Can you take another post about Ebola? Just a few bits of new information and some commentary:
Yes, we can!
Catch Ebola from surfaces, upon which the virus can survive for nearly two months! We can also catch Ebola from sitting next to someone on public transportation, from airborne droplets, and even from toilet seats. We can catch Ebola not only from the seats, but also from simply being in the same restroom with, or after it’s used by, a person with Ebola, given the particulars of how our modern toilets so rigorously flush, sending aerosolized waste droplets flying. Isn’t THAT special?
Yes, that is a stuffed Ebola virus “toy” in the photo above. Isn’t he cute?
We still don’t know how they can possibly get it.
Doctors Without Borders, the group with whom Kaci Hickox allegedly “volunteered,” reports that 16 of their staff caught Ebola, 9 of whom have died. Presumably, a majority of these trained professionals know how to “prevent” Ebola by using the recommended precautions. Nevertheless, despite following protocol, over 200 have contracted the disease and died.
Even so, we are supposed to believe that Kaci Hickox poses no threat to the public here in the USA, nor do any other healthcare workers (as opposed to troops) who return from Africa after working in Ebola-infested areas.
Hickox claims to be “asymptomatic” and so cries out against the “inhumane” quarantine. Dr. Craig Spencer was also asymptomatic, with a normal temperature one day and then, on the very next day, symptomatic, with stomach cramps and a fever. Unfortunately, he’d been allowed into the country and allowed to go out and about in public, riding the subway, bowling, and who knows what else. We can only hope that the next several weeks will prove that he didn’t spread his infection to anyone else.
The CDC’s Dr. Thomas Frieden has come out with yet another set of reactionary new recommendations, in response to Ms. Hickox’s complaints and the Obama administration’s opposition to mandatory quarantines (for healthcare workers, not troops): [emphasis added to quotes]
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called for voluntary home quarantine for people at the highest risk for Ebola infection but said most medical workers returning from the three countries at the center of the epidemic would require daily monitoring without isolation. …
Under new CDC guidelines that spell out four risk categories, most healthcare workers returning from West Africa’s Ebola hot zone would be considered to be at “some risk” for infection, while healthcare workers tending to Ebola patients at U.S. facilities would be seen as “low but non-zero” risk. …
There has been a growing chorus of critics, including public health experts, the United Nations, medical charities and even the White House, denouncing mandatory quarantines as scientifically unjustified and an obstacle to fighting the disease at its source in West Africa. …
Frieden said high-risk people include healthcare workers who suffer a needle stick while caring for an Ebola patient or who tend to a patient without protective gear.
He said returning health workers at “some risk” would have their health monitored daily by a local health department official who would check their temperature, look for signs of fatigue and review their daily activity plans to determine what activity “makes sense for that individual, at that time.” …
President Barack Obama’s spokesman, Josh Earnest, made clear Monday that the White House was not thrilled that individual states had implemented quarantines viewed as unfair to returning healthcare workers, though he acknowledged the states’ rights to set them. …
The bottom line is that most of the returning healthcare workers, according to the Obama administration, should not be subjected to mandatory quarantine; it should be left up to them to decide whether or not they will “isolate” themselves.
The new recommendations, according to Frieden, are based upon “science” and “experience,” despite the FACT that over 200 health care workers in Africa have already contracted and died from Ebola, also despite the FACT that Dr. Spencer has contracted Ebola, returned to the USA “asymptomatic,” wasn’t quarantined, and inadvisedly went out into the public, into crowded areas, potentially infecting others with this deadly disease that he is now fighting.
Nurse Pham embracing the man whose misguided policies nearly killed her. Go figure.
It’s simply “unfair,” according to Obama and Frieden, to expect these returning “heroes” to be quarantined for 3 weeks for the sake of the health of their fellow Americans–that includes our mental health as well as our physical health.
Keep in mind that the mandatory quarantines, opposed by Obama and his administration, are wholly within the authority of the states and their respective governors. Obama and his administration uniformly oppose the decisions by various governors to impose 3-week mandatory quarantines on returning healthcare workers. Oddly enough, however:
In other Ebola-related developments, the U.S. military said it was isolating troops returning from their mission to help West African countries curb Ebola even though they showed no sign of infection. …
The Pentagon move went well beyond previously established military protocols. …
“We are billeted in a separate area (on the base). There’s no contact with the general population or with family. No one will be walking around Vicenza,” [Major General Darryl] Williams told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“Nobody is symptomatic. No Army soldier came in contact with Ebola-stricken patients,” Williams said, calling the move precautionary.
It is within the authority of Obama and his administration to determine whether or not the military imposes mandatory quarantines. The military troops, however, have no contact with Ebola patients. NONE. Nevertheless, the troops who have been in Africa will be quarantined for 3 weeks. They cannot see their families. They cannot leave the base. They cannot mix with the general population.
So there is a massive disconnect here. Obama has no authority and no business trying to interfere with decisions made in the states about the public health of citizens of the states. It’s not his purview.
Nevertheless, he adamantly opposes quarantines for healthcare workers who have been in close contact with Ebola victims. Over 200 of these workers have somehow contracted the virus and died from it, so they are demonstrably at risk for having the disease and passing it on to others, once they return to the USA.
On the other hand, Obama is, for some reason, instituting mandatory quarantines of our troops, even though the troops have not been in any contact with Ebola victims. WHY? It makes no sense.
Does he oppose the quarantine in New Jersey simply because Governor Christie is a Republican? Obama, along with Mayor DeBlasio, has managed to orchestrate a rift between Governors Christie and Cuomo after they were, amazingly enough, cooperating in a bi-partisan way when both imposed mandatory quarantines. After being contacted by Obama, Cuomo walked back his decision.
Does Obama oppose the quarantine of healthcare workers because, as he says, it may discourage others from going to Africa to help with the epidemic, if they determine that 3 weeks in quarantine is simply too high of a price to pay in return for being considered noble heroes?
If so, then does Obama place the health of Africans ahead of the health of Americans? Healthcare workers who treat Ebola patients here in the USA are at “low but non-zero risk,” according to the CDC’s Frieden. Returning healthcare workers are at “some” risk to high risk. In other words, all of these healthcare workers are at some level of risk, and so are you and your family if the CDC gets its way and they’re allowed to walk around in public, as if there’s NO RISK.
Does Obama value the friends and families of returning troops more than he values the general public within the USA? If not, then why are troops put into mandatory quarantine but healthcare workers are not?
“Out of an abundance of caution the Army directed a small number of personnel, about a dozen, that recently returned to Italy to be monitored in a separate location at their home station of Vicenza,” Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said today. “None of these individuals have shown any symptoms of exposure.”
The Army later released a statement confirming that the decision was made by Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff.
“The Army Chief of Staff has directed a 21-day controlled monitoring period for all redeploying soldiers returning from Operation United Assistance,” the statement said. “He has done this out of caution to ensure soldiers, family members and their surrounding communities are confident that we are taking all steps necessary to protect their health.”
But Obama does not want governors to impose a mandatory “21-day controlled monitoring period” (in other words, a mandatory quarantine) on all returning healthcare workers.
What’s the opposite of “an abundance of caution?” Would that be, “a total lack of caution?” Or maybe a “lesser amount of caution?” Whatever.
For some reason, Obama doesn’t seem to care whether or not the citizens of the USA are “confident” that his administration is “taking all steps necessary to protect their health,” because if he were, then Frieden would be acting like Odierno.
Make no mistake, however: Odierno is not the Commander in Chief. He who is the Commander in Chief did not allow Odierno to make this decision, but he did
allow order Odierno to take responsibility for it.
Obama and Frieden urge governors to base policies on “science,” and yet this mandatory troop quarantine seems based upon … what?
If the science says it’s safe for returning healthcare workers to walk about in public, so long as they self-monitor for symptoms and decide from day to day what excursions their situations may allow, then how can the science at the same time dictate that it’s not safe for troops, who never were in contact with Ebola patients, to do the same?
Some suggest that it’s easier for the troops to accept a quarantine, being accustomed to a regimented way of life. But that argument makes it sound as if public health decisions are made based upon whether or not those expected to follow the rules will be voluntarily compliant–Nurse Hickox being a perfect example of a non-compliant individual.
What kind of warped policy is that? Your life and the lives of your family depend upon the whims of those who may carry a deadly virus but who believe they have the “human right” to expose you to it if they don’t feel like doing what’s necessary to ensure that you’re not exposed to it?
This is analogous to parents who set rules and then enforce them only upon the children who are self-disciplined enough to obey in the first place, while giving a pass to any willful, headstrong, rebellious, selfish brats in their families.
There’s an alternate explanation, however, to these diametrically opposed policies: The troops coming from Africa must stop first in bases in Europe. Those countries are the ones who are imposing the quarantines on our troops, not Obama. At least that’s one theory.
The “White House” has no other explanation that makes any sense. However, the European countries, it seems, are run by adults with common sense.
Watch White House spokesman Josh Earnest squirm as he suggests that a military quarantine is easier, or more uniform. Huh?
That’s the standard for protecting Americans from a deadly disease? Ease? Uniformity? He also speaks about the kinds of “sacrifices” the troops are accustomed to making.
Not to take anything away from our valiant troops, but a sacrifice is not a sacrifice when it’s imposed.
On the other hand, noble heroes, as these healthcare workers are described to us, should not have to have their “sacrifices” imposed upon them.
Pardon me. My head is spinning.
One clue that might help solve this riddle is contained within this most excellent article, The Case Against Liberal Compassion, by William Voegeli, from the current issue of Imprimus. That clue may be pathological altruism, defined as
“altruism in which attempts to promote the welfare of others instead result in unanticipated harm.” Surprises and accidents happen, of course. The pathology of pathological altruism is not the failure to salve every wound. It is, rather, the indifference—blithe, heedless, smug, or solipsistic—to the fact and consequences of those failures, just as long as the empathizer is accruing compassion points that he and others will admire. As philosophy professor David Schmidtz has said,
“If you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, it isn’t.”
… [L]iberals care about helping much less than they care about caring.
In other words, the sufferers of pathological altruism engage in ostentatious displays of “caring” to bring upon themselves self-satisfaction and the admiration of others.
This phenomenon is evident in the current meme amongst elite liberals, in the numerous instances of the public being chided for treating (they say) Ms. Hickox as a “pariah” instead of as a noble heroine. Unfortunately for the progressive elite, the general public has common sense.
What if you gave a pity party and nobody came?
Stories about the plight of Hickox have generated thousands of comments. Unfortunately for Hickox and her progressive supporters, especially in the Obama administration, the public, as evidenced by their comments, is nearly uniformly unsympathetic to her complaints.
The progressive elite always mistake the American public. Overeducated, they believe that their education makes them more intelligent than the public at large. They mistake education for intelligence. Obama, himself a graduate of several Ivy League universities, puts the lie to that belief.
The America people understand that over 200 of these educated professionals, despite all their training, nevertheless have contracted Ebola in the course of their “good works” and therefore ARE a very real threat to our population. Therefore, for the good of their fellow Americans, the returning healthcare workers ought to “sacrifice” by voluntarily abiding by a quarantine of a mere 3 weeks.
Why, then, won’t they? Hickox is adamant that she will not obey even the lesser restrictions imposed by her home state of Maine.
Now comes this news: After denying the rumor that the Obama administration plans to bring infected non-citizens to the USA for treatment, they are caught in their lie:
The State Department has quietly made plans to bring Ebola-infected doctors and medical aides to the U.S. for treatment, according to an internal department document that argued the only way to get other countries to send medical teams to West Africa is to promise that the U.S. will be the world’s medical backstop.
Some countries “are implicitly or explicitly waiting for medevac assurances” before they will agree to send their own medical teams to join U.S. and U.N. aid workers on the ground, the State Department argues in the undated four-page memo, which was reviewed by The Washington Times.
Quietly now …
They think we’re stupid.
If the precautions outlined by the CDC are followed, then why would it be necessary to have a “medical backstop” in the USA for healthcare workers who contract Ebola in Africa? If they follow the protocols, then they won’t get infected, will they? If they nevertheless get infected, then the controlling officials (Obama, his people, as well as the UN) must admit that they are lying to the public about the virulence of this disease and their ability to treat its victims.
Therefore, for the national security of the United States of America and to ensure the health and lives of its people, the Obama administration should, like Australia, immediately issue and enforce a travel ban between the U.S. and Ebola-affected countries in Africa. Obama’s allegiance should be, first and foremost, to the USA, not to the “global community.”
Yes, by all means, send money, experts, and supplies to Africa. Allow volunteers to go to help, but also ensure, by any means necessary, that no one returns to risk the welfare of the American people.
That’s easily accomplished by imposing a sensible mandatory quarantine on the returnees, such as Governor Christie has done.
In addition, close the borders!