Two American health care workers who have contracted the so-far uncurable Ebola virus are coming to the USA-- at least one going to a supposedly safe facility at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia.
A private jet is winging it's way to Liberia to pick up Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who are in grave condition 13Fox.com reports.
Here's a video showing the biohazard security being used on the jet flying the patients:
A reporter in the video says that experts say that the patients are being brought into the US because, with all the air travel, it's inevitable that Ebola will enter the US. Huh?
I just don't get the thinking that would allow such a disease through our border. Seriously. Why aren't the heads of the house and senate Health, Transportation, Ways and Means, Homeland Security and immigration committees putting a stop to this? Why hasn't Homeland Security stepped in? Since the destination for the patients is Emory, near the CDC, I'm taking a guess that the CDC is involved in and supervising the patient transport.
To be clear, Ebola is a virus that does not infect through airborne communication. It is communicated through physical contact. That makes some "experts" feel better about bringing it in to the US. It doesn't work for me.
I feel sorry for the people. They have been compassionate and put their lives on the line. But they knew the risks in what they were doing. This kind of situation is why there are quarantines.
And if you are feeling that the people at the CDC or EMORY know what they are doing, keep in mind that very recent disclosures have revealed
horrific screwups by the CDC in taking proper care of highly infectious biological agents and weapons. The Detroit Free Press reported,
"Recent glaring safety lapses involving anthrax, smallpox and a dangerous strain of bird flu are the latest violations at a half-dozen laboratories run by federal health agencies, 11 labs run by universities and eight more operated by state, local or private entities, according to government reports stamped "restricted" obtained by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.
The reports by the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cited inadequate security procedures, lax inventory records for germs that could be used as bioterror agents and training concerns."
In fact, even the highest security, Level 4 biocontainment facilities have had lapses, where workers have been exposed to Ebola, as reported here
Yesterday, the CDC released a "level 3 travel warning"
"to avoid nonessential travel to the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone." The release states, "This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history. Far too many lives have been lost already," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H." also announcing that 50 more disease control experts will be sent to the area in the next 30 days.
I have questions.
Who authorized this?
With what authority was it approved? At how high a level?
Are Homeland Security and the White House involved in the decision? They should be. This should not be the decision of the CDC alone.
What discussions have been carried on regarding this? Before this is a fait accompli the powers that be have a responsibility to educate the public and provide the arguments that were used to persuade decision makers to allow the patients to enter the country. If the patients can be flown to the US, they can have a lab flown to them, on a C-130 transport plane, for example.
Maybe it is a safe thing to do. But given the CDC's bad history, and assuming they are managing this, I don't trust them. They failed to do their job before and this is very risky.
FOIA requests to the CDC and Department of Homeland Security have been submitted. Maybe they'll cast some more light.
Meanwhile, what do you think? I'm not a scientist or physician but I have read extensively on Ebola. And my concerns are not alone. Here are some tweets commenting on the move:
An Atlantahospital is flying in two patients with Ebola to treat them. Do they not know that's the start of literally every outbreak movie?
Update: 8/1/2014 3:25 PM
The organization the two infected workers are reported to be associated with is Samaritan's Purse, directed by Franklin Graham, according to Wikipedia
. (thanks to Phat Khat
for the comment that prompted this update.)
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