Sunday, March 19, 2006

What could go wrong?

Government scaling back mad cow testing:
A third U.S. case of mad cow disease has been confirmed just as the government is scaling back testing of animals for the brain-wasting disorder blamed for the deaths of more than 150 people in Europe.

The Agriculture Department boosted its surveillance after finding the first case of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003. About 1,000 tests are run daily, up from about 55 daily in 2003.

The testing program detected the possibility of an infected cow in Alabama last week, and further analysis confirmed Monday that the animal had mad cow disease.

Still, a reduction in testing has been in the works for months. The department’s chief veterinarian, John Clifford, mentioned it when he announced the new case of mad cow disease this week.
Which fills me with overwhelming confidence, as we learn that the cabinet has been drilling their plans for a smallpox outbreak. I'm guessing this drilling will do as much good as the Hurricane Pam exercise, or the State Department's Future of Iraq project.

In other words, I'm more worried about smallpox now than I was before.