- - Monday, October 20, 2014


In the editorial “Ebola politics” (Web, Oct. 14), The Washington Times laments the government not devoting enough resources to working on an Ebola vaccine. However, that spending seems to be consistent with what the American people have desired.

As an example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has the lead for providing against infectious diseases, had a budget in 2010 of about $6.8 billion. Sure, that seems like a lot, but compare it with the U.S. military budget for 2010, which was $683 billion, or 100 times the CDC’s budget. Only about 20 percent of that military budget was even related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today nearly 67 cents out of every U.S. tax dollar (discretionary spending) goes to the Pentagon. The Ebola concerns painfully highlight the need for the United States to start recognizing that public health — along with other domestic concerns, such as the education of our youth, maintaining our infrastructure and looking toward “green” economies — plays just as important a role in our national defense as bombs and drones.



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