In a political advertisement that is running in Kentucky and other states during this mid-term election, a progressive non-profit political organization appears to blame Republican politicos for the current outbreak of Ebola virus as a result of imposing fiscal austerity at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. Founded in 2010 by author Erica Payne, the ad features GOP Senators Mitch McConnell and Pat Roberts, as well as others.
Entitled 'Republican Cuts Kill', the ad contends that the CDC's discretionary budget has declined by "$585 million". Also featured in the video is Anthony Fauci - the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases - who testified before Congress this summer that budgetary cuts have "been a significant impact on us," adding "It has both in an acute and a chronic, insidious way eroded our ability to respond in the way that I and my colleagues would like to see us be able to respond to these emerging threats. And in my institute particularly, that's responsible for responding on the dime to an emerging infectious disease threat, this is particularly damaging."
Ominous images of healthworkers wearing protective gear are seen in the video in a rapid-fire sequence of images featuring Republicans such as House Speaker John Boehner, and Republican Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and others.
Besides her involvement in the Agenda Project, Erica Payne is the founder of the Tesseract Group, which she describes as a "a boutique consulting firm that provides strategy and communications expertise to select public policy and political organizations. Past Tesseract clients include: the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, Roosevelt Institute, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Center for Independent Media, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and America Votes." She is also a co-founder of the Democracy Alliance, "a donor collaborative whose partners have invested over $100 million in progressive organizations."