Funding Needs To Be Redirected

How worried are you about the Ebola virus? You remember, Ebola – the disease that was in the headlines in 2014.

How about the Zika virus? Yes, the one making news now.

Chances are you would like your government to do more to protect you from Zika than from Ebola – but, perhaps needless to say, the bureaucrats do not see it that way.

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $1.8 billion in emergency funding to battle Zika. Some lawmakers have responded that the administration does not need an appropriation from them.

Instead, it could use some of the $2.7 billion in money provided to combat Ebola – but never used.

No go, says Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. The $2.7 billion is needed to “finish the job in terms of Ebola,” she explains.

Nonsense. If that money was needed so urgently, why has it not been spent? And if money to fight Zika is an emergency, why could the government not use some of the Ebola funds?

Burwell knows very well finishing “the job” against Ebola will take years, perhaps decades. She also knows that it is not a threat at present to Americans, though that could change.

What is going on is less a matter of public health than of the bureaucracy always wanting more, more, more.

Congress should say no.