Monday, April 27, 2009

Moderate Republican Susan Collins

After the SARS pandemic ended, people warned the US government to prepare for the next outbreak. One professor wrote:
It may take 18 months to build a stockpile of respirators and masks, so there is no time to lose. The American people’s faith in their government will be seriously undermined if, along with larger measures like school closings, it cannot provide effective face protection for its citizens during a deadly pandemic. Masks and respirators may be our main lines of defense during a pandemic.
One "moderate Republican" senator recently tried to cut federal spending on US pandemic preparedness according to this Wall Street Journal article of Feb 5, 2009:
After meeting with Mr. Obama, Sen. Collins expressed concern about a number of spending provisions, including $780 million for pandemic-flu preparedness. "I have no doubt that the president is willing to negotiate in good faith, that he wants to have a bipartisan bill," Sen. Collins said.
Republicans have poured over $1 trillion dollars into a War on Terror with little debate, but won't spend even %0.1 of that figure on preventing deaths in a flu pandemic? That's nuts.

A major pandemic is probably no less likely than a major terrorist attack. A pandemic has the potential to kill more people. In fact, the only way a terror attack could kill as many Americans as a pandemic would be if the terrorists' weapon of choice caused a pandemic!

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