Liberal Spender Says What: Bush’s $7.1b Flu Plan

Bush pandemic spendingShowing once again how out of touch he is with fiscal conservatives, president Bush today unveiled a $7.1 billion plan to fight a flu pandemic. Broken down into individual measures, the expensive plan would pay $1.2 billion for stockpiling 20 million of the perishable doses, or enough for less than 10% of the U.S. population (which he admitted may not even combat the specific strain that may cause a pandemic).

Another $2.8 billion would be given away by the government to private industry in the form of technology freebies and vaccines (which they would undoubtedly turn around and sell back to the government for a pretty penny).

And another $1 billion would be spent on the most realistic measure, stockpiling antiviral medicines such as Tamiflu and Relenza.

While it’s evident that president Bush is pandering to the media hype surrounding flu pandemic fears, the money has to come from somewhere. And with a federal budget stretched thin by recent hurricane spending and the Iraq war, there’s no indication where the new proposal will find funding (aside from more deficit spending).

Oh, and if the lackadaisical security response since 9/11 (or hurrican Katrina) is any indication, the U.S. government will have an effective response to a flu pandemic at least four years after it hits.

Update: Prairie Weather has a very good analysis and breakdown of this government giveaway scam, noting that avian flu is just the latest tangible boogeyman for the administration, and saying we need to kep an eye on thing “to the extent to which “pandemic” is replacing “bin Laden” as a political tool.”

9 Comments
  1. John, why is it that the government has to do it? I heard a story on NPR about a company who imported flu vacine into the US. They thought that an american company had been “stock-piling” the vacine. They in esscence, had been doing the same thing that the government is doing it. However, the company who was importing the vacine cut off supplies to non-governmental organizations. Why is the government the one with the monopoly?

  2. Even well respected doctors like Mercola have seen through this ruse.
    http://www.mercola.com/2005/oct/25/rumsfeld_to_profit_from_avian_flu_hoax.htm

    In short, this is nothing more than an attempt to distract the american public (as we no longer have osama as a boogey man) and also give a nice 2 billion dollar kick back to the pharmaceutical companies.

    And who’s going to profit as well? Why Donald “Aspartame” Rumsfield.

    But hey, I guess this is a good strategy… to slap Americans in the face.

  3. Mike N,

    That’s because the blogs have been taking about it for days… CNN just looks dumb when everyone goes elsewhere to figure it out. They’ll say silent on issues like this as long as nobody scoops them.

  4. With Tamiflu resistant bird flu cropping up I will admit that I’d be happier if more than 10% of the $1billion extra for anti-virals was spent on Relenza. Relenza is used with an inhaler, so what? I’d rather inhale something that will save my life, than pop a pill that doesn’t, but lines Rumsfeld’s pockets.

    John

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