White House Calls Govt Waste Report “Pretty Pathetic”

By Ethan Barton

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday a recent oversight report exposing $35 million was spent on questionable, government-funded research is “pretty pathetic” compared to more serious issues like the Zika virus.

“I think it’s pretty pathetic when we are facing a serious public health crisis, as described by our public health experts, that you would see someone trying to distract from what is a pretty important issue,” Earnest said at a press briefing.

Sen. [crscore]Jeff Flake[/crscore]’s Tuesday oversight report, called “Twenty Questions: Government Studies That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head,”showed how several federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent public money researching topics like whether drunk birds slur, where bee stings hurt the most, and why people see Jesus’ face in toast. (RELATED: Feds Spent $35 Million On Weird Research, Like Why Primates Love Metallica [VIDEO])

Meanwhile, as Flake’s report points out, NIH would have found an Ebola vaccine if it weren’t for budget cuts, agency Director Francis Collins told The Huffington Post at the height of the Ebola outbreak in October 2014.

Flake “is the kind of person we would rely on to show some bipartisan leadership … and advance the $1.9 billion in funding that is needed to confront the Zika virus and do everything we possibly can to protect the American people,” Earnest said. (RELATED: A Zika Vaccine Is Definitely Years Away)

The Arizona Republican’s report states: “The tax dollars being spent studying bee stings and contagious yawning, for example, could be redirected towards research on mosquito bites and the spread of the Zika virus.”

Ironically, Flake’s review cites a government study that tested whether Republicans or Democrats were more disgusted by eating worms as a means to bridge the partisan divide. While another government study researched whether being liberal is genetic.


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