Anyone who thinks that a pandemic in the middle of a global financial crisis isn't something to worry about is crazy. We have known for years that it was only a matter of time before something like this happened and everyone knew that public health and research into the problem had been neglected for years in order to spend lots of money of Dick Cheney's wet dreams. When the economy went into a tailspin, Democrats thought that it would be a good stimulus (scientists, public health and homeland security agencies spend money too...) but that it was also necessary to plan for what might happen in this fragile economy if a pandemic hit. The GOP made fun of it and knocked it out of the bill for no reason other than the fact that Susan Collins had decided that pandemic funding wasn't important.
The Republicans thought it was cute to label spending on things like this and honey be research and volcano monitoring as superfluous and silly. But these are exactly the things that Americans think their government is supposed to do, once they think about it. (Who else will do it?) What they aren't so keen on is kick-backs to wealthy Republican contributors and endless military adventures for no good reason.
Come to think of it, those snide remarks about money to study hog odors do not seem all that crazy now. Once they get closer to the subject they might discover more problems than than bad smells from CAFO's.