Mainstream medicine helped create antibiotic-resistant bacteria–or “superbugs”–with its overuse of antibiotics. The bacteria mutated and adapted to antibiotics faster than we could develop new drugs. So now, the superbugs no longer respond to even our strongest antibiotics. And untreatable infections from these antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” kill at least 23,000 Americans per year, according to the CDC.
But don’t worry. The Obama administration recently unveiled a new plan to battle the problem of antibiotic resistance!
Unfortunately, the plan is an absolute sham. In fact, at the press conference unveiling the new plan, the administration spokesperson actually said:
“This may sound bureaucratic, but it’s anything but.”
When you hear a government bureaucrat say something like that, watch out. It’s akin to: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.” I’m also reminded of Hamlet’s comment about his mother protesting her ignorance and innocence regarding his father’s mysterious death, “Me thinks the lady doth protest too much!”
The CDC Director called antibiotic resistance, “an urgent health threat, and a threat to our economic stability as well.” Yet the CDC conveniently neglected to mention its own failure and missteps in treating this threat thus far. (Not to mention its missteps in dealing with other deadly threats, like Ebola.)
Four steps to nowhere
The new plan is a “national strategy” that aims to slow the emergence and prevent the spread of resistant bacteria. They also plan to better track the bacteria. And to speed up the development of new antibiotics to treat them. To accomplish this goal, the President issued an executive order (his favorite approach) to establish an “interagency task force” that will take six months to develop a “five-year plan.”
It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
When the existing agencies of the CDC, NIH, FDA, and USDA can’t get their jobs done, he simply creates another bureaucratic entity. This new “task force” will get to fiddle around for another six months and then lay out a plan to delay action for another five years.
Sounds like a typical government response to a real, urgent threat and a true emergency, doesn’t it?
The President’s order recommends, but does not require, that the panel proceed with considering the following steps:
- Promote appropriate use of antibiotic prescriptions by physicians.
- Continue efforts to eliminate the use of antibiotics in agriculture for the purpose of promoting livestock growth.
- Create a “Presidential Advisory Council on Combatting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria” composed of non-government experts. (Translation: the government’s bureaucratic “experts” can’t handle the real work.)
- The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of State should designate representatives to the broadest most useless bureaucracy of the all, the United Nations’ World Health Organization.
They didn’t mention a word about developing alternative, natural approaches to balancing and boosting the immune system. Or about finding ways to help people stay healthy and heal from infections when they occur.
Instead, we have an “arms race” to develop more weapons to kill more resistant bugs. But this new “race” may end as the old nuclear arms race might have–with mutually assured destruction (MAD).
Time isn’t on our side
Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci–one of Washington’s most durable and permanent health bureaucrats at the NIH–described the problem of antibiotic resistance as essentially another permanent “government war.” In fact, this problem is not likely to go away any sooner than this permanent bureaucrat who declared it. (You may have seen Dr. Fauci on TV lately, slowly parsing out partial truths about Ebola to the public.)
It seems the NIH and CDC officials couldn’t be happier about this announcement. Finally, they have something to talk about at a press conference other than Ebola. And other than their disastrous mishandling of dozens of potentially lethal vials of deadly microbes from a few months earlier.
But what will this new, empty “arms race” cost Americans?
A mere $20 million. (While they claim they did not have enough funds to study Ebola.)
Of course, had the President figured out sometime over the past six years how to go to Congress, as other Presidents have done, they might have actually drafted some laws to deal with this “urgent, extreme threat.” Instead of just making more bureaucratic suggestions and recommendations through redundant, costly bureaucratic processes for the next five-and-a-half years.
So, really, the bigger cost to us is time.
An antibiotic-resistant bacterium reproduces in seconds. And presently, there is nothing to stop them. In the five years (plus six months) of proposed government dithering, there could be enough of these super bacteria to take over the Earth. Even more of them than government bureaucrats, proliferating even faster than government committees do. And they’re the one thing that might be even more virulent.
- “White House Unveils Plan to Battle Antibiotic Resistance,” Medscape (www.medscape.com) 9/18/2014