It is unfortunate that the first person-to-person transmission of Ebola in the United States occurred just weeks before the midterm elections. It was perhaps inevitable that this global health crisis would be politicized.

The first sloppy effort to brand the Republicans as the party of Ebola came from MSNBC host Joy Reid who insisted that too few are focusing on the federal response to the disease’s spread and not the fact that hemorrhagic fever is catching in a private hospital in a state run by the GOP!

Oh, if only the “index patient” Thomas Eric Duncan had checked into a Veterans Affairs hospital.

This characteristically juvenile and failed attempt to sling mud would not even be worth mentioning if had not proven the vanguard of a larger movement on the left to reclaim the issue of Ebola, which has become an election year issue if only because it exposes a culture of incompetence and rampant wastefulness plaguing the federal government.

Late Sunday night, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein published an interview with National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins who assured the HuffPo scribe that his agency would surely have developed an Ebola vaccine by now if it were not for reductions in his agency’s budget after 2004.

“NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

“We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference,” he said.

Collins later conceded that experimental vaccines are often not, pardon the expression, a cure-all. An experimental HIV vaccine, he said by way of example, actually made the trial patients sicker due to its suppression effect on the immune system.

Nevertheless, the partisan point that Stein and his cohorts were trying to make was effectively made. The left gleefully jumped at the dubious opportunity to suggest that pro-limited government conservatives are somehow to blame for this deadly Ebola outbreak.

“Gee, thanks, Republicans!” the Democratic strategist Paul Begala exclaimed. “We’d Have Ebola Vaccine if Not for Budget Cuts.” He was one of many to proclaim that this witless plea from an agency head for more funding (a not unusual occurrence, to be sure) represented the GOP’s Waterloo.

Not all were so impressed with this unsubtle attempt by the allies of expanded government to use the Ebola outbreak as just one more opportunity to demand more government. “This was a really bad strategy,” columnist Rich Galen observed. “Oppo researchers find every dumb program CDC/NIH ever funded and make them look silly.”

And that is exactly what they did.

The Twitter user CounterMoonbat did perhaps the best work on Sunday night accumulating examples of the NIH and CDC’s experimental boondoggles which somehow took precedence over the miracle Ebola cure researchers have supposedly been working on for at least 13 years. You should read his timeline in its entirety, but here are a few of his best examples:

As anyone in the pharma industry will tell you, dealing with the NIH is slightly more enjoyable than having your tonsils removed. The agency is not known for its efficiency. That said, NIH has spearheaded the development of experimental treatments in the past, and they are currently expediting the testing of an Ebola treatment.

“[In 2003] there was very little interest for the obvious reasons that there was no disease around,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the lead researcher on the NIH vaccine recently told Time Magazine in early October. Why? Because there wasn’t a global Ebola epidemic. In fact, before this year, the World Health Organization was aware of only 1,716 Ebola total cases since the disease was discovered in 1976.

Some would demand that federal agencies tear their hair out and devote undue resources to curing every disease on earth, but that is simply not feasible.

There are some conservatives who have convinced themselves that the federal government is to blame for the spread of Ebola to the United States. A few conspiratorial types insist that Washington is indifferent to the spread of this deadly bug to America, despite the fact that this claim defies Hanlon’s razor and there is no evidence to support it. There is, however, sufficient evidence to suggest the federal agencies responsible for preventing a public health crisis – from medical care, to transportation, to oversight – are simply too unwieldy and prone to human error to take the necessary precautions which might have prevented Ebola’s spread across the Atlantic.

That is a debatable point, but it is apparently so dangerous to the left that they are mounting a counteroffensive. It seems this attempt to indict the American right as complicit in the Ebola outbreak of 2014 will be a dismal failure. The fact that it is even occurring, however, tells you just how seriously this crisis undercuts the public’s faith in big brother’s ability to watch over them.