The State Vs. Zika

Never let a good crisis go to waste, Rahm Emanuel famously said, and faced with increasing numbers of cases of mosquito-transmitted Zika virus infections in Florida, a cavalcade of federal government officials and politicians has been heeding his advice, demanding more money from Congress.

The fact of the matter is that the CDC and the NIH, the agencies with primary responsibility for research and responses related to the Zika outbreak, are hardly impoverished. As noted in a Wall Street Journal editorial about the CDC’s budgets, “The average for the Obama years is $10.823 billion including the stimulus.”

The current system permits the funding of many projects that are trivial, and worthless. The sort of “research” funded by NIH to the tune of $130 million annually has little to do with actual research that could lead to Zika vaccines, and more to do with wasteful studies concerning “Restorative Yoga” and urinary tract infections. Therefore, the problem is not of a financial nature, but of a bureaucratic one.

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