"Stopping Ebola is a priority for the United States. I've said that this is as important a national security priority for my team as anything else that's out there."—Barack Obama, September 25, 2014President Barack Obama, sounding more and more like some kind of clueless witch-doctor, has been making a lot of confident statements about many things, especially since the Ebola crisis began.
Initially, the President claimed that the vast technological superiority of America compared to poor West African nations like Sierra Leone and Liberia meant that the USA would likely never see a case of Ebola Virus here:
"First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low."And why was that true?
Because, Obama said:
"We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States."YAY! That worked, huh? Oh wait, no! Of course not, because those "screenings" involved asking people if they had been around Ebola-infected individuals, and did not take into consideration that most people, especially people trying to get the hell out of Ebolaland, would lie! when asked that question.
Obama followed that up by explaining that even if somebody with Ebola got to the USA, it would all be OK:
"In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home. We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus. We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely."Again, none of that really happened.
When a Liberian person, Thomas Eric Duncan, who was infected with Ebola Virus, flew into the USA unscreened (because he lied when asked "that question"), and ended up being hospitalized in Dallas, Texas, Obama once again assured everyone that this one case would be contained and not result in an outbreak.
Why? Because of the protocols of course:
"Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Tom Frieden updated the President this afternoon on the recently-diagnosed Ebola case in Dallas, Texas. The President and Director Frieden discussed the stringent isolation protocols under which the patient is being treated as well as ongoing efforts to trace the patient’s contacts to mitigate the risk of additional cases. Dr. Frieden noted that the CDC had been prepared for an Ebola case in the United States, and that we have the infrastructure in place to respond safely and effectively."—White House summary of phone call on September 30, 2014, between Barack Obama and Dr. Tom Frieden, head of CDC.But then it turned out that the first hospital tasked with using protocols to defeat Ebola, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, actually did not have any. Not only did Texas Health Presbyterian botch the initial diagnosis of Ebola victim Duncan, sending him home to mingle with other people, but when Duncan came back to the same hospital a couple of days later, and when Texas Health Presbyterian finally did figure it it was dealing with Ebola, the problem turned out to be that the hospital had no actual protocols for its nurses and for the disposal of dangerous items soiled with deadly infectious fluids from the patient.
This morning we began to learn a great deal more about this, as a nurse from Texas Health Presbyterian, Briana Aguirre, who appeared on The Today Show, explained that the hospital, contrary to what Obama and Frieden had been saying, never had any discussions with its staff about Ebola, prior to Duncan showing up, and worse—the protective suits worn by nurses who were looking after Duncan, were not actual hazmat clothing, and in fact were partially open at the neck, creating a critical vulnerability.
And that vulnerability has resulted in two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian, ones who had cared for Duncan, getting Ebola themselves.
Once again, Obama's people kept promising the protocols would save us.
Obama yesterday amended his previous statements. Now said Obama the protocols would insure than the unlikely outbreak, which had occurred anyway, was going to be kept small.
"So bottom line in terms of the public: I want people to understand that the dangers of you contracting Ebola, the dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low."But the facts are that well over 200 people at this point have been potentially exposed to Ebola in the United States, and that is just the people we know about.
And the information we have learned in the last 24 hours, regarding the CDC's treatment of the second Texas Health Presbyterian nurse to become infected, is extremely disturbing.
The CDC admits now that this nurse had Texas Health Presbyterian contact CDC to OK her flying from Dallas to Ohio and then back. The CDC, which was told the nurse had a fever before her flight back from Cleveland, made no effort to stop the nurse from boarding the jet from Ohio to Texas. Now CDC admits the nurse was infectious with Ebola when she got on that return flight.
It is evident that whatever Barack Obama and his fellow witch doctors mean by "protocols", they have to do more with making sure the Ebola Virus gets widely spread in the USA than stopping it.
Obama canceled political tours to convene his Cabinet to figure out how exactly things went from "almost no chance of Ebola in America" to "the outbreak won't get out of control".
The national witch-doctors have not yet begun shaking bones at people while they scream "umgawa" to exhort Americans to resist recalcitrant Ebola.
But nobody would be surprised if that is next in the protocols of Obama.