Every year, it’s the same story. Five to ten acquaintances catch the flu. You know, the annual reason for getting a shot. A shot which contains heavy metals and aborted fetus cell lines. Thimerosal (which, by the way, is a disinfectant) injected into our systems.
No matter what, a bunch of people end up getting the flu anyway, shot or no shot. It’s an annual event, like a mass software download. Except for the 2019/20 season.
Influenza kills tens of thousands every year. Some years are worse than others. The CDC estimates that “from 2010-2011 to 2013-2014, influenza-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of 12,000 (during 2011-2012) to a high of 56,000 (during 2012-2013).” But bear in mind the source. The CDC hasn’t had a great track record of late.
In 2017-18, more than 80,000 Americans died from influenza.
This year? I don’t know a single person who had the flu. No posts on social media, nobody on video chats with groups of friends, not among family members. Yet on their website, the CDC reports the following statistics:
Interestingly, as noted above, the CDC stopped reporting on the flu season the week of April 4, just as COVID-19 cases were trending up sharply. Yes, it’s conceivable that the flu was tailing off just as the coronavirus was exploding, but the timing is terrible to suspend tracking.
Further, the ranges listed above are wide enough to be insulting. 24,000 to 62,000 deaths? That much leeway would make a weatherman blush and an economist faint. A range of 330,000 for hospital visits? Seems like the CDC needs to learn to code. You’d think maybe they could use some of their $6.6 billion budget to create an Excel spreadsheet and track key metrics like death in real time.
You know, to act in the best interests of the country’s health and welfare.
Instead, the CDC was woefully unprepared for COVID-19. According to Eric Boehm at Reason, the problem is mission creep and misspent funds. When the virus hit, the CDC was at war…with vape pens.
They do, however, explain why the CDC’s budget has ballooned from $590 million in 1987 to more than $8 billion last year. If the agency had grown with inflation since 1987, it would have a budget of about $1.3 billion today. Total federal spending, meanwhile, has grown from a hair over $1 trillion in 1987 to $4.4 trillion last year—which means that the CDC’s budget has grown faster the government’s overall spending.
Has all that extra funding made America safer? In 2019, the CDC spent $1.1 billion on its National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, which focuses on ailments like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The CEI report notes that there are at least 10 other federally funded agencies—mostly within the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—engaged in similar health and wellness research.
Instead of spending billions of dollars in recent years to duplicate work being done by other federal agencies, hindsight now suggests that the CDC should have spent more time and money researching emergent influenza-like infectious diseases, a project that received just $185 million in funding last year. This is a failure of priority-setting by both the CDC and Congress, which ultimately controls the purse strings.
Instead, the CDC was doing things like spending $1.75 million on the creation of a “Hollywood liaison” whose job was to help movies and TV shows write more accurate storylines about infectious diseases. A 2007 report published by the office of late Sen. Tom Coburn (R–Okla.) found that the CDC funded the position with money originally earmarked for combating bioterrorism and appointed a semi-retired employee to run the office. The same report calls out the CDC for lavish spending on a new headquarters and visitor center that opened in 2006. The agency blew through more than $10 million in new office furniture and built a $200,000 fitness center and $30,000 sauna on site.
It would be one thing if the CDC was merely wasting money on saunas and duplicative research, but the agency has also been pushing agendas that were counterproductive to public health. In the months before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the CDC was on the front lines of a “war on vaping” that came in response to a brief panic over deaths caused by black market THC vape pens.—Reason
The lasting lessons of the virus:
- We’ll never know. We’ll simply never know how many people died from coronavirus. Key errors were made at the outset, such as incentivizing hospitals with funding based on COVID diagnoses. The politicization of every aspect of testing, diagnosis, treatment, and cause of death has mangled the ability to ever get the count right. Not even Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci, the two doctors on the coronavirus task force, can agree on whether the death tally is too high or low.
- The world has lost a tremendous amount of faith in global organizations in general, and especially those that dispense health advice. The WHO has been exposed as a puppet of both China and Bill Gates, and an enemy of truth: it suspended its hydroxychloroquine trial yesterday, claiming the drug increased chances of death for patients (trials of Remdesivir, funded by Fauci’s NIAID, will proceed). It turns out that more than half the WHO’s budget goes to lavish travel. The CDC botched the initial response to the virus with faulty test kits. Shady dealings, gargantuan budgets, general disarray–the upshot is that health agencies have lost the public’s trust, and that could prove dangerous or fatal for many when the next big virus hits.
As for accurately counting the number of people with the flu, your guess is as good–and likely better–than the CDC’s.