The CDC takes in $6.9B every year, but what is there to show for it? Why so inept when its core function, preventing epidemics, is put to the test?
Consider the situation at the Dallas Hospital, as noted by Ace:
Assuming what she says is true [regarding minimal training for dealing with Ebola] — and with two infected nurses, it’s hard to come to any conclusion except that the staff did not properly contain the disease — this is an indictment of the hospital’s administrators and the Texas Department of Health, first of all.
But it’s also an indictment of the CDC. These hospital workers clearly did not know what the hell to do with Thomas Eric Duncan, and yet the CDC seemed content to let untrained staff at a general hospital blunder along, both infecting themselves and possibly infecting other patients.
I always assumed that when a highly-infectious disease like ebola presented itself at a hospital, the CDC would send some experts to either advise the hospital on containment and protocols, or would send actual doctors and nurses, experienced in ebola, to treat the patient properly.
As of yesterday, Obama now says that such ebola threat response teams will be sent to hospitals (after a diagnosed case of ebola).
Again: As of yesterday. Before yesterday, Obama and the CDC were content to let the barely-trained locals figure it out on the fly.
You probably also know that Amber Vinson has now been flown by private medical charter to the CDC’s infectious diseases specialist hospital at Emory.
Again, this is what I assumed would happen from the outset. We are paying billions for the CDC. And yet when Duncan presented himself with full-blown ebola, the CDC did not jump up to take the lead on his treatment, or transfer him to their state-of-the-art containment wing.
Instead, they let untrained personnel out in a local Dallas hospital deal with it.
We see this in so many areas. Our vast regulatory apparatus does little more than shake down those caught in its net, with little accountability for failing in its core functions, whether it is preventing hijackings, stopping illegal immigration, or protecting citizens from riots. Instead, our regulators are more like mafia enforcers, people to be dealt with with warily and with a “zero sum” sense than paying them off is easier than resistance, even though the purported benefits of their presence accrue chiefly to the regulators themselves.