Wednesday, October 15, 2014
As Vince Lombardi or perhaps Yogi Berra once said: "The best offense is a really offensive defense." Which is perhaps why a defensive Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, has come out saying that the reason his agency hasn't developed an Ebola vaccine is because of draconian budget cuts over the past 10 years.
The problem is, the NIH really hasn't had their budget slashed (in fact, for 2015 the Republicans gave the agency more money than Obama requested) and, quite demonstrably, they've felt so little belt-tightening in recent years that they've been perfectly happy to spend huge sums of money on medical projects of highly questionable value.
Among the things your tax dollars have paid to find out while the impoverished Ebola vaccine team was forced to eat ramen noodles and go without clean underwear:
• Male fruit flies would rather have sex with hot young female fruit flies rather than wrinkly older female fruit flies who are starting to look like Hillary Clinton. ($939,000)
• Chimps with the best feces-flinging abilities are also the best communicators, clearly establishing a Darwinian link to politicians. ($592,000)
• Cocaine can be used to make Japanese quail hornier. Which presumably cuts down on the amount of time they need for small talk and foreplay. ($181,000)
• Golfers can putt better if they just imagine the hole is bigger. Presumably female golfers can benefit from the same visualization technique when giving birth. ($1.1 million)
• Uncircumsized South African men who scrub their tallywhackers following sex may have a reduced chance of developing various kinds of godawful African crotch crud. ($832,000)
Still inconclusive is an expensive NIH study on why lesbians have a tendency to be overweight. We would suggest it's because they eat out too often, but the NIH grant we requested for a drummer to play therapeutic rimshots fell through.
All in all, Hope n' Change thinks that the NIH should stop trying to combine medicine with politics, stop suggesting that the solution to every medical issue is "give us more money," and - most importantly - quit pouring money into research projects that made them giggle when high on "medicinal" marijuana.
ADDENDUM: A second healthcare worker in Dallas has now tested positive for Ebola, raising serious questions about the efficacy of CDC protocols. The head of the CDC, however, maintains that the protocols are fine and human error is to blame. In fact, he's so confident of this that he told Megyn Kelly that he could safely treat an Ebola patient with no head/face protection, no footwear protection, and only one pair of gloves.
And that's exactly what Hope n' Change thinks he should do: fly to Dallas immediately and help restore calm and confidence to healthcare workers by demonstrating proper protocol technique while he treats the newest patients.
Hey, even if he's wrong about it being safe, he'd at least be providing the healthcare team with an additional patient to practice on in about two weeks...