The Centers for Disease Control has a $6.6 billion budget and one job which it messes up every time.
The last time the CDC had a serious workout was six years ago during the Ebola crisis. Back then CDC guidelines allowed medical personnel infected with Ebola to avoid a quarantine and interact with Americans until they showed undeniable symptoms of the disease. There were no protocols in place for treating the potentially infected resulting in the further spread of the disease inside the United States.
At the height of the crisis, confidence in the CDC fell to 37%. Meanwhile, CDC personnel had managed to mishandle Ebola virus samples, accidentally sending samples of the live virus to CDC labs. And the heads of the health bureaucracy blamed the lack of funding for their failure to have an Ebola vaccine.
The self-quarantine measures adopted in response to the coronavirus outbreak are partially a response to the lessons of the Ebola disaster.
But during the Ebola crisis, Democrats tried to shift responsibility from the Obama administration by blaming Republicans for cutting the CDC’s budget from $6.5 billion to $5.9 billion. Sound familiar? Where do those billions for the CDC actually go? Among other things, pushing gun control. The terrible budget deal from December allocated $25 million to the CDC and NIH to study gun violence.
During the Ebola crisis, the CDC had been spending a mere $2.6 million on gun violence studies. But the CDC has a history of wasting money on everything from a $106 million visitor’s center with Japanese gardens, a $200K gym, a transgender beauty pageant, not to mention promoting bike paths.
The occasional outbreak only calls the CDC’s general incompetence to everyone’s attention. The rest of the time its incompetence, like that of other government agencies, just ticks along wasting money.
In 1999, the CDC announced a plan to end syphilis in 5 years. The Clinton era National Plan to Eliminate Syphilis was an unserious social welfare proposal that wanted to battle racism and was such a success that by 2018, syphilis rates had hit a new record high. But Democrat presidential candidates using the CDC for imaginary proposals to end a disease, not by utilizing science, but social welfare, had become a bad habit under Obama, diverting resources from what the CDC could realistically do for political scams.
In 2011, Hillary Clinton had promised an “AIDS-free generation” by, in part, using the CDC. Like her presidency, the “AIDS-free generation” never arrived and was never going to.
In 2016, Obama allowed Joe Biden to use the CDC for his Cancer Moonshot political stunt.
“If I’m elected president you’re gonna see single most important thing that changes America, we’re going to cure cancer,” Biden promised last year.
Joe Biden can’t cure anything. Including his own mental state. But, like Hillary, he can waste the resources of the CDC to make false promises to voters while weakening its core competencies.
The CDC is a classic example of a progressive success story, an agency created to fight malaria by spraying DDT, whose original mission has long since become politically incorrect and which instead adopted a politically correct search for the social root causes of diseases like syphilis and AIDS.
Unlike fighting malaria by spraying DDT, fighting syphilis by combatting racism doesn’t work.
The CDC’s fight against the “obesity epidemic” is even sillier. That includes funding 15 colleges to “work with community extension services to increase access to healthier foods and safe and accessible places for physical activity.” That meant giving LSU over a million bucks to work with farmers’ markets.
Obesity obviously can kill people, but it’s not something that the CDC can or should be trying to fix.
America doesn’t need the CDC as a pipeline for pork to state schools. We do need the CDC to fulfill its original mandate by dealing with outbreaks of infectious diseases, initially malaria and smallpox, and now Ebola or the coronavirus. We need science, not social welfare.
Unfortunately, the CDC, like every federal agency, has drifted from its core mission into social welfare.
Flashback: You had one job, CDC.
The civil government version of “get woke, go broke” — and we’re all paying the price.