Obama finally embraces malaria victims — as political pawns

By Steve Milloy

U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Rajiv Shah and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson win this week’s award for cynicism.

In his column today (“When cuts lead to coffins“), Gerson wrote:

So far in the budget debate, the Obama administration has drawn few bright lines, preferring to blur distinctions with concessions. But last week, a neon line was drawn by an unlikely administration official. Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, possesses the mildest of manners. Testifying before the House state and foreign operations subcommittee, however, Shah had this to say:

“We estimate, and I believe these are very conservative estimates, that H.R. 1 would lead to 70,000 kids dying. Of that 70,000, 30,000 would come from malaria control programs that would have to be scaled back, specifically…”

Apparently oblivious to the tens of millions who have been killed, and billions who have been stricken by malaria — including about one million children who die annually — courtesy of the 1972 U.S. EPA ban on DDT, Shah and Gerson are now surfing the malaria tragedy (with phony statistics) for the purpose of launching a political attack on budget-cutting Republicans.

The Malaria Capers author Robert Desowitz paraphrased a USAID official as once saying about the Third World,

“Better off dead than alive and riotously reproducing.”

We now know there’s a caveat to that sentiment,

“… unless they serve our political purposes.”

FYI, Shah was Al Gore’s health care policy advisor in the 2000 Presidential campaign and also worked for the malaria-clueless Gates Foundation. Gerson is an alumnus of the generally-clueless administration of President George W. Bush.

Shah and Gerson can, of course, afford to be oblivious and callous since their combined five children live in the malaria-free Washington, DC area. Maybe they need to get out into the real world of malaria suffering like Dr. Rutledge Taylor did for his film “3 Billion and Counting.”

13 thoughts on “Obama finally embraces malaria victims — as political pawns”

  1. The nets racket, gary h, is just one of the means by way of which almost exclusively Europeon racketeers and grifters, via UN and WHO and UNESCO etceteras “contracts” cynically exploit to the max the deaths of millions of Third World malaria sufferers to leach money from the United States of America. Which, when it comes to the world’s totalitarians wealth-distribution machinations (and via our very own abjectly Euro-peon-ized and kicked-back cohort/crony politicians and bureaucrats) – is far and away the world’s biggest sucker!

    The squandering by America’s most criminally-corrupt class(less) – its feral gummint – of the confiscated wealth of America’s (and therefore of the world’s!) most innovative, creative, productive and industrious Men on such scams as UN-nets for the millions of dead malaria victims is one of the worst and most cynical examples of crime dressed as “do-gooding” since the Ponzi scam called “social security” was sprung on us by the traitor Roosevelt’s so richly Soviet-agent-larded cabinet and bureaucracy.

    Brian Richard Allen
    Lost Angels – Califobambicated 90028
    And the Very Far Abroad

  2. Does anyone have good info. on mosquito nets, the latest “saving ploy” for some groups to make themselves feel something is being done to help stop mosquito-born diseases in Africa? I have read or heard they do not get used properly–that the eldest son in a family gets all of whatever nets are received, or some such thing.
    But I want to know, before donating, whether they are of any value. Also, is it true the materials used in many equatorial African abodes no longer lend themselves to the soaking of walls from their tops down, which uses to take and hold the ddt liquid and repel, sicken or kill mosquitoes for many monthe.

  3. Rich, thanks for that.
    I knew all of this but couldn’t have explained it so succintly.

  4. Even with faster medical response times, malaria can still kill. If I recall, some of the symptoms of this parasite are violent tremors and high fever. This goes on for about a day and then a few hours of respite before the cycle starts again. Malaria is also caused by a parasite and not a bacteria. This typically means the drugs used for treatment are extremely powerful.

    There really isn’t an alternative to DDT that is as effective at killing the mosquito or is as safe to humans. dDT is so effective a mosquito landing on a surface treated with it months before will still die.

    Also don’t forget that malaria was a scourge in the US and Europe until we used DDT to eradicate the mosquito carrying the parasite.

  5. Just thought I would add this:

    Although there was never a ban on DDT for other countries, the US especially made foreign aid dependent on the host countries NOT using DDT and as such we banned by fiat will as opposed to any sort of actual law.

    Yes, we were responsible for the banning of DDT by host countries. What African ruler would turn down American free money just for the ability to use DDT? In the end we did ban DDT in all practical purposes.

    The best interpretation of evidence would then therefore say this: The US banned DDT as far and wide as we could just because of junk science. The lives of millions who died due to malaria because of this ban are on the souls of the following:

    1) Our leaders including diplomats.
    2) green groups who decided to lobby for said policy.
    3) Activists using junk science and promoting scare tactics.
    4) The average American who did not speak up against this evil.

    All of them share some of the blame. But in the end millions have died due to the ban as I call it since we did ban it for all intensive purposes until George W.’s late push for African health at the end of his second term.

  6. I am old enough to remember the debate at the time that Carson’s book was published. The only concern was that birds of prey might lay eggs with thin shells.
    The effect of a DDT ban on the lives of third world children, who after all were just metastatic cells of the cancer of the planet, was never considered.

  7. Malaria was once a major killer in some parts of the United States. Who can say that it won’t be again?

  8. The ban on DDT in the U.S. was primarily for agriculture, but could be used for emergency health reasons. When the state of Louisiana requested the use of it after Katrina and the mosquito population skyrocket they were denied by the EPA, although I think there may have been a couple of times when it was permitted. However, for all practical purposes DDT was so badly denigrated that it became a complete de facto ban irrespective of what was agreed to. And that applies to any international agreements. No matter what caveats are agreed to ….it is all wall paper and meaningless in practical terms.

    In other countries it was also banned, but that ban wasn’t universal. Although, with a few exceptions the economic pressure from outside groups, such as the E.U., was so great it also became an almost universal de facto ban. And yes, more did begin to contract malaria and die from it after the ban. I would like to point out the term used on EPA websites is…..BAN.

    Silent spring was full of incorrect information, including some that was deliberate. The bird population increased during the DDT years not the reverse as Carson claimed, and it is taught in science classes because the schools are filled with people who don’t know what they are talking about. They are more activists that educators. Yes it was a Republican president that promulgated this tragedy, and the importance of that is? Nor does that justify perpetuating it? The massive bird killings were not as a result of DDT; it was a result of mixing it with fuel oil. And there were no deformities or sterility problems as a result of DDT. The group most impacted with DDT created the baby boomers.

    The correct information about DDT is available for those who are only interested in the facts and are prepared to follow them wherever they may lead. As for those who are completely brainwashed…..don’t bother. The ban on DDT is an article of faith for the rabidly faithful.

  9. The greens have caused more problems in the world than any dictator since Adolf Hitler. The DDT ban as mentioned resulting in uncontrolled outbreaks of many diseases – the ban on sensible forest control in Canada leading to massive death of forests through pine beetle, the push for bio fuels that is exacerbating the starvation stakes, obviously the great AGW fiasco that will go down in history as the greatest rort the world has ever seen and here in NZ we have a multi billion dollar ‘leaky homes’ problem because the greens fought and won a ban against timber (lumber) treatment processes that saw 1000s of homes being built with untreated timber that is now rotting internally and causing massive building leaks and collapses – doesn’t their nonsensical arrogance and naive ignorance make you sick?

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