Rep. Emanuel Cleaver Supports Airport Screenings – Not a Travel Ban For People Traveling From West Africa

Democrat Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (Mo-dist. 5) told a Kansas City radio station Wednesday that he favors expanding screening for persons traveling from West Africa, but stopped short of calling for a travel ban.

Two days after his opponent Jacob Turk declared his support for an Ebola travel ban at a candidates forum in Lee’s Summit, Missouri,  Cleaver decided to weigh in on the issue.

Via KMBZCleaver said “he favors expanding medical screening for those coming into the states and thinks that is inevitable.”

(It’s always gratifying to see a politician taking a brave stand on something he thinks is already inevitable.)

He also echoed the Democrat party’s desperate talking points, blaming Congress for not adequately funding the CDC and the NIC.

Cleaver tells KMBZ the CDC and the National Institutes of Health started asking for increased funding about 10 years ago, to fight deadly diseases and lawmakers turned thumbs down.

Apparently no one at KMBZ thought to fact-check that, having reported the assertion without challenging it.

A simple look at the data  refutes Cleaver’s claim.

Funding levels for the Centers for Disease Control has been stable for the past five years, with an uptick between 2013 and 2014, especially in the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The spending request for 2015 is lower than 2014 – but Cleaver can thank President Obama for that – the cut is coming from his budget plan.

Then there’s the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whose role in developing new medicines and interventions has been supposedly destroyed by cuts over the years, right? According to its budget documents, the NIH got about $23 billion in fiscal 2002 (George W. Bush’s first budget year), a figure that rose to $30.2 billion in 2009 (his last budget year) before peaking at $31 billion in 2010. It dipped a bit from then and came to $30.1 billion in 2014, which is about the same amount the NIH requested in President Obama’s 2015 budget plan.

The NIH’s current funding – $30.15 billion this year – is up from $17.84 billion in 2000.

Not that throwing more money at these agencies would actually help. The NIH is known for wasting obscene amounts of money on frivolous studies.

It took a different NIH department to see the value in giving a University of Missouri team $548,000 to find out if 30-something partiers feel immature after they binge drink while people in their mid-20s don’t.

‘We interpreted our findings to suggest that, at 25, drinking is more culturally acceptable,’ declared a doctoral student who coordinated the government-funded field work.

A generous $610,000 paid for a 120-nation survey to determine how satisfied people in different countries are with their lives. 

A staggering $1.1 million funded research into how athletes perceive their in-game surroundings, including one Purdue University study that discovered golfers can putt 10 per cent better if they imagine the hole is bigger.

And $832,000 went to learn if it was possible to get uncircumcised South African tribesmen into the habit of washing their genitals after having sex.

And then there was $484,000 study to determine if hypnosis can reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women,  the $294,000 the NIH spent to try yoga, and my favorite – the $1.5 million the NIH spent to study why lesbians are obese and gay males are not. 

A 2011 Congressional Budget Office report showed that NIH’s funding ‘has grown significantly over the past 15 years, prompting the them to actually advise federal lawmakers to cut NIH’s funding.

‘Some costs could probably be reduced or eliminated,’ the CBO concluded, ‘without harming high-priority research.

Apparently Congressman Cleaver missed that report – much like he missed the candidates forum with Jacob Turk, Monday.

What Turk and other Republicans are recommending is a “common sense” approach to fight deadly diseases like Ebola, but that is sadly lacking in Washington with Democrats holding the levers of power..


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