After a Liberian man brought deadly Ebola to America last month, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, assured us: “We’ll stop Ebola in its tracks.” CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread of the disease, he said.
File that assurance alongside, “You can keep your health plan if you want to” and “ISIS is a jayvee team.”
There was a “breach of protocol,” Dr. Frieden said last Sunday when we learned nurse Nina Pham, 26, got Ebola despite wearing the waterproof gown, gloves, goggles and plastic face shield CDC said should have been enough to protect her.
More likely Ms. Pham’s protective gear was inadequate, said Bonnie Castillo, RN and disaster relief expert at National Nurses United. The safety instructions on the CDC website are “flawed and inaccurate,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, laboratory director at George Washington University hospital.
After a second nurse who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan caught the deadly disease — and who CDC had permitted to fly despite having a fever — it was apparent that Ebola spreads more easily than CDC said it could and that CDC’s assurance that any hospital with an isolation ward could safely manage Ebola patients was false.
Only four hospitals in the country are fully equipped to deal with Ebola victims. Eighty-five percent of nurses surveyed by NNU said they hadn’t received Ebola training.
CDC will take steps to increase awareness of Ebola at the nation’s hospitals, Dr. Frieden said Monday.
Why didn’t CDC do this when the Ebola epidemic broke out in March?
“Now that the horse is some distance down the road, the government officials paid to prepare for emergencies, after being caught in their usual pants-around-their-ankles condition, are busily trying to find a lock for the barn door,” an emergency room nurse posted on her blog.
Our unpreparedness for an Ebola epidemic makes it all the more imperative to bar entry to people from Ebola-ravaged countries. A quarantine is a must, many experts say. But President Barack Obama won’t impose one.
So far, just one person in America has died from Ebola. At least six, mostly children, have died from Enterovirus D-68. There are more than 100 enteroviruses, ranging from the common cold to polio. EV D-68 has been very rare here. CDC has offered no explanation for this outbreak and hasn’t tried very hard to connect the dots.
EV D-68 is common in Central America, from whence came the flood of illegal immigrant children. The outbreak was first reported in communities to which they were sent, although EV D-68 has circulated in the United States since it was identified in California in 1962.
Illegals are bringing in diseases “we haven’t seen in decades,” said Chris Cabrera, vice president of the Border Patrol Council. Border Patrolman Stu Harris said he called CDC to alert them, but officials blew him off. Inadequate health screening of illegals threatens a public health crisis, warned Marc Siegel, who teaches medicine at New York University, back in July.
The EV D-68 epidemic may be unrelated, but that’s not the way to bet.
There could be up to 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week by December, the World Health Organization estimated. If Ebola breaks out in Central America, it’ll trigger another mass migration into the United States, worries the Marine general who heads U.S. Southern Command.
Only 19 percent in a Washington Post/ABC News poll Tuesday were “very” confident the government could prevent an Ebola outbreak in the United States; 64 percent said it should be doing more.
Spinning madly, ABC noted 43 percent were “somewhat” confident. But shouldn’t we be more than “somewhat confident” our government is doing all it can to protect us from an Ebola epidemic?
We can’t be, because it isn’t. President Obama’s refusal to restrict entry of travelers from “hot” countries and to secure the border make clear that other things are more important to him than protecting Americans. By not insisting on these essential steps, Dr. Frieden signals performing the CDC’s mission isn’t his top priority either.