Is Ebola under control? And some good news

View 846 Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Birthday, US Navy!

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009


I’ve just finished the October column, about 9,000 words, and sent it to the prepublication list. I’ve heard back from quite a few, and I expect to have the FINAL done by tomorrow evening, at which point I’ll send it to my managing editor for posting.

And I’m starting on the November column, in hopes of getting the deadline dates closer to the beginning of the month. I also have to work on fiction. It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.


I thought we had Ebola under control. I was wrong. The nurse, Nina Pham, 26, who treated Mr. Duncan has now become the first person in all of history to catch Ebola while in the United States.


Federal health officials on Monday urged the nation’s hospitals to "think Ebola" and launched a review of procedures for treating infected patients, while the World Health Organization called the outbreak "the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times."
Public-health authorities also intensified their monitoring of Dallas hospital workers who cared for a Liberian man who died of Ebola. Their stepped-up efforts came a day after a 26-year-old nurse tested positive for the virus.
The nurse, identified as Nina Pham, was wearing protective gear when she took care of Thomas Eric Duncan, but became the first person to contract the disease within the United States. Nina Pham’s family told WFAA-TV in Dallas that she was the health care worker with Ebola. A rector at her family’s church told The Associated Press that Pham’s mother told him Pham has the virus.
Pham, a graduate of Texas Christian University’s nursing school, was monitoring her own temperature and went to the hospital Friday night as soon as she found out she was running a low fever. She is in isolation and in stable condition, health officials said.


Until Ms. Pham’s family came forward, there was a concerted attempt to avoid identifying her; this morning’s papers said “nurse or nurse’s aid”, and nothing else.

Ms. Pham wore the protective equipment (as Medical devices such stuff is subject to the Obamacare 20% Federal Excise Tax), but her infection is officially blamed on “violation of procedure”, but I note that so far no one will say what procedure was violated. Does that indicate that we know what procedure was violated, but don’t care to say what it was? That seems so incompetent as to border on malice. More likely it’s reflexive, coming from those who devised the procedures and will not admit that they are defective.

If someone has another suggestion as to why the violated procedure has not been described, I would really like to know it. If the procedure is good but this competent young lady’s actions violated it, it would be extremely helpful to others – and to her if she survives – to know that action caused the infection. And if they don’t know what procedure was violated, or how, is it possible that the procedure wasn’t violated, it is ineffective?

Five members of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department who were sent inside the apartment where a man with Ebola  lived were not wearing any protective gear, not even latex gloves, in violation of biosafety level 4 regulations.

The four people inside the apartment were exposed to the Ebola contaminated sheets and towels belonging to Eric Thomas Duncan for several days and not given any food, thereby increasing their chances of getting Ebola and their motivation to get out of the apartment, potentially spreading the disease.

We have not heard that any of the officers were infected, which is surprising: given the level of exposure, the probability that one of another of them was infected is high.

A nurse contracts Ebola. An urgent care center in Boston shuts down when a sick man recently returned from Liberia walks in. Health care workers complain they haven’t been properly trained to protect themselves against the deadly virus.

Public health experts are asking whether the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partly to blame.

Here are five things they say the CDC is getting wrong.

1. The CDC is telling possible Ebola patients to "call a doctor."

When passengers arrive in the United States from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, they’re handed a flier instructing them to "call a doctor" if they feel ill.

Never mind how hard it is to get your doctor on the phone, but even if you could, it’s quite possible she’d tell you to go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

2. The CDC director says any hospital can care for Ebola patients.

"Essentially any hospital in the country can safely take care of Ebola. You don’t need a special hospital to do it," Dr. Thomas Frieden said Sunday at a press conference.

"I think it’s very unfortunate that he keeps re-stating that," said Macgregor-Skinner, the global projects manager for the Elizabeth R. Griffin Foundation.

He said when it comes to handling Ebola, not all hospitals are created equally. As seen at Presbyterian, using protective gear can be tricky. Plus, it’s a challenge to handle infectious waste from Ebola patients, such as hospital gowns contaminated with blood or vomit.

The other three reasons are similar, and should be read by anyone with real interest in the subject; the bottom line is that while the official word is that we have the situation under control, with competent people in charge following appropriate procedures, but we don’t, really.

The only way to prevent future Ebola infections in the United States is to close travel from infected areas; for those who are allowed into the United States from those areas, there must be strict quarantine procedures lasting at least 21 days. Actually we do not know that’s long enough: Ebola has an unusually long gestation period, and for much of that time there are no symptoms.

The only way to handle passengers from those parts of Africa is not to let them into the United States, and quarantine the very few whose entry is allowed. There are many strains of Ebola, coming from many different parts of Africa, but they are becoming mixed together. They differ in virulence of infectivity , gestation period, and quite possibly in infection vectors. We know very little about this disease, and our confident statements about the ability of our general state of public health and its gift of the capability to prevent this from becoming pandemic are at least open to question.

And we’ve said nothing about jihad and Ebola. The period between showing symptoms and los of ability to do much is short, a few days at most. The period between infection and displaying the first symptoms is considerably longer. I am no expert on the inner thoughts of those who choose suicide for their cause, but it takes no great imagination to understand that blowing yourself to kingdom come will distribute your body fluids over a fairly wide area.

I would say we have ample reason to restrict travel from infected areas, and strictly quarantining all those who do manage to reach the United States. I would not think that instructing them to call their doctor if they have symptoms would be of much effect if the intention is to spread the disease – or of much use to those who know they have been exposed to it and hope to survive by coming here.

I expect it is superfluous to point out that there are other fatal contagious diseases transmitted by exposure to body fluids of those infected with it.


I read the following article, link provided by reader ‘J’: <>

When I read it, 84 readers had commented; this was the first:

"Tina Trent <> • 6 days ago <>

Look at what happened after the Maj. Hasan massacre: it was declared workplace violence while Eric Holder deployed an entire army of consultants to Chicago to address an incident of simple assault — by a woman who tugged on a woman’s headscarf after complaining loudly about Hasan in a store.

Yes, she broke the law by touching the other woman. But millions of us have experienced far, far worse violence, verbal abuse, and violations of personal space in the cities we live in, with no recourse to police, let alone what happened next.

The woman was charged with hate crime, immediately, and made to prostrate herself in court before an army of activists. She received a stiff sentence, utterly disproportional to the crime, and of course nobody in the local ACLU whined about the disproportionality. She was made to apologize to the woman, her family, and her community.

We are moving closer and closer to fascist control of language and thought through our hate crime laws, accompanied, as always, by corresponding diminishment of punishments for even vile crime committed by offenders from protected ethnic and racial communities.

In other words, we are entering another lynching era.”

It is representative of the other 83 comments. The people who make the country work, and are demonized for their efforts, are growing short tempered.

Bob Ludwick


I have a policy that I apply to anything I hear from a policy maker or

bureaucrat: I treat anything they say as potential disinformation or misinformation. The difference: disinformation is a false statement or statements where the agent offering the statement or statements knows these to be false; misinformation is a statement or statements where the agent offering the information believes these falsehoods to be true.

This is another example of why I find this belief correct in most instances:


A series of statements this week from Obama administration officials have left a murky picture about whether four people caught last month crossing the United States border from Mexico had ties to terrorist groups.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, raised the issue last month when he said he had heard that individuals with terrorist ties to the Middle East had been caught crossing the border. Other Republican members of Congress have made similar claims since.

Responding to news reports about those remarks, Marsha Catron, the Department of Homeland Security’s press secretary, said Wednesday in a prepared statement that the suggestion that individuals with ties to the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, had crossed the border was “categorically false.”

“DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border,”

the statement said.

Then on Thursday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told an audience in Washington that four people had in fact been apprehended, but that their “supposed link” to terrorism was “a claim by the individuals themselves” that they were members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Johnson described as “an organization that is actually fighting against ISIL and defended Kurdish territory in Iraq.”


◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo



There is one time-tested effective way to stop the spread of an

epidemic: Quarantine. People arriving from places where a dangerous disease is present spend its incubation period plus a safety margin in isolation with no visible symptoms before being allowed entry.

Inconvenient, yes. And expensive in direct proportion to how comfortable we want to make the experience – it could range from tent cities on underused military bases to rented rural resort hotels. But practically doable, and cheap compared to the costs of a significant outbreak here.

Why aren’t we doing this? The short answer is, politically correct incompetence. Paul Rahe addresses this question in more detail at




Now for some good news:

Philip of Macedon’s tomb found?



Roland Dobbins


"You would think that carrying around a Nobel Prize would be uneventful, and it was uneventful, until I tried to leave Fargo with it, and went through the X-ray machine."



Roland Dobbins

But it could become a bad day. 




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