Monday, October 13, 2014

CDC Director On Ebola: "Don't Worry...Be Happy"

With the second confirmed case of Ebola on our shores, once again, the CDC Director, Thomas Frieden, took to the airways to assure us that our government has everything under control.  As if he could speak for the actions of every person who either contracts the disease or who treats those patients, he assures us that we have "decades" of knowing how to handle Ebola.  The problem with that statement is that 99.999% of the healthcare workers in this country have never dealt with it in their  lifetimes.

The world now has two healthcare workers, outside of West Africa, who have contracted Ebola while working with a patient.  The first was in Spain and, the newest is in Dallas. In both cases, they supposedly wore all the protective equipment but, in each case, some unknown errant action must have occurred, proving how difficult and deadly this disease can be.

Now, while Thomas Frieden might be a good doctor, we need to understand that he is a political appointee of President Obama.  For that reason, he wears two hats.  The first is to run the CDC.  But, the second, is to be a political spokesman for the President.  Much of what I have heard in the three news conferences that he has given has been downplaying the danger of getting Ebola.  He has also made certain to depersonalized the disease,  never referring to the first Dallas patient by name.  Instead he calls him the "indexed patient".  Frieden is also saying that the second Dallas patient must have contracted the disease through  a "breach of protocol".  But, the CDC still doesn't know how that "protocol" was actually breached.  Further, he insists that a travel ban is not necessary.  Yet, we know that the incubation period can last up to 21 days before any symptoms are evident.  So, it is possible that a person, who may be days into the disease but not showing symptoms, can safely pass airport security; only, to have full-blown Ebola days later. 

My problem with Frieden is that he isn't being honest with the American public.  He knows that he can't assure that every hospital and its workers, both urban and rural, will take all the necessary precautions when faced with an Ebola patient.  These workers are people and, just like the nurses in Spain and Dallas, they will make mistakes and, by doing so,  put themselves and others at risk.  He also knows that some individuals, who know they might have had contact with the disease, will lie on the airport screening checklist to gain access to the United States; insuring better care than they would receive in West Africa where, in some cases, there is a 90% death rate. Our first Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan, did just that.

Obviously, Obama, too, is not being up front with America.  Just two weeks before the first victim, hit our shores, he assured us that it was an "unlikely event" that would ever happen.  Yet, it did happen and we now know Duncan lied to get into this country.  Then, the President assured us we were prepared if someone does enter the country with Ebola.  Well, we weren't.  On his first visit to the hospital's emergency room, Duncan was sent home with a 103 degree fever.  Then, Obama assured us that  you can't get Ebola just by riding on a bus.  Well, evidently it now appears that you can get it while wearing full hazmat gear.

It's no wonder that people are nervous about the government's handling of Ebola.  When the President and Frieden are being contradicted by such early events, what confidence is there that an actual outbreak will be contained properly?


At CDC, Frieden says 2d Ebola case shows clearly a “breach in protocol” in treating the indexed patient:

Obama: You Can't Get Ebola 'Sitting Next to Someone on a Bus;' CDC: 'Avoid Public Transportation':

Dallas County prosecutor considering criminal charges against Duncan for lying on the questionnaire:

Ebola Victim Thomas Eric Duncan Sent Home From Hospital With 103 Fever:

3 more people under observation for Ebola in Spain:

Ebola typically kills 90% of those infected:

Two Weeks Ago, Obama Said Ebola in the United States was Unlikely:


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