Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flu Pandemic Preparedness Part of Budgeting Cuts

Stimulus, Flu, RepublicansPreparing for a flu pandemic was part of the original stimulus plan but was deemed "extravagant" spending by Republicans and was dropped during the efforts to gain votes. That sure could have come in handy, couldn't it have? (Image: CNN) So, clearly it's not as simple as the article featured on The Huffington Post makes it sound. Surely no one could have saw this outbreak coming. Why should it have been stimulus?

It's actually pretty simple, but for different reasons that the mindless right-bashing efforts of the article on The Huffington Post. The flu money shouldn't have been in the stimulus because it was the right thing to do, but because it actually was important stimulus.

How was this stimulus? It would have maintained demand for flu vaccines and in effect prevent a shortage in supply as well as a drop in production. Because there was no stimulus, production levels of the vaccines are low because of the lack of demand during the recession. If the department that handles this was adequately funded, through funding such as the stimulus, there would be both a stockpile to start the pandemic control efforts and the vaccine manufacturers could have ramped up production sooner.

I'll leave you with an amusing video included in the article on The Huffington Post: