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Federal authorities are struggling to explain why 600 people in 22 states have fallen ill from a foodborne parasite rarely seen in the United States.
...possibly have to do with the sequester? Simple: It takes money to investigate and prevent the spread of diseases—and the whole point of the sequester was spend less of that money. And the flip side of spending less money is that investigations like this can take longer to solve. According to the deputy director of the CDC division responsible for investigating the outbreak, "budget priorities" are playing a role in the delay. Specifically:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has had to slash $285 million at a time when food and health experts say disease detection needs more funding as these type of food outbreak cases become more complex and widespread.
If Republicans want to hold up the spending cuts of the sequester as their greatest legislative achievement, then they really ought to accept blame for what happens as a result. It's not just stories like this, either: It's everything from Head Start and Meals on Wheels to furloughed civil servants to cancer patients who need treatment. You can't make indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts without having an impact, and only a snake oil salesman would argue otherwise.