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If an IT guy from Bakersfield can come up with a plan to contain Ebola, why can't the head of CDC?
Does the government even have a plan?
The most recent narrative among the punditry and America's ever-present race-baiting community is that the death of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola within the United States, died because of racism. Now, I've heard about the EMR system issue that led to his being sent home with antibiotics the first time he went to the hospital, which the hospital now seems to be covering up, but to date, there has been no believable evidence suggesting that Duncan received sub-par medical care due to his race. Not that it takes any evidence to get people hyped up about allegations of racism these days.
Truth be told, the "racism" angle is just a distraction from the real, serious issues about the spread of Ebola. As more time goes on, and the outbreak gets worse in West Africa, the danger that Ebola will continue to spread worldwide continues to deepen. A nurse in Dallas who treated Thomas Duncan has now been diagnosed with Ebola. A nurse in Spain who had treated two missionaries who died from Ebola has herself been diagnosed with the disease. Every day, there are more rumors that another infected person may have entered the U.S.
The CDC continues to tell us that cutting off flights out of West Africa would cause more harm than good, yet it is difficult for those of us who possess common sense to see the reasoning there. Containment is absolutely vital to stopping this plague, but the authorities entrusted with protecting us refuse to take the necessary steps to contain Ebola.
According to the head of the CDC, "Even if we tried to close the border, it wouldn't work. People have a right to return. People transiting through could come in. And it would backfire, because by isolating these countries, it'll make it harder to help them, it will spread more there and we'd be more likely to be exposed here." This is coming from the same government that shut down flights to Israel right after one Hamas rocket destroyed a house that was kind of close to an Israeli airport. If it's politically expedient, this administration will do it...but perhaps they're too afraid of being accused of racism themselves to take real action to contain Ebola.
The assumption on the part of Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, seems to be that if we shut down flights out of West Africa, that somehow means that aid workers won't be able to get in to help treat people in the affected areas. But the U.S. military has already started operations to help fight Ebola. Why not have military flights to take aid workers there? It wouldn't be difficult to set up an application process for medical personnel to get transport from the United States to West Africa.
If an IT guy from Bakersfield can come up with a plan to contain Ebola, why can't the head of the Centers for Disease Control?
What will we do if someone infected with Ebola travels from West Africa to Mexico, or somewhere else in Central America, and an outbreak starts there? We're already struggling to deal with multiple outbreaks of Enterovirus D68, which just happened to pop up right after a flood of unaccompanied minors entered our nation and were subsequently spread far and wide across the U.S. by our government. That virus is killing children, or leaving them paralyzed. We weren't equipped to handle a single case of Ebola in Texas; I guarantee you that we are completely unprepared to handle the deluge of refugees fleeing Ebola that will come when people start flooding into the United States, no matter where they come from. And remember, all Thomas Eric Duncan had to do to get from Liberia to the U.S. was to lie while filling out a questionnaire.
What if, God forbid, a few ISIS or Al Qaida terrorists were to travel to West Africa and purposefully get Ebola, so they could travel to population centers in the U.S. or Europe and infect people? The idea is not all that farfetched. But no, by all means, let's leave the borders wide open.
Many on the Left are also blaming budget "cuts" for the CDC's bungling on Ebola. The dreaded "Sequester," it seems, has reared its ugly head yet again. But as usual, the truth tells a different story. Our government spends more money today than it ever has. Even the Sequester didn't actually cut anything - it just shaved a tiny amount off of the rate at which spending was growing. Our federal government wastes well over $100 billion annually. If any federal agency is truly underfunded, it's more likely because some other agency squandered the funds on something stupid than that any politician actually cut the budget.
And then there are the rumors that Ebola may have mutated, and could now be airborne. The CDC has yet to even acknowledge the possibility, as this would be the worst case scenario, and they don't want to cause a panic...and yet, the more people become infected, the more likely it is that the virus will mutate, making it that much more important to take real action to contain the outbreak in West Africa.
The most frightening thing about all of this is that the United States government does not seem to be taking the threat of Ebola seriously. The World Health Organization is estimating that within two months, we could be seeing ten thousand new cases of Ebola every week! Unfortunately for the U.S. and nations across the world who look to us for leadership, we likely won't see a strong response to this oncoming storm until it is upon us.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)