Some on the Left have tried to blame the Ebola outbreak on dastardly and merciless budget cuts from Republicans.
The $30 billion U.S. National Institutes of Health blamed tightening federal budgets on Monday for its inability to produce an Ebola vaccine, but a review of its grant-making history in the last 10 years has turned up highly unusual research that redirected precious funds away from more conventional public health projects.
The projects included $2.4 million to develop ‘origami’ condoms designed with Japanese folding paper in mind, and $939,000 to find out that male fruit flies prefer to romance younger females because the girl-flies’ hormone levels drop over time.
Other winners of NIH grants consumed $325,000 to learn that marriages are happier when wives calm down more quickly during arguments with their husbands, and $257,000 to make an online game as a companion to first lady Michelle Obama’s White House garden.
The agency also spent $117,000 in taxpayers’ grant dollars to discover that most chimpanzees are right-handed.
The same group of scientists determined, at a cost of $592,000 for NIH, that chimps with the best poop-throwing skills are also the best communicators. But while flinging feces might get another primate’s attention in the wild, they discovered, it’s not much good in captivity.
‘I’ve never in my life seen a chimp be given a banana for throwing s**t at someone,’ Emory University psychologist Bill Hopkins told Wired magazine.
I so want to drop a comment in here, but it would be construed as racist. So let me say instead that Biden has been throwing s**t at us for nearly six years.
But back to the facts:
The Washington Free Beacon reported in May that Origami Condom creator Daniel Resnic was accused of spending NIH grant money on an Amsterdam junket, a Cadillac and a party at the Playboy Mansion.
He also is under investigation for flouting research protocols by designating his friends as test subjects and asking them to report back after they tested the product.
And $832,000 went to learn if it was possible to get uncircumcised South African tribesmen into the habit of washing their genitals after having sex.
‘If we find that men are able to practice consistent washing practices after sex,’ researchers at Penn State University told the NIH, ‘we will plan to test whether this might protect men from becoming HIV infected in a later study.’
Oh, okay then.
That’s the NIH dealt with. How about the CDC?
Consider the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a new series of annual mandatory appropriations created by Obamacare. Over the past five years, the CDC has received just under $3 billion in transfers from the fund. Yet only 6 percent—$180 million—of that $3 billion went toward building epidemiology and laboratory capacity. Especially given the agency’s postwar roots as the Communicable Disease Center, one would think that “detecting and responding to infectious diseases and other public health threats” warrants a larger funding commitment.
Instead, the Obama administration has focused the CDC on other priorities. While protecting Americans from infectious diseases received only $180 million from the Prevention Fund, the community transformation grant program received nearly three times as much money—$517.3 million over the same five-year period.
The CDC’s website makes clear the objectives of community transformation grants. The program funds neighborhood interventions like “increasing access to healthy foods by supporting local farmers and developing neighborhood grocery stores,” or “promoting improvements in sidewalks and street lighting to make it safe and easy for people to walk and ride bikes.” Bike lanes and farmer’s markets may indeed help a community—but they would do little to combat dangerous diseases like Ebola, SARS or anthrax.
The DCCC unveiled advertising declaring “Republicans voted to cut CDC’s budget to fight Ebola. Republicans protect tax breaks for special interests.”
In January, that allegedly miserly and cruel and callous GOP-controlled House also approved a budget that increased CDC’s budget by a lot:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will see an 8.2 percent budget increase for fiscal 2014, thanks to a $1.1 trillion spending bill announced by Congress Jan. 13.
This influx of cash will raise the CDC budget to $6.9 billion, which is $567 million more than it received in 2013. This is more than the agency anticipated, because the president’s fiscal year 2014 budget request for it was just $6.6 billion — a decrease of $270 million from fiscal 2012.
So, there was an effort to cut the CDC budget: BY OBAMA. Thank God the Republicans in the House fended off his “draconian” cuts.
Thank, Libs. Any other s**t you’d like to throw against a wall?
Which gives me an idea:
If the NIH was really so concerned about developing an Ebola vaccine, for example, it could have directed more grant money to that effort, rather than wasting it researching such things as diseases among male sex workers in Peru ($400,000), why chimps throw feces ($600,000) and sexual attraction among fruit flies (nearly $1 million).
Imagine the savings if you combined the reports by studying diseased Peruvian sex workers throwing monkey feces at fruit flies?