Why You Can’t Let Conservatives Be in Charge of Public Health: The Mike Pence Edition

I’ve discussed before how the policies of the Republican Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, led to an HIV outbreak (most of the infected also contracted hepatitis C). But that fucking numbskull seems to have learned absolutely nothing from the experience (boldface mine):

Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana has said he will sign a bill allowing cities and counties to create needle exchange programs if they are experiencing an outbreak of H.I.V. or hepatitis C because of intravenous drug use.

The bill requires the state health commissioner to approve each such program by declaring a public health emergency that must be renewed after a year.

Mr. Pence, a Republican who has said he opposes needle exchanges as antidrug policy, authorized a temporary exchange in Scott County in March because of a growing outbreak of H.I.V. there.

He’s really not getting it–the point is to prevent HIV outbreaks from ever happening in the first place. Once an outbreak has started, you’ve already failed to prevent infections that should have never happened. Yet Pence is still not being challenged directly about this:

Never mind that needle exchange programs lower disease transmission and don’t increase drug use–we’ve known this for a long time, even though conservatives have been lying about needle exchange programs for just as long. What someone needs to ask Pence is how many AIDS infections are ideologically acceptable? One? Five? Ten? Fifty? How long do we wait before we jettison incorrect ideology to prevent HIV infection?

As mediocre as Clinton might be (GO BERNIE! GO!), we can’t afford to have conservatives running things.

Keep in mind, Pence is supposed to be the moderate….

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