- CDC Mask Stockpile Never Replenished After H1N1 Virus
- Only 10 Percent of CDC Funds Goes to Fighting Infectious Diseases like COVID-19
- CDC Wastes Taxpayer Money on Studies Unrelated to Diseases
In the latest episode, Peter Schweizer examines the CDC’s loss of focus on fighting infectious diseases, and the impact it had on our country’s preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
You would think an agency called The Center for Disease Control would be focused on well Disease Control. But a look at their budget shows they’ve strayed dangerously far from their core mission.
I’m Peter Schweizer, and this is The Drill Down, where we drill down on cronyism and corruption in the federal government.
Currently, CDC employees are working around the clock, looking for any sort of medical breakthrough that will help stop the spread of the coronavirus. When dealing with diseases of this magnitude, Americans are heavily relying on organizations like the CDC, and rightfully so.
But it’s also clear that the CDC was caught flat footed in response to this crisis.
The CDC’s Strategic Stockpile of protective masks was depleted during the H1N1 virus a decade ago. Despite numerous warnings about the threat of a new pandemic, the CDC never replenished its Strategic Stockpile.
And that’s just one example.
So what has the CDC been doing for the past decade?
It turns out, lots of things not related to combatting infectious diseases.
Now the CDC was created in 1946 as the “Communicable Disease Center.”
A look at the CDC’s budget today reveals money going to any number of programs that, while well intentioned, don’t have anything to do with the organization’s original mission.
At nearly $7 billion, the CDC’s annual budget is more than 200% larger than it was two decades ago. But, shockingly, less than 10% of the CDC’s budget in 2019 actually went to fighting Emerging Infectious diseases like the coronavirus.
For comparison, a nearly identical amount of money was allocated to injury prevention and control, which includes things like domestic violence and in-home accidents involving the elderly.
Now those are worthy causes. But there are other federal agencies already responsible for those areas.
Sadly, this is what the new CDC looks like.
It has grown so much, with so much mission creep, that it now duplicates the work of over 19 other federal government agencies.
And it oversees lots of areas that have nothing to do with disease control.
For example, CDC regulators are now involved in motorcycle helmet laws.
The CDC scored even studies violent video games, playground safety, and promotes “positive community norms”.
But the institutional problems at the CDC go beyond mission creep.
And even when the CDC is focusing on disease control, it spends taxpayer money in some highly questionable ways.
A 2007 audit of the CDC found money going towards transgender beauty pageants and “safe sex” events with porn stars all in the name of syphilis and HIV prevention.
It’s one thing to waste taxpayer money on non-mission critical programs. But when faced with a crisis like the coronavirus, the CDC’s mission creep has proven to be even more lethal.
From the beginning of the crisis, the CDC’s faulty tests caused crucial delays in fighting the virus.
Almost two decades ago on September 11, 2001, our nation was attacked by terrorists. After the dust settled, our nation had an important national conversation about how we were caught so off guard. That prompted major changes in our national intelligence system.
The same thing needs to happen now. The CDC- the one government agency whose primary task is fighting infectious diseases- clearly needs an overhaul.
It’s time to return our money to where their original mission was. We need more mission focus, and less mission creep.
I’m Peter Schweizer, and this is The Drill Down. For more episodes, follow us on social media, or visit drilldowntv.com.