Republicans Undermine Our Nation’s Ability to Fight Disease

During a Senate hearing in September, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, was asked whether sequestration had harmed our nation’s ability to fight disease threats. This was his answer.

“I have to tell you honestly it’s been a significant impact on us.  It has both in an acute and a chronic, insidious way eroded our ability to respond in the way that I and my colleagues would like to see us be able to respond to these emerging threats. And in my institute particularly, that’s responsible for responding on the dime to an emerging infectious disease threat, this is particularly damaging.”

Mother Jones, which reported the story, added that “Sequestration required the NIH to cut its budget by 5 percent, a total of $1.55 billion in 2013. Cuts were applied across all of its programs, affecting every area of medical research.”

Who was responsible for sequestration?  Tea Party Republicans are fond of saying that sequestration was President Obama’s idea, most recently as part of their effort to blame Democrats for the ebola situation in Dallas.  Once again, they are trying to rewrite history while revealing their contempt for American voters.

We remember perfectly well that in 2011, Republicans were demanding huge budget cuts as the price to be paid for approving an increase in the debt ceiling. The Administration recognized that a default on the national debt would have been a disaster for the global economy, which was still recovering from the 2008 Bush-era financial crisis. The possibility of a sequester was put forward as a temporary stopgap to prevent a new crisis while a bi-partisan super-committee tried to work out a compromise. The sequester promised sharp cuts in both domestic and defense spending to create an incentive for the super-committee to complete the work which, ultimately, it failed to do.

Republicans, in other words, held the economy for ransom, and they are entirely responsible for the grave spending reductions that followed — the reductions that Dr. Fauci deplored.

If you’re worried about ebola or EnterovirusD68, the respiratory disease affecting children, voting for a Republican candidate for Congress would be a mistake. If you would like to see new means developed for fighting influenza, which in a bad year can kill 10,000 people or more, many of them seniors, voting for a Republican would be a mistake.

Only Democrats can be trusted to fund our nation’s health system at the levels needed to meet the challenges we face. And that’s one more reason to vote for Martha Robertson on November 4.



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30 Responses to Republicans Undermine Our Nation’s Ability to Fight Disease

  1. solodm says:

    ““It’s just dumb. And it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt individual people and it’s going to hurt the economy over all,” Obama told reporters earlier in the day, after a last-ditch, half-hearted attempt by the president and congressional leaders to avert the cuts.” Then the President signed it.

    ““The discussion about revenue in my view is over. It’s about taking on the spending problem in Washington,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in brief remarks at the White House on Friday.
    So the Speaker approved of the sequester, and was later quoted as saying ” We got 98% of what we wanted”.

    Congressman Reed has continued to skirt his responsibility, and the fact that he happily voted for the sequester. To Reed it seems it was no big deal, and was used as a tool to bring the President around to being an accomplice in the sequester.

    Lack of forethought, lack of common sense, and lack of taking responsibility continue to be the hallmarks of Tom Reed’s tenure.


  2. pystew says:

    Reed votes the Tea Party line, then tells the constituents that he supports the items that he just de-funded. He is hoping that we have a short memory.


  3. BOB McGILL says:

    BUT, the 2008 Bush-era financial crisis was caused by Clinton 🙂 Please tell me where funding had anything to do with the stupidity that took place at the Dallas hospital ! It’s my opinion that we have a bunch of over paid idiots running the health care in this country. Go to the emergency room of any hospotal and you may sit for hours in the most hazardous environment anyone can possibly imagine. My doctor tells people to stay away from the hospital.


  4. whungerford says:

    I am sorry to see public health become a matter for partisan strife. This matter is too important for that; if the doctors need more money, they should get it. Penny-pinching public health is ridiculous.


  5. Deb Meeker says:

    Funding for health care and research have been cut. Republicans do not want to increase it; they want to cut even more, and then point their fingers at anyone but themselves for the results.
    The CDC is effectively toothless, given current lack of regulation for private hospitals, and can only “suggest” protocols. The GOP mantra of “If money can be made from it, privatize it” has proven to be the wrong way to go. The perfect example is happening now – doctors and hospitals are woefully unprepared to treat Americans should an epidemic become a reality. That’s why recently the President has determined there need to be the equivalent of medical “SWAT” teams to intervene if there are new cases in the US where ebola preparedness is nonexistent.


  6. BOB McGILL says:

    Show me a poor doctor, ” if the doctors need more money “.


  7. BOB McGILL says:

    my sister was in quarantine at a local hospital, a doctor came out of another patient’s room wearing rubber gloves. Wearing the same gloves he went in and examined my sister, then came out and tried to shake my hand with the same gloves on. There were signs all over the door,
    ” remove gloves and wash hands before leaving this room “. If the stupid doctor doesn’t kill you, the hospital will, with an infection. 🙂
    Ebola is here to stay !


  8. BOB McGILL says:

    they can’t control MRSA, how do you think they are going to control Ebola 🙂

    Drug resistant breeds of staph bacteria are far more prevalent among hospitalized patients in the United States than previously thought, according to a new survey by an organization of nurses and technicians who specialize in infection control.

    The study, released Sunday evening in advance of a San Jose health care convention, screened patients in hospitals and long-term care homes to detect MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is not only resistant to common antibiotics, but kills patients at 2 1/2 times the rate of more drug-susceptible staph germs.

    In a survey of 1,237 hospitals and other residential health care centers such as nursing homes, researchers found that 3.4 percent of patients were infected with MRSA — a rate 8.6 times greater than estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


  9. solodm says:

    Who is “they” Bob? Do you know of a MRSA pandemic in the US? Do you have anything pertinent to say or did you just want to “copy and paste vomit”?


  10. pystew says:

    Bob, let me explain: The doctors who are researching how to improve our health system need funds (money) to continue their research. The GOP, including our present congressman, in order to appease those who strongly believe that “the smaller the government the better,” and those who want to cut spending as much as possible, have voted to defund the CDC and NIH. They are the same GOP that give tax money to Corporations that make sky-rocketing profits (and give their management millions in bonuses). Somebody’s priorities are a little messed up.

    The statement has nothing to do with the salaries of doctors.


  11. pystew says:

    And what did the hospital say when you reported it?


  12. BOB McGILL says:
    4 days ago … This morning, Dan Graur tweeted this explosive article: The dirty little secret of cancer research. 1/2 of the cell lines used in research are not …
    The dirty little secret of cancer research. 1/2 of the cell lines used in research are not what they are said to be.

    — Dan Graur (@DanGraur) October 13, 2014


  13. BOB McGILL says:

    I like the one where researchers are paid to play VIDEO GAMES 🙂
    Web Results
    20 Ridiculous Ways the Government Wasted Your Money in 2013 …
    Dec 19, 2013 … … budget deals. Here are 20 of the most expensive and bizarre federal waste items highlighted in the report: … Status update: Facebook gets $295 million tax refund. Despite …. The researchers observed 82 married couples.
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    More than $16 billion in U.S. taxpayer money is wasted annually on animal testing. … divert public money from cruel animal experiments into non-animal research. …. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation (tax ID number 52- 1218336).
    Government Waste: Science Spending Includes Massages For …
    Oct 24, 2012 … Yes, your tax dollars are being wasted on this and other … When it comes to healthcare and scientific research, this debate plays out with the …
    The 10 Dumbest Ways the Government Wasted Taxpayer Money …
    Oct 17, 2012 … The 10 Dumbest Ways the Government Wasted Taxpayer Money This Year … to a $16 trillion deficit, it’s nonetheless a questionable use of your tax dollars. … Researchers at San Diego State University and the University of …
    Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go? — Center on …
    Mar 31, 2014 … In fiscal year 2013, the federal government spent $3.5 trillion, … working families through the tax code; programs that provide cash payments to eligible … and investing in education, scientific and medical research, and basic …
    8 Ridiculous Ways That The Government Wasted Your Money | Ben …
    Dec 3, 2013 … 8 Ridiculous Ways That The Government Wasted Your Money … Despite this, the federal government continues to waste your hard-earned tax dollars on …. The vast majority of base level research is conducted at public …
    Liberal Government Waste
    However, below are examples of your tax dollars wasted. … The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding a study on the use of ecstasy, LSD and other “ party …
    Federal Spending by the Numbers 2013 – Heritage Foundation
    Aug 20, 2013 … For example, the Internal Revenue Service spent $4.1 million on a lavish … Despite tax revenues returning to normal levels, the federal budget will have large ….. The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research conducted a …
    30 Stupid Things The Government Is Spending Money On // Mr …
    The U.S. government is paying researchers to play video games, it is paying researchers to study … It is almost inconceivable what our politicians are doing with our tax dollars. … Click here to see the next way the government is wasting money.
    30 Stupid Things The Government Is Spending Money On
    Feb 29, 2012 … #16 The National Science Foundation once spent $216,000 to study … #27 The National Institutes of Health loves to spend our tax money on


  14. BOB McGILL says:



  15. BOB McGILL says:

    The staff at most health care facilities know what goes on, you should try to make friends with them, as I do. Talking to them will SCARE THE_____ OUT OF YOU 🙂


  16. BOB McGILL says:

    HEY PSTEW, you’ll love this. The staff at the Homestead asked if I wanted them to help me sue the place. Then some helped me get my sister out of there ! 🙂


  17. pystew says:

    Maybe if the NIH were able to research MRSA more then they could find an antibiotic that would help the patients.


  18. BOB McGILL says:

    THEY DO KNOW HOW TO KEEP IT FROM SPREADING, but for some reason they can’t.
    They know how to keep EBOLA from spreading and you see how well that’s working. 🙂‎CachedSimilar
    Nov 13, 2013 … Professor Kim Lewis and his team developed a novel approach for treating
    chronic infections, which account for more than 20,000 deaths in the …
    ” Recent work from Uni­ver­sity Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Biology Kim Lewis promises to over­come one of the leading public health threats of our time. In a ground­breaking study pub­lished Wednesday in the journal Nature, Lewis’ team presents a novel approach to treat and elim­i­nate methi­cillin resis­tant staphy­lo­coccus aureus, or MRSA, a potent bac­terium whose resis­tance to antibi­otics has kept it one step ahead of researchers. That is, until now.

    The so-​​called “superbug” infects 1 mil­lion Amer­i­cans each year. A major problem with MRSA is the devel­op­ment of deep-​​seated chronic infec­tions such as osteomyelitis (bone infec­tion), endo­carditis (heart infec­tion), or infec­tions of implanted med­ical devices. Once estab­lished, these infec­tions are often incur­able, even when appro­priate antibi­otics are used.”


  19. BOB McGILL says:

    any idea how many of these bugs there are ? Didn’t think so 🙂
    Funding for antimicrobial resistance grants has increased from 2007-2009. Antimicrobial resistance funding for bacterial pathogens has seen a smaller increase than non-bacterial pathogens. The total funding for all ESKCAPE pathogens was $ 22,005,943 in 2007, $ 30,810,153 in 2008 and $ 49,801,227 in 2009


  20. BOB McGILL says:

    have you noticed that your answer to everything is, SPEND MORE MONEY 🙂


  21. josephurban says:

    It is difficult to educate people who consciously choose not to be educated. Any teacher can tell you that. Whether it is global warming, Ebola, evolution, stem cell research, whatever. When a mind is closed to understanding and solving problems there is no amount of intelligent argument that will have an impact. It is too bad than some politicians depend on that.
    For example. Denying that funding for medical research leads to results. Because Mr Obama , by executive order, reinstated stem cell research we have seen advances in many areas. One in particular (not covered by Fox Entertainment) is a new technique that has worked in about 50% of previously blind or near blind citizens. By injecting stem cells into the eye (cornea, i think) researchers were able to give back the gift of sight. Amazing. And you know, it would NOT have happened had McCain or Romney been elected and continued the Bush policy of no research in this area. Just one example. There are countless more.
    Medical research is not free or cheap. Only a fool would think so.


  22. BOB McGILL says:

    ” When a mind is closed to understanding and solving problems there is no amount of intelligent argument that will have an impact ” as you can see by reading the responce of the four main posters on this blog ! 🙂
    you can give Obama credit for undoing something Clinton did, if you want, but here is where the credit should go–…/Stem_Cells.htm‎Cached
    The Reeve Foundation’s research programs are developing and delivering …
    The International Society for Stem Cell Research has a website that arms
    patients, ……/let_the_private_sector_fund_stem_cell_research/‎Similar
    Aug 29, 2010 … Why should the federal government be funding controversial medical research in the first place?
    ” JAMES THOMSON, an embryologist at the University of Wisconsin, cultivated the first embryonic stem cell lines in 1998. By then the prohibition on using federal funds for scientific research in which human embryos are destroyed was already on the books; President Bill Clinton had signed it nearly three years earlier. So how did Thomson secure a government grant to finance his landmark achievement?
    He didn’t. His work was funded by the Geron Corporation, a California biotechnology company that develops treatments for cancer, spinal cord injuries, and degenerative diseases. Thomson was scrupulous about obeying the congressional ban, known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment. The Washington Post reported that he did his research “in a room in which not a single piece of equipment, not even an electrical extension cord, had been bought with federal funds.’’


  23. josephurban says:

    Bob…You must have a very big field in order to continue to manufacture your “straw man” arguments. As I said, Mr Obama REINSTATED federal help for embryonic stem cell research. Clinton was irrelevant. You know why ? Because MR Bush (who was president at the time) VETOED a bill passed by Congress (bi partisan) to support embryonic stem cell research. History lesson: Mr Bush was president AFTER Clinton. So, when Obama took office the policies of Mr Bush, not Mr Clinton, were in place. …Time for you to head and and harvest some more straw.:)


  24. solodm says:

    What is it that scares you about a healthy American public? What would you think it would be better to spend money on than that?


  25. BOB McGILL says:

    Government0Why Chimps Throw Poop… And 17 Other Examples of Government Waste
    By David Zeiler, Associate Editor, Money Morning • February 22, 2012
    Never mind the $15 trillion national debt; the government blew $592,000 on a study last year to figure out why chimpanzees throw poop.
    That’s just one example of government waste described in a recent book by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK. His “Wastebook 2011” features 100 examples of needless or ill-advised government spending.

    It adds up to $6.9 billion that America can’t afford. And while such waste is just a fraction of the federal government’s $3.8 trillion budget, a country that needs to borrow 36 cents of every dollar it spends should not be throwing money away on non-essential research.


  26. whungerford says:

    That’s peanuts Bob. For comparison, Congressman Reed highlights more than $14,770,274,000 of wasted taxpayer money–more than three times as much. Of course Tom is more than willing to spend like crazy on any program he likes–dredging NYS harbors for example.


  27. BOB McGILL says:


    The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest oil importing port and third largest container port in the nation– New York Harbor, part of the Port of New York and New Jersey,[1][2][3] is at the mouth of the Hudson River where it empties into New York Bay and into the Atlantic Ocean at the East Coast of the United States. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world ”
    it would seem Reed agrees with CHUCKY‎CachedSimilar
    Dredging of sediment in Oswego Harbor will begin June 1. Full story » … Port of
    Oswego (video) · U.S. Sen Charles Schumer speaks about the Port of Oswego …


  28. whungerford says:

    Bob, I don’t oppose dredging where it is economical and necessary, but Barcelona?


  29. josephurban says:

    Bottom line. Money spent in MY district is sound and financially wise. Money spent elsewhere is stupid and needless pork. Each Congressman and Senator, no matter which party, takes the same stand when it comes to spending. Remember the “fiscally conservative GOP” supporting the Alaskan “bridge to nowhere”? And Tom Reed, who generally opposes spending on rail as some socialist plot, supports building rail cars in the NY -29. Etc. So, let’s stop the baloney about “pork” being somehow tied to one political party. One person’s “pork” is another’s “necessary spending”.


  30. josephurban says:

    Bob…Glad you brought up the study on why chimps throw poop. As a student of Anthropology and Primatology I may have found it interesting. But was it worth it ? I don’t know. Maybe you should write the President and Congress to complain. Now, since the study was funded in 2001 who WAS the president in 2001? Who controlled Congress in 2001? Which political party passed this study that you find wasteful? Hmmmm…


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