There isn’t a swine flu pandemic, but if there were, it would have dire economic consequences, and it would all be the fault of those blasted right-wingers.

Or so says Nation nitwit Nicholls, in a blog post titled GOP KNow-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness.

A real pandemic would indeed have dire economic consequences. The current epidemic is already having a serious effect on tourism to Mexico, and on world share markets.

But Republicans did not fight pandemic preparedness. In 2005 the Bush adminstration allocated $3.8 billion dollars to pandemic preparation. This was part of an overall $7.1 billion disease preparation budget.

This Bush administration budget included the development of plans to deal with any major disease threat. Those plans involved every level of government, and local, state and national health services. The actions and procedures set out in those plans are being used to counter the current threat.

The reason Republicans and Democrats opposed additional spending on pandemic preparedness in Obama’s stimulus proposals was that no one seemed to have any idea of how the money allocated in the stimulus package was to be spent, or even what further needs might exist. The proposed spending was simply padding – pork.

Speaking of the final stimulus package, Democrat New York Senator Charles Schumer said ‘All those little porky things that the House put in, the money for the [National] Mall or the sexually transmitted diseases or the flu pandemic, they’re all out.’ 

So it wasn’t just GOP know-nothings who opposed disease spending just for the sake of spending. Democrat know-nothings opposed it too.

But it was the Republicans who had already put large sums of money into pandemic preparation during the Bush administration, and whose plans are being used now to minimise both human and financial impacts of the current swine flu threat.

More detail on this from Legal Insurrection.