Three influenza pandemics have occurred in the past century, spreading in a matter of months to most areas of the world and experts at the World Health Organisation believe another is both "inevitable" and "imminent".Clearly we were warned of the possibility. Not a certainty, but the very real possibility of a flu pandemic. After all, we've had three others in the past 100 years and there are more of us traveling further and faster than ever. So, clearly thinking people needed to have a response, unfortunately, so did the idiot Republicans:
Pandemics are characterised both by the number of people affected and by the fact that apparently young and healthy people tend to be affected as severely as elderly people and more vulnerable groups. The word pandemic comes from the Greek "pan", all, and "demos", meaning people.
When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year's emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.I'll say it: Republicans are unfit to govern. In fact, at this point, they're unfit to even hold elected office. We should not, if we want an actual living, breathing viable democracy with opportunity, listen to them until they get rid of the crazies, zealots and morons that have made them so incredibly hateful and dangerous to civilization.
Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse -- with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.
But former White House political czar Karl Rove and key congressional Republicans -- led by Maine Senator Susan Collins -- aggressively attacked the notion that there was a connection between pandemic preparation and economic recovery.
Now, as the World Health Organization says a deadly swine flu outbreak that apparently began in Mexico but has spread to the United States has the potential to develop into a pandemic, Obey's attempt to secure the money seems eerily prescient.
And his partisan attacks on his efforts seem not just creepy, but dangerous.
The current swine flu outbreak is not a pandemic, and there is reason to hope that it can be contained.
But it has already believed to have killed more than 100 people in a neighboring country and sickened dozens of Americans -- causing the closing of schools and other public facilities in U.S. cities.
Rove specifically complained that Obey's proposal included "$462 million for the Centers for Disease Control, and $900 million for pandemic flu preparations."
They've brought us the worst economic down-turn since the Great Depression (which they brought us) with their idiotic fantasies about economics and the role of government. They've fought useless, immoral wars. They've bankrupted us with unnecessary tax cuts. When they got into power in the 1980's, we were the largest exporter and a creditor nation; now we're the largest importer and a debtor nation. Our Bill of Rights has been trashed and our government agencies were run by criminals.
Just to make it worse, they've trashed our national reputation and besmirched our honor when they okay'd torture, something the opposed back in the 1980's when St. Ronnie signed the Convention Against Torture. And, now they're politicizing the issue by claiming the Democrats are politicizing the investigation of crimes. Let's be clear, these are crimes and crimes are NOT POLICY DECISIONS.
So, as we sit here under the very real threat of a flu epidemic, we have time to reflect that if the Republicans ran the government, and the worst happened, we'd die thanks to their short-sighted obstructionist policies. Making the United States sort of a giant New Orleans...