Ebola, Obama, incompetence. People will remember these three words together long after Obama leaves office. Obama has blundered badly at every stage of the Great West African Ebola Outbreak of 2014. A private company handled things better at its campus in the diseased region. Some think Obama hoped to gain an “October Surprise advantage” from this affair. He will not. He and the incompetent boobs he appointed, destroyed what advantage they had. Ebola tested Big Government, and found it lacking. Everyone should learn from this debacle. Learn what private persons and enterprises can do.
The Obama administration keeps failing with Ebola
How has the Obama administration failed with Ebola? With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let us count the ways.
- Obama refuses the obvious measure: ban all commercial travel into or out of the afflicted zone. Almost thirty other countries already do this.
- Thomas E. Duncan (Patient Zero) finagled tickets on three separate flights to get to his home in Dallas, Texas. Then he showed up at a hospital and told them his symptoms and travel history. And they didn’t know what to do. Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not tell them what to do. Why did the staff at the emergency room literally tell him, “Take these antibiotics and call us in a week”?
- The nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital did not have a proper protocol for attending to an Ebola patient. One nurse (see video below) explained the problem: the suit she wore covered most of her skin but left the neck exposed. Now we learn that hospital will order proper full-covering hoods. Why didn’t they order these before? Even in a Biosafety Level Three setting, people wear full-hooded suits. (Ebola rates Biosafety Level Four. Those nurses and other attendants should wear pressure suits.)
- Two nurses who cared for Duncan in the hospital, now are down with Ebola. One traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to plan her wedding. She was “sick as a dog” the whole time, family members say. Then she called the CDC, asking whether she should fly commercially with a low-grade fever. And the CDC cleared her to travel. Now a regional U.S. airline must track down more than 100 passengers on her flight. They also idled six flight officers and grounded one of their aircraft. But only after that plane made several more flights! (The authorities have since airlifted both nurses to appropriate Level Four treatment settings, one in Atlanta, the other in Bethesda, Md.)
- Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, gave an interview to Megyn Kelly two nights ago. Two minutes into that interview, he made his attitude painfully clear. He was telling a pack of lies, the kind of lies a man tells to “palm off a lemon” on the unsuspecting used-car buyer. Today before the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Frieden offered the same kind of phony sales pitch. Republicans and Democrats alike realized that. They then drew out the rhetorical long knives.
- Members of and apologists for the Obama administration, and sundry other wishful thinkers, insist no one can catch Ebola except through extensive contact with the blood, urine, or other bodily fluids of a patient. But several experts now say Ebola could get airborne. This comes from the Cable News Network, by the way. Reason: Ebola can already enter lung tissue from the airways. Should Ebola change to survive in an air droplet, someone can then pass it on with a cough or a sneeze. As happened among a population of lab monkeys in 1989. And CNN mentions that, too.
Can big government even handle Ebola?
Not if this experience shows anything. Add to it: the Obama administration does have an “Ebola Czar” (or Czarina). The problem: Lisa Monaco, who holds that spot, has no professional medical experience.
John Hayward at Human Events writes of the “crisis of managerial liberalism.” For instance: “For God’s sake, get a grip!” screams the headline in The New York Daily News. As the front page says, the Obama administration has known of this outbreak since March. And still does not know what to do.
Obama makes the problem worse with his political ideology. He does not want to shut-out Third World people from the United States. He believes such people have an inherent, basic human right to flock to the United States and likely apply for taxpayer-supported largesse. A travel ban would fly in the face of that. But worse: Dr. Frieden let slip, in testifying before the Health Subcommittee, that if you ban air travel out of West Africa, those patients will make their way to Mexico and slip across the border. Well, duh! With one executive order, Obama could empower citizen militias, like the Minuteman Civil Defense Force, to place border infiltrators under citizen’s arrest. And they would be ready, and willing, to oblige. These Minutemen have shown they can secure a stretch of border.
Federal and State governments have the legal authority to place Ebola patients and suspected contacts under quarantine. But they cannot corral whole populations. For that, the government would have to declare martial law. The Obama administration might have the tools in place. But have they the will? Not if their apologists keep telling people not to worry, that there’s nothing to see here, and to move on. Let them suddenly tell people to stay home from work and school, and stay off the roads, and they’ll balk.
Gretchen Carlson (The Real Story) said two days ago the Ebola affair reminded her of a science-fiction or horror movie. Yes, it does. A horror/s-f movie where you spend half your time bellowing at the screen, “You dolts! Why aren’t you doing such-a-thing? Don’t you know what you’re dealing with?” (And, like as not, throw a rotten tomato at the screen and walk out.) No one writes a script like this. Typical horror/s-f movies have competent, commanding authorities as their leads, or else follow civilians who realize the authorities are “in on it.” (Cf. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1956, 1978, and 2007.) No one writes a script featuring civilians coping with utterly incompetent authorities. The closest analog to this crisis was Stephen King’s novel The Stand. In it, a biological warfare agent breaks containment and kills almost everyone worldwide. A relative handful of immune people first must outlive the non-immune authorities, then fall out into two warring camps. Even that story featured authorities with a motive and a plan – nefarious and still inadequate, but still a plan. The Obama administration seems to have no plan. And that, no Hollywood producer could ever conceive.
What can you do?
From National Public Radio, of all places, comes this piece on how the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (subsidiary of Bridgestone America) stopped Ebola from overrunning its rubber plantation in Liberia. As Firestone itself describes, 71 people have come down with Ebola on their plantation. They did not wait for any government (in the U.S.A. or Liberia) to help them. They built their own hospital to treat their cases on-site, and fenced themselves in to stop it from getting worse.
Beyond that, any person can take steps to make himself or herself stronger against Ebola or any other virus. Hallelujah Acres lists twenty changes in diet and lifestyle that can put anyone at lower risk. This list seriously indicts the diet most Americans follow, a diet heavy in refined sugar and processed grains – plus the “night owl” habits of all too many Westerners everywhere.
There’s your script – a script you can write. When big government fails, private enterprise, and the individual, can succeed.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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