they were being so clever when they forced all the concessions on the stimulus bill and then voted it against it anyway. But John Nichols points out they quashed David Obey's $900 million request for pandemic preparedness as part of those 'negotiations.' That won't sit well with the public if this turns out to be a serious pandemic.

And it would be good to remind Americans that the GOP wasn't always so complacent about emergency flu funding. When they were in control in 2005, they pulled out all the stops to 'combat' avian flu. That July, "the Pentagon ordered $58 million worth of the treatment for U.S. troops around the world, and Congress is considering a multi-billion dollar purchase. Roche expects 2005 sales for Tamiflu to be about $1 billion, compared with $258 million in 2004."

You may also recall that Rumsfeld, George Shultz and former CA governor Pete Wilson all had holdings in that corporation and made some significant money on that scheme to combat a flu that didn't pan out as a pandemic.

And on a related note, in an eerily prescient move in March, a Texas county scheduled a pandemic simulation for May 2. [via][graphic]

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

Meanwhile, the confirmation of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services Secretary is being held hostage by Senate Republicans. The swine flu virus is spreading hourly, but a Bush-appointee with no health expertise (i.e. an accountant) is running the department.

It is outrageous to have partisan obstructionism hold up funding and staffing at a time like this.

1:20:00 PM  

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