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According to Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a decade of stagnant funding has slowed research on all items, including vaccination for infectious disease. The NIH has been working on an Ebola vaccine since 200...

According to Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a decade of stagnant funding has slowed research on all items, including vaccination for infectious disease. The NIH has been working on an Ebola vaccine since 2001. Collins told the Huffington Post recently, "Frankly, if we had not gone through a 10 year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this outbreak that would have gone through clinical trials and been ready." In fiscal 2004, the NIH budget was $28.03 billion, now almost 10 years later it is $29.31 billion.

Now turn to the CDC, the lead agency tasked with responding to the threat of Ebola within the U.S. and abroad. It too has seen its budget drop dramatically. In 2010 the CDC budget was $6.467 billion today; 2014, it is $5.882 billion. This, my friends, is the price we pay for allowing critical government agencies to be held hostage by elected officials who would rather feign concern for budget deficits than do their job. The party in control of the House is more concerned with partisan politics than making sure government works. The same party in the Senate has refused to do something as basic as confirm a qualified nominee for Surgeon General further complicating this mess. Now that same party wants to blame the NIH, the CDC and everyone else for a situation they created. Look in the mirror. You and I are the ones who must change this foolishness. Support every Democrat you can and get everyone you know to the polls in November. Better yet, vote absentee to be sure. This price is way too high.

Marian Severt

Brainerd

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