The 2013-2014 flu season will soon be upon us. Influenza epidemics kill tens of thousands; pandemics claim tens of millions.
The disturbing fact is that the Communicable Disease Center (at the CDC in Atlanta) was crippled for nearly three weeks in October by the unnecessary, politically motivated government shutdown. It is unconscionable that a narcissistic few presumed to hijack vital government functions and recklessly endanger the health of millions of Americans.
We depend on the CDC to warn of outbreaks and health threats; such perils are much more likely to strike us and cause enormous damage than incoming ICBMs or terrorist attacks from abroad.
Access to the Veteran's Memorial has symbolic significance, but closing it for a few weeks won't kill anyone; paralyzing the CDC can.
We cannot afford to ignore real threats while we allow our representatives to posture and preen for cynical photo-ops.
Dana E. Wilson, M.D.
Salt Lake City