The normally-liberal Washington Post called the Democrats’ claim that Republicans were the cause of cuts in Ebola research “absurd,” and awarded them four Pinocchios.
The claim was first suggested Friday by National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, an Obama appointee, in an interview published two days later in The Huffington Post.
“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Post. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”
Also on Sunday a progressive non-profit group called the Agenda Project Action Fund, ran an over-the-top, one-minute ad titled, “Republican Cuts Kill.”
Here’s their ad. The story continues after the video.
The Washington Post observed:
This ad is simply a more extreme version of a new Democratic talking point — that GOP budget cuts have harmed the nation’s ability to handle the Ebola outbreak. It mixes statistics — the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “cut” $585 million (the ad offers no date range) — with disturbing images of the outbreak and various Republican leaders saying variations of the word “cut.”
But the Post didn’t limit its wrath to just the video and its producers. It also took on the Democratic Party:
A slightly more nuanced version of this theme was launched by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which in online advertising began to equate a congressional budget vote in 2011 with a vote for the House GOP budget in 2014 that supposedly protected special interests.
After sifting liberal fantasy from apolitical reality, the Post concluded:
On many levels, this line of attack is absurd.
Obama’s Republican predecessor oversaw big increases in public-health sector spending, and both Democrats and Republicans in recent years have broadly supported efforts to rein in federal spending. Sequestration resulted from a bipartisan agreement. In some years, Congress has allocated more money for NIH and CDC than the Obama administration requested. Meanwhile, contrary to the suggestion of the DCCC ad, there never was a specific vote on funding to prevent Ebola.
When the ridiculous claims first surfaced, Liberty Unyielding immediately performed its own fact-checking. One article observed that the National Institutes of Health budget actually doubled under President George W. Bush; another noted that Obama’s own budget proposals cut spending to the CDC as well as for HIV, which is even a more serious problem than Ebola on the African continent.
That said, the Post presented its award:
There’s no doubt that spending has been cut, or at least failed to keep pace with inflation, but the fingerprints of both parties are on the knives. This blame game earns Four Pinocchios.
When the Post’s story hit, Twitter exploded with conservative applause, and Twitchy was on hand to record every delicious tweet.
A tweet from Dana Perino, co-host on Fox News Channel’s “The Five” and former Bush-43 press secretary, earned an astute observation:
@DanaPerino Not a peep from MSM on this false desperate claim
— Mark Francis (@mark28210) October 15, 2014
Then there were these:
@brianjameswalsh this is AMAZING considering it came from WaPo!!
— LaOkie Kat ن (@KitKatKid61) October 15, 2014
WaPo Fact Checker: President George W. Bush, a Republican, is responsible for significantly boosting NIH’s funding http://t.co/IqjRHjAdCt
— S2 (@StewSays) October 15, 2014
The problem with telling lies in this day is that every political speech is available on video, and every congressional vote cast is recorded for posterity. And every bit of it is available online–you just have to turn on your search engine and go.