Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Misplaced Criticism of Bush's Avian Flu Plan

When Bush announced his plan for preparing the U.S. for an avian flu pandemic, which called for Congress to approve $7.1B, I expected to hear an outcry. Bush spends money too freely! What about a balanced budget? He's going to have to raise taxes! The war has cost too much!

Well, there's been an outcry and criticism. Only it wasn't what I expected. The problem with the plan, it seems, is that it is too little, too late.
Critics said the U.S. government was slow to act. "It should have happened five years ago," said Dr. Allan Rosenfield, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York.
Hillary Clinton also has decided that Bush hasn't been spending enough money.
U.S. Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton noted that the United States has struggled to cope with the annual influenza outbreaks. "Since 2000, we have experienced three shortages of seasonal influenza vaccine," she said in a statement.

"While it is welcome news that the administration is focused on vaccine research and stockpiling in the event of a pandemic flu, the question is how will the administration handle distribution and communications with a system that has failed to meet seasonal flu vaccine demands in three out of the last five years?"
I realize that people are genuinely concerned about the avian flu. But one can't complain the government is too big and at the same time complain that not enough is being done.