Flu Epidemic Exposes U.S. Risk Management Flaws
- Published on Thursday, 17 January 2013 16:39
- Written by Mike McClain, Web Editor
In a typical year influenza inflicts about $90 billion worth of economic damage and kills about 36,000 Americans – and this year’s epidemic is shaping up to be worse. Yet Uncle Sam spends far more on homeland security than on flu prevention. Poor resource allocation can be a hard thing to cure.
The sprawling nature of the activity makes spending on domestic defense hard to unravel, but the proposed Department of Homeland Security budget for 2013 includes $33 billion to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks. This includes functions like border patrol, customs and the coast guard which are needed anyway. But $5.2 billion alone is direct spending for “domestic counter-terrorism.” And the budget excludes the cost of the FBI and CIA as well as heavy military expenditure on overseas conflicts, some of which grew out of terrorist attacks or fears.