Mission creep(y): bureaucrats’ delight.

Mission creep. No, that’s not the new Tom Cruise Mission Impossible 16 sequel. Webster Online defines it as the gradual broadening of the original objectives of a mission or organization. While that definition almost sounds benign, I like the Wikipedia clarification after their definition: Mission creep is usually considered undesirable due to how each success breeds more ambitious interventions until a final failure happens, stopping the intervention entirely. Mission creep is catnip to the power hungry bureaucratic mind. Every bureaucracy expands its reach. There are too many examples to list, but the worst kinds are those whose core mission is crucially important, and who fail it, and we are seeing that the CDC is the poster boy.

Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, just wrote, in Imprimis: “The CDC was created in 1942 as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities, and in 1946 was renamed the Communicable Disease Center. For many decades it focused its full efforts on its original mission: viruses and communicable diseases. But by the 2000s, the CDC, like most executive agencies, had become largely independent of political control and lost its focus. It had widened its work to include chronic diseases and addictions, nutrition, school health, injuries, and—a telltale sign of ideological corruption and mission creep—racial and ethnic approaches to community health. It is a logical fact that if you favor some people you must disfavor others.

“In 2007, the late Senator Tom Coburn issued a well-documented report entitled, ‘CDC Off Center—A review of how an agency tasked with fighting and preventing disease has spent hundreds of millions of tax dollars for failed prevention efforts, international junkets, and lavish facilities, but cannot demonstrate it is controlling disease.’ In the years since, there have been reports documenting multi-million dollar CDC studies on topics like the prevention of gun violence, how parents should discipline children, and chronic health conditions among lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations.

“In 2017 alone, the CDC spent over $1.1 billion on chronic disease prevention and health promotion, $215 million on environmental health, and $285 million on injury prevention—all purposes that are addressed by other federal agencies. That money could have been used to prepare for communicable diseases, including replenishment of our stockpile of masks and ventilators. In other words, it could have been used to do the work the CDC was created to do.”

Yesterday I saw a great example of willful blindness. I was in Walgreens picking up a prescription, and the three customers ahead of me were dutifully wearing masks……. and paying in cash! They hand their money, which is already filthy, to the cashier, she takes it, gives them change, and with the same hands takes the next person’s cash and repeats. If any of those idiots were carriers of the virus, they might have infected the cashier, and lots of customers behind them. I got up to the register, used my credit card that I now use for every purchase and wipe down with hand sanitizer. I loudly proclaimed, for the customers behind me, how stupid and inconsiderate it is for anyone to be using cash these days!

That goes double for the “experts” who demand everyone wear a face mask, but who say nothing about the hand to hand transfers of potential pathogens from handling cash. You might say, “the Coronavirus is only transmitted by breathing it in.” Okay, then why is hand washing so important? My biggest peeve and disappointment is the prevalence of the bureaucratic mentality among so many federal and state officials, narrow-focused experts and the lamestream media. Their internal prime directives are “cover your ass”, “blame someone for their mistakes” and “control others”. So many pundits are complaining about the weaknesses in our country that have been revealed by this crisis, but they don’t mention the bureaucratic mentality. That’s the foundation that produces most of the other ills!