An Ohio Democrat argued that “the real issue” with the Ebola crisis is “a disinvestment in the pubic health infrastructure in the United States.”
“This is a very difficult task and I find it very ironic that the very political party and politicians who are criticizing every single step, every single move that’s being made as I said by some of the best public health officials in the world are the same people that voted to cut, you know, over $500 million from the Centers for Disease Control budget over the last four or five years, over $440 million from the National Institutes of Health that could be doing potential research on these kinds of issues to help solve these problems, you know, the CDC is about a billion dollars less in preparedness money than they had, I think back in 2002,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC on Monday.
“So these folks who are lobbing these criticisms at the administration and at the CDC, they’re the very ones that cut the budget.”
Ryan said they need to be “beefing up the budget for the CDC and doing more research at NIH and in partnership with the CDC to try to solve some of these problems.”
“We’ve got to rebuild our public health infrastructure here in the United States and it’s not as easy as saying, OK, planes can’t come in from Africa into the United States so we’ll just, you know, maybe build another wall and hope that that fixes the problem and it seems these simple solutions don`t work,” he added.
“You take any issue, whether it’s the infrastructure in the United States, disinvestment from public side and roads and bridges and airports, water lines, sewer lines combined sewer, we need to rebuild the United States. Decimation of the public health infrastructure here in so many different ways as I mentioned, the cuts of the CDC and the National Institutes of Health.”
Ryan then steered his argument into “the issues that we have with food.”
“Daily, we’re seeing recalls, whether its beef or beef jerky just in the last couple of days, that food is getting recalled all the time. We have 3,000 people die a year from food-borne illnesses. About 128,000 people go to the hospital because of it. So all of these issues are signals to us as a public,” the congressman said.
“You know, what are you going to do with your big tax cut if you’re in the top 1 percent if you get Ebola? You know?”
Ryan said “it’d be nice” if the GOP would “support the president for a major global public health initiative.”
“I can’t get into their heads but if at every single turn, no matter what the president says, they’re lobbing criticisms, positioning themselves. We see it in foreign policy, it use to be politics end — ends at the water’s edge and we all get behind the president and support him. You have this issue here.… If they want to do something, be supportive,” he said.
“This is the Republican play. They’re a one-check phony. They cut these, the budget of these agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control over $500 million in the last four years. They cut the NIH budget by $400 and $47 million in the last four or five years. And then, they turn around and say, ‘Look, they can’t do their job.’ You know, this was the same issue when Wall Street collapsed.”