Tags: Bobby Jindal | Ebola Outbreak | Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | | Jay Barnes | budgets

Jay Barnes: Democrats Play 'Revolting' Ebola Blame Game

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Oct 2014 03:41 PM

Blaming Ebola's presence in the United States on Republican congressional budgets is baseless and unfair, but some Democrats are doing it anyway because they think the disease presents a political opportunity, says Missouri state legislator and political commentator Jay Barnes.

"It seems like in taking advantage of this Ebola crisis, Democrats are doing their best to follow Rahm Emanuel's advice to never let a serious crisis go to waste," Barnes, a Republican member of the Missouri House, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

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Barnes said the partisan refrain — heard from senators the Wall Street Journal dubbed "Ebola Democrats" — ignores the truth about who in Washington has, and has not, made a top priority of combating infectious diseases.

Barnes cited a recent Politico op-ed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that examined Obamacare funding for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the lead agency on Ebola — and demonstrated how little of that money has gone toward the agency's core mission.

Of $3 billion that the CDC has received to date from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, an Obamacare creation, just $180 million — or 6 percent — is for fighting infectious diseases, Jindal wrote.

Another $517 million covers community grants for projects as varied as farmers' markets, new sidewalk construction and bicycle paths, and improved street lighting.

"All of which are fine and good things when supported by a local community," said Barnes. "There's a question of whether that's the role of the federal government. But what they certainly are not is in line with the traditional role of the CDC and the role which Americans expect it to play, which is to fight infectious diseases like Ebola."

Barnes called it "revolting" to blame Ebola on Republicans, and he said that by Democrats' own logic, "Republicans have a political opportunity to blame Ebola on Obamacare for shifting the focus of the CDC to community health grants."

"But I don't think that would be a fair criticism, either," he said, "and I don't think you're going to see Republicans take that bait. I'm hoping what we'll see here is above-the-board behavior — even in an election season — with an issue that is deadly serious."

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Blaming Ebola's presence in the United States on Republican congressional budgets is baseless and unfair, but some Democrats are doing it anyway because they think the disease presents a political opportunity, says Missouri state legislator and political commentator Jay Barnes.
Jay Barnes, budgets, infectious, diseases
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2014-41-14
Tuesday, 14 Oct 2014 03:41 PM
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