We Already Have an Ebola Czar

It doesn't seem to be helping.


As John McCain and other big-government Republicans call for an Ebola czar, The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway points out that we already have one—and that the office doesn't seem to be doing much good:


the federal government not ten years ago created and funded a brand new office in the Health and Human Services Department specifically to coordinate preparation for and response to public health threats like Ebola. The woman who heads that office, and reports directly to the HHS secretary, has been mysteriously invisible from the public handling of this threat. And she's still on the job even though three years ago she was embroiled in a huge scandal of funneling a major stream of funding to a company with ties to a Democratic donor—and away from a company that was developing a treatment now being used on Ebola patients.

Before the media swallow implausible claims of funding problems, perhaps they could be more skeptical of the idea that government is responsible for solving all of humanity's problems. Barring that, perhaps the media could at least look at the roles that waste, fraud, mismanagement, and general incompetence play in the repeated failures to solve the problems the feds unrealistically claim they will address. In a world where a $12.5 billion slush fund at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is used to fight the privatization of liquor stores, perhaps we should complain more about mission creep and Progressive faith in the habitually unrealized magic of increased government funding.

Read the rest here.

Bonus link: The Ebola debate, like so many debates, has turned into a face-off between the forces of Needs More Spending and Needs More Policing. They'll probably compromise and give us both. In the meantime, if Hemingway's article is an antidote to knee-jerk calls for more spending, this 2008 paper offers some good responses to the more-policing crowd.