Eric Cantor yesterday:
There is an appropriate and necessary role for the federal government to ensure funding for basic medical research. Doing all we can to facilitate medical breakthroughs for people … should be a priority. We can and must do better.
This includes cutting unnecessary red tape in order to speed up the availability of life saving drugs and treatments and reprioritizing existing federal research spending. Funds currently spent by the government on social science – including on politics of all things – would be better spent helping find cures to diseases.
Quoted here. Good thing that disease, mortality, etc. bear no relationship to political institutions. Good thing that there is no politics in whether and how drugs and medical treatments are developed.
To be less sarcastic and more constructive, here is Evan Lieberman’s book on how ethnic politics shaped national responses to AIDS. Here is Dan Carpenter’s work on the Food and Drug Administration. That’s just off the top of my head.
The broader point is that Cantor’s goal, curing disease and saving lives, can be better accomplished by including social and political science alongside the “hard” sciences and medicine.
[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]