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As we enter Week Umpteen of the National Compulsory Ebola Freakout, complete with a second U.S. patient, we also get this interesting detail: Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says a steady trend of fiscal austerity has slowed research on important topics, including work on a vaccine for Ebola:


"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.

The NIH's budget has remained essentially unchanged for years, as inflation has reduced its purchasing power; the budget for the NIH's subdivision that researches treatment and prevention of infectious illnesses, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has actually fallen: in 2004 the agency got $4.30 billion, but by 2013 it was down to $4.25 billion, with an even greater reduction in purchasing power because of inflation. On the other hand, wasteful Big Government Spending has been reined in, so hooray for austerity!

Besides, the private sector will always develop treatments that there's a demand for. Except for exotic diseases that originate in poor nations and affect relatively few people until there's an outbreak, perhaps. On the other hand, America's plague of restless leg syndrome is well under control. Ask your doctor.

Writing from his Jesus-cave deep in the bowels of the RedStatePlex, alleged adult human being Erick Erickson knows exactly why there was no money for research on an Ebola vaccine: Too much Wasteful Government Spending, especially on useless shit. Writing in response to a campaign ad blaming cuts in medical research on Republicans (what an insane claim!), Erickson turns the tables by pointing out that if Big Government had any sense, it would fund only important research and nothing else. Or as Erickson's headline brilliantly puts it,

Erickson is, of course, referring to the scandalous expenditure of $3 million over four years to study why obesity rates are higher among lesbians than among other populations, which of course is the most useless government spending ever and singlehandedly left Our Children in debt. Never mind that $3 million over four years would have been a drop in the bucket in researching an Ebola vaccine, or the not-incidental fact that, in America at least, obesity causes far more health problems for far more people -- even lesbians! -- than Ebola will. It's a terrific scare headline, and that's really all Erickson was out for anyway: his goal is to insist that government just plain doesn't work, so let's not fund anything, since the bastards will just make terrible choices with our money anyway. If researchers want an Ebola vaccine, they can hold a Kickstarter, for godssake.

Also on the Never Trust the Government bandwagon is The Stupidest Guest Blogger In the World, Gateway Pundit's Kristinn Taylor. A bit over a week ago, he was spewing infectious lies about workers in Dallas who were allegedly spraying "Ebola-laced vomit" from the pavement at Thomas Duncan's apartment -- without wearing protective suits!!! (Reality: the vomit was all in Mr. Taylor's head, but he does tend to share it promiscuously.) Now that a second patient has been identified, Taylor wants to let you know that the CDC is not to be trusted, because LOGIC: On the one hand, the CDC issues reassurances that Ebola isn't "spread by casual contact or through the air." BUT!!!!! Why should you believe them, when they -- or actually, Dallas health officials -- have also undertaken a "massive decontamination effort" at the second victim's apartment, including steps like decontaminating "common areas in the apartment complex where the healthcare worker lived, as well as the patient’s car, handrails, and the parking lot at Texas Health Presbyterian." This just doesn't make sense, says Taylor, who has been pushing Ebola panic for months. After all, he asks, in a devastating all-boldface j'accuse:

If one cannot catch Ebola from casual contact, why bother to decontaminate handrails?

We're going to go way out on a limb here: Because 1.) because Ebola can survive for a few hours "on dried on surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops" (and handrails), and who knows, maybe the nurse had sweaty palms; 2.) because it doesn't actually take a lot of work to spray a bleach solution onto a handrail; and 3.) because two weeks ago, paranoid fearmongering slugs like Kristinn Taylor had Super Saiyan Hissy-Fits because they were panicked about parking lots full of Ebola vomit.

Or maybe the CDC is just lying to us. They're the government, and they don't know. THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING! BE AFRAID! BE AFRAID! OBAMA WANTS YOU TO GET EBOLA!!!!! And then he's going to take your guns and give them to fat lesbians so they can teach Common Core and sodomy to your innocent children. BENGHAZI!

[HuffPo / RedState via Twitter tip from Adam Serwer / Gateway Pundit]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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