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Hysteria, not illness or death, drives gov't disease spending

By Michael Fumento

You've heard that the highly-drug resistant germ MRSA causes 94,000 U.S. invasive infections each year, with about 19,000 deaths. Here's what you haven't heard. As I write in the New York Sun, the government is doing practically nothing about it.

Meanwhile it's working mightily and spending the bank on three diseases that have yet to kill a single American and probably never will: Ebola virus, SARS, and avian flu. Federally-funded Ebola and SARS vaccines are in human trials and the government is already stockpiling FDA-approved avian flu vaccine. Yet government-funded MRSA vaccine research is still in mice.

One spending comparison: Congress has specifically earmarked $5.8 billion for avian flu, the threat of which continually recedes. Yet, although the CDC lists in addition to MRSA 8 important diseases connected to antibiotic resistance, the total annual budget for these is merely $221 million.

I conclude: "We need a government that pays more attention to medical statistics than to headlines. The one we have now is killing us."