We already had a "health epidemic" czar. Why hasn't anyone heard from her?
As the liberals and "progressives" were shouting their praise for the emperor's brilliance a couple of folks noted that the government already has an "office for public health threat preparedness and response." In fact, it's such a big deal that the Department of Health and Human "Services" has an "assistant secretary for preparedness and response," tasked with developing plans and strategies to counter threats like Ebola.
So why did Obama need a new czar when the gummint was already paying this assistant secretary for preparedness and response? And who is this assistant secretary for preparedness and why haven't they been on the nightly news every evening reassuring everyone about how well prepared the Obama administration is to respond to this threat? As the government official in charge of preparedness, why hasn't the Lying Media been getting hourly statements from her?
The assistant secretary for preparedness and response is Dr. Nicole Lurie. And a search shows she's been totally invisible during the current crisis. Why would that be?
To find out you need to read a story in Los Angeles Times from three years ago. “Cost, need questioned in $433-million smallpox drug deal: A company controlled by a longtime political donor gets a no-bid contract to supply an experimental remedy for a threat that may not exist.”
No-bid contracts are huge warning signs, for obvious reasons. If a company owned by a Republican fundraiser had gotten a $433 million no-bid contract for some military procurement item, Democrats and the media would have screamed bloody murder--and reasonably so. But in this case the company was controlled by billionaire Democrat Ron Perelman.
The contract was arranged and awarded by Dr. Lurie's office.
Competitors complained about the contract on several grounds, which is why the Times wrote the story. The Times article revealed that during the fight over the no-bid contract Lurie wrote to the company’s chief executive, Dr. Eric A. Rose, to tell him that someone new would be taking over the negotiations with the company. She wrote, “I trust this will be satisfactory to you.” Later she denied that she’d had any contact with Rose regarding the contract, saying such contact would have been inappropriate.
BTW, I know you'll be shocked to learn that the "experimental remedy" the no-bid contract was awarded for didn't pan out, and the company has filed for bankruptcy.
There's no way to tell if this is the reason Team Obama has been keeping Lurie in isolation, but it's a good bet. A competent administration would have fired her, but of course that would have called attention to the very scandal they wanted to cover up. Better to let her keep her position, salary and retirement benefits, and just keep her out of the public eye.
Optics, see. If they just manage the optics, all threats and scandals will just vanish, all by themselves.
Hey, you've got an emperor who said that when he was elected the rise of the seas stopped. It doesn't take any more stupidity to believe that managing optics and news actually solves problems.
Kudos to Mollie Hemingway for breaking this story.