Paul spoke at the American Spectator Annual Gala in Washington (at the 10:03 mark), and commented on how he has tried to point out potential areas where government spending could be reduced.
Paul, Feb. 11: Remember when we were talking about Ebola last year? Everybody was going crazy about Ebola, and they’re like, oh Republicans didn’t spend enough at the NIH. And they didn’t spend enough on infectious disease. Turns out, the budget had been going up for years and years at NIH, the budget had been going up for infectious disease. You know how much they spent on Ebola? One-40th of the budget was being spent on Ebola. But you know what we did discover? They spent a million dollars trying to determine whether male fruit flies like younger female fruit flies. I think we could have polled the audience and saved a million bucks.
- Paul claimed the NIH’s budget has been increasing “for years.” That’s not accurate even in raw dollars. And when adjusted for inflation, the budget has actually decreased over the last decade.
- He also suggested the NIH wasted $1 million on a study of whether male fruit flies prefer older or younger females, and in the process he belittled the impact of basic research using flies — which has yielded dozens of discoveries and even a few Nobel Prizes over the last century.
Check out the full detailed article. If you think Rand Paul’s claims are legitimate due to his MD, think twice. Simply having a medical degree does not necessarily equate to understanding science and research. Not to mention, there are some issues with his board certification.
I’m constantly shocked at how ignorant elected decision-makers can be about the very topics on which they make policy decisions (for example…). I don’t think this bodes well for science.