To hear the Democratic Party scaremongers attempting to weaponize Ebola (as a political issue, of course), you would think the heartless and E-vil GOP had deliberately and maliciously slashed the spending on Ebola research so that you, yes you could die in coruscating agony. In reality, this is about as accurate and true as [mc_name name=’Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’H001049′ ]’s pathetic accusations that Thom Tillis helped kill Trayvon. You see the Democrats claim that GOP budget cuts have hamstrung our ability to respond to the disease. I’ll give you an example of just how brutal those cuts have really been.
Back in 2001, the US spent a grand total of $53M on studying the potential of various horrible diseases as biological terror threats. By 2014, that budget had grown to $1.6B. That’s an increase of 2,919% over a period of 13 Fiscal Years. So Congress has hatchet-jobbed this program to the point where the typical increase in spending per FY is only 130%. And there is an evil mastermind behind all of this – none other than Vice President Dick Cheney.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Cheney examined our responses to bio-terrorism and found our lack of effort in developing vaccines against potential viral weapons of terror disturbing. Bloomberg News describes the contributions that Dick Cheney’s foresight made to America’s defenses against exotic diseases below.
The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Dick Cheney helped change that. Cheney, then the vice president, said he feared assaults by bioterrorists could be far more devastating than what happened that day, and became an advocate in the George W. Bush White House for the appropriation of billions of dollars to stop deadly pathogens. Congress agreed, funds began flowing to scientists like Geisbert and breakthroughs followed. At least seven drugs now being tested — including some used to treat Ebola victims in the U.S. — grew from biodefense measures first approved after Sept. 11. The National Institutes of Health budget for studying potential bioterrorism agents has grown to $1.6 billion from $53 million in 2001, according to Crystal Boddie, an associate with the UPMC Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland.
Included in this increased spending was a vast increase in resources targeted directly towards fighting Ebola. In FY 2000, the USG sponsored $840,000 in research to fight Ebola. By 2013 these supporting grants totaled $42.5M. That would be an increase of 4,959% over 13 years for an average increase of 135% or so per Fiscal Year. When the legislation authorizing this expanded effort was signed, then-President George W. Bush had the following to say.
“I want to thank the vice president for his hard work,” Bush said during remarks in the Rose Garden. “He was the point man in the White House on this piece of legislation and did excellent work.”