Monday, October 13, 2014

Did Republican Budget Cuts Hurt the Fight Against Ebola?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 3:40 PM

If you thought the Americans for Responsible Solutions "stalker" ad or the Wendy Davis wheelchair spot were tough, how about an ad accusing the Republican Party of helping the spread of Ebola via their cuts to the Center for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health and other government healthcare organizations?

However, it's not just a Democrat-friendly PAC making this claim, but also the head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, in an interview with the Huffington Post:

"NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'" Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. "Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready."

It's not just the production of a vaccine that has been hampered by money shortfalls. Collins also said that some therapeutics to fight Ebola "were on a slower track than would've been ideal, or that would have happened if we had been on a stable research support trajectory."

"We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference," he said.

So, should Republicans take some responsibility for their love of budget cuts, usually symbolized in speeches by some seemingly-ridiculous research study about mice or something, but that also attacks lifesaving work by the NIH, CDC and others?

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