Seeking clarity about Ebola? Good luck getting past ‘trust us’

Are you confused about the recent outbreak of Ebola? Worried? Unsure what to believe?

Well, dear reader, you are in luck. We are pleased today to bring you “In the News,” in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Let’s begin with the director of the CDC, Tom Frieden, Sept. 30 vintage. How confident would you say you are that U.S. health authorities can keep Ebola from spreading beyond its first U.S. documented case in Dallas, Texas?

“I have no doubt that we will control this importation or case of Ebola so it does not spread widely in this country.”

That’s good to hear. And how many individuals may have been exposed to the patient?

“I think handful is the right characterization.”

Excellent. Now we turn to Tom Frieden, Oct. 2 vintage. Is “handful” still the right estimate?

“At this point the teams on the ground … are assessing about 100 people to determine whether or not they have had contact.”

Oh. We see. Well, let’s move on to officials with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where this individual was treated. With us is hospital epidemiologist Edward Goodman, Sept. 30 vintage. How prepared would you say your hospital was to deal with a case of Ebola?

“Ironically enough in the week before this patient presented, we had a meeting of all the stakeholders that might be involved in the care of such a patient. Because of that we were well-prepared to deal with this crisis.”

Very good. And now we have the chief clinical officer for the non-profit company that runs the hospital, Daniel Varga, Oct. 15 vintage. Do you believe the hospital’s preparation showed in its treatment of the patient?

“Unfortunately … despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes. We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry.”

Yes, we suppose so. What about the nurse who treated the patient, then flew between Dallas and Cleveland, and a day after returning showed symptoms of Ebola. What is the CDC’s position on her traveling, Tom Frieden of Oct. 15?

“She should not have traveled on a commercial airline.”

So it seems. And what about the CDC spokesperson quoted in news reports on Oct. 15? Anything to add?

“(The nurse) was not told that she could not fly.”

Uh-huh. And why, Dr. Frieden of Oct. 15, shouldn’t someone exposed to Ebola travel by plane or, say, a public bus?

“You might become ill, you might have a problem that exposes someone around you.”

It sounds like the people on the nurse’s plane should be concerned.

“(T)he answer is no. … I don’t think that changes the level of risk of people around her.”

Ah. Mmmm. Well.

Dear reader, it seems we may not be able to bring you clarity from public health officials about the Ebola outbreak. So for our last question, we turn to you:

The president canceled travel plans to hold cabinet meetings about Ebola. Two schools in Ohio closed even though no one in their community so much as glimpsed the sick nurse. In light of what we’re hearing from the CDC, is it any surprise the overarching message of “trust us” isn’t being heeded?

Reader Comments 0

180 comments
Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

The longer this thing has dragged on the happier I am we have a thinker in the WH.

He listened to the experts and that was certainly the right thing to do.

One imagines a Republican president would have acted like a Peggy Noonan which would have only made matters much worse.



Jazzpman
Jazzpman

Hello Republican's ..... are there  " Good luck getting past ‘trust us’ " on Georgia Employment or education ?

MrThomasAnthonyJones
MrThomasAnthonyJones

You are just trying to alarm people. Shame on you and other Republican supporters. That us what Republicans do. They try to scare people. Democrats work. Republicans scare. You choose.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

FLASHBACK: When Conservative Media Didn't Care That Bush's Bird Flu Czar Had No Medical Experience

"when the president was George Bush, the health fear was thebird flu virus, and Bush's czar had no medical background. Note that prior to becoming the nation's bird flu czar, Bush's point-person served as general counsel for Amtrak. In 2004, Bush's bird flu czar was Stewart Simonson. He worked as an assistant secretary of health and human services for public health emergency preparedness. And although he had no medical experience or expertise in public health, he did enjoy a noted career as a Republican political insider."


http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/eric-boehlert/59113/flashback-when-conservative-media-didnt-care-that-bushs-bird-flu-czar-had-no-medical-experience

coj
coj

Seems conservatives are trying to disseminate misinformation about ebola to spread fear as an election ploy. They say ebola is an airborne disease or spread through water. What nonsense. This is what happens when you believe corporate shills (politicians) over scientists.


And isn't it interesting that it was a private religious hospital that screwed up.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@coj You proggies have it all wrong, no Conservative is fearful of Ebola, what they are fearful of is a government so incompetent that they say things like "you can give it on a bus, but not get it", or ANY hospital in America can handle an Ebola case".  Fearful of a government that thinks they have all the answers, but many of the ones they give us, are wrong.


Proggies just can't help themselves from throwing out that "PRIVATE" hospital and "TEXAS" nonsense. What has that to do with anything, other than you prefer government run socialist healthcare, like they have in Africa, I presume.  Frieden said ANY hospital in America can handle it, he didn't put any qualifiers on the statement.  


Conservatives are afraid of the decline in government reliability and truthfulness that seems to get worse everyday. 

DumbandDumber
DumbandDumber

They were stupid to ever say "no worries" instead of just saying the obvious, that it is a deadly virus that must be dealt with aggressively.


I'm just glad to hear that centuries of settled science has been thrown out the door and quarantines are now harmful in the fight against ebola. Shucks, we are ordered to keep our kids home from school if they had a temperature of 100+ the DAY BEFORE, but it is ok to travel from ebola countries? Crazy, no, criminally negligent is probably a better word.


But we need more government! How would we know what to do without such talented people telling us right from wrong?



ComaToes
ComaToes

My 85 yr. old grandmother summed it up pretty well.  She's just watching too much news lately and it's all running together for her.  She said, "  Those people are so mean over there in Ebola, I hope they all come down with the Isis."   It was just too good to even try to correct her.  

Jazzpman
Jazzpman

Kyle what I see is a Republican base who won't look at reality.

Georgia last in September employment, the stats just came out again today......and who knows how far down in education.. so scare the heck out of folks about Ebola, and hey it is almost Halloween !


Tricks not treats for Georgia taxpayers yet again !

iRun
iRun

"There have more Americans married to Kim Kardashian than have died from  Ebola."

- Thomas "EVD" Jefferson

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Why has no new health workers in Texas come down with the disease ?  Are you sad you can't hype it up more ?

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Why the concern? Just yesterday, a representative from the CDC offered new protocols for hospital workers.

Double up on the gloves.

Yet, a week ago, Frieden was saying doubling up on gloves was a violation of protocol.

"These are good, dedicated people who worried about themselves and their families and they were trying to protect themselves better, but in fact by putting on more layers of gloves or other protective clothing, it becomes much harder to put them on, it becomes much harder to take them off," Frieden said Wednesday.

Are we clear?

schnirt

Eustis
Eustis

The Republicam MO is to spread fear.

Apparently, they have nothing else.

Smokeyone
Smokeyone

I bet the Ebola news sensationalism starts fading away once the mid term elections are complete.

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

Mr. Wingfield:

You're an educated man. Educate yourself about Ebola Sudan, Ebola Zaire, Ebola Reston (Marburg and Hantavirus) and all the other viruses that cause Hemorrhagic Fevers. Please stop spreading hysteria. I suggest you look no further than your local library and start with Laurie Garret's "A Coming Plague" published in 1994.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Kyle no one on the republican side is 'seeking clarity'.

They are seeking to obsfuscate, to win political points.

One person from Liberia came here and exposed two nurses.  He died, they have survived so far.

That's the end of the outbreak in the States.  Your fear based political campaigns are a disgrace.

332-206
332-206

Ebola became the 'Pubs next man up, after the Obamacare & Benghazi screeds gained less and less traction..

Chris30338
Chris30338

One other thing that shows that ignorance bred hysteria far outweighs the facts with Ebola. The only two people who caught Ebola in this country were the two nurses who had to help clean up the Ebola patient's bodily fluids. They are the ONLY TWO CONFIRMED cases of people who have caught EBOLA from someone in this country and they were the one's in direct contact with his bodily fluids.  No one on the plane the Ebola infected nurse traveled with has gotten Ebola and I doubt they will. You have to get pretty close and personal with an infected patient's bodily fluids to get this disease. Yet, people in Dallas are closing schools because of this. It's ridiculous.


10's OF THOUSANDS of people die of the flue every year in this country and we shrug our shoulders. ONE person dies of Ebola (mainly because they started treating this poor guy late) and everyone 's worried about getting Ebola.


Knowledge. Facts. Evidence. These are pretty powerful tools. You can either use these tools or buy into the ignorant hysteria because you're...........ignorant.

AvailableName
AvailableName

In light of what we’re hearing from the CDC, is it any surprise the overarching message of “trust us” isn’t being heeded?


Yes it is, other than the fact that you, Fox News and the entire right wing media are playing political games.  All we get from your side of the aisle is that it's Obama's fault and set up a quarantine of Africa.  I should go with that rather than CDC and NIH?  I think not.

Chris30338
Chris30338

And looks like the screw ups by the hospital in Dallas seems to have spurred other hospitals out of their sense of complacency. Case in point, had to go in to see my GP at Emory and the first question they asked me on the phone when I made the appointment was if I had traveled to West Africa or had any close contact with anyone from West Africa. Same thing when I checked in for my appointment.


So hospitals are cleaning up their act. Frankly, given the nature of the disease, I wouldn't even be too worried if my neighbor got diagnosed with Ebola. Seriously, the hysteria about this disease is simply mind boggling. The idiots who are most worried about catching Ebola couldn't even find Liberia on a map so the hysteria is based on ignorance and nothing else.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Chris30338  You wouldn't care if your neighbor got ebola?  With an 80% mortality rate?  What if your neighbor had a kid that was in your kid's classroom?  Are you worried now?  What if your neighbor just returned from West Africa, had helped a woman who later died of ebola, but did not disclose this fact?

Chris30338
Chris30338

@class80olddog @Chris30338 Your post shows a lot of the ignorance that I pointed out here. Ebola is passed primarily through contact with bodily fluids. Since I and my neighbor don't share those, transmission of the disease is very much in doubt. Case in point: Both the healthcare workers who got sick with Ebola in this country were in direct contact with the Ebola patient's bodily fluids. No one else in this country has contracted Ebola. And as JDW pointed out, schools don't allow kids in school if they have a fever and plus I doubt my 10 year old daughter would be coming in contact with any other kid's bodily fluids. 


Looks like despite of the facts to the contrary, you seem to have bought into the Ebola hysteria hook, line and sinker.

TheRealJDW
TheRealJDW

@class80olddog


O' My...first off the mortality rate is around 50% in places where medical care is sorely lacking...likely less here.


As for transmission..it is ONLY transmitted once a patient shows symptoms  and via boldly fluids so....


As for the kid in the classroom...schools don't allow kids with fever so that is a non starter.  


Relative to your neighbor...if they are sick don't touch bodily fluids...in any case


There you are now 100% secure.  BTW Google is a wonderful way to fact check some of that erroneous information your post contains. 

Chris30338
Chris30338

Kyle,

The Ebola hysteria is largely fed by the media and Republican politicians sensing an opportunity. The first real Ebola patient in this country (not counting those that were flown in to be treated here) went to a PRIVATE hospital that didn't even have protocols in place to deal with the disease even though it has been in the news for over 6 months. They even sent this guy home after he TOLD them that he had traveled from Liberia and suspected he had Ebola. And since they had no protocols, their staff started getting sick. No one seems to be questioning that screw-up. Sure, there have been screw ups by the CDC but all things considered, we don't have a pandemic on our hands except in the imaginations of the right-wing. Second, a travel ban would be useless since there are (and correct me on this if I'm wrong) no direct flights to and from Liberia to the US. Any US citizen of Liberian or West African origin can catch a flight to the US by connecting through any number of international airports as they normally would as there are no direct flights. So, let me repeat, what use is a travel ban when you cannot enforce it.  



RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Chris30338 What's to worrry about, I heard the CDC director say you could safely sit by an infected Ebola patient on an airplane and not catch the illness.  He said he would sit by one.


Then we learn that they are chasing hundreds of folks, who didn't sit by the infected patient, but just shared a plane.   We learned that Frontier has cleaned the plane in question five times to rid it on the virus.


We had the CDC director state that any hospital in America could safely treat an Ebola patient, he made no distinctions.  Turns out that wasn't true.


So, it turns out that incorrect information provided by government officials is what is feeding this hysteria, people wonder whatever else they told us that is not true.



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister @Chris30338 What's to worry about, I heard the CDC director say you could safely sit by an infected Ebola patient on an airplane and not catch the illness.  He said he would sit by one.


Right...And id take his word for it...He has dealt with lots of infectious diseases like tb and by all accounts been very successful dealing with them... Especially in India.


Part of his job is to calm people down and talk them off the ledge..Not much he can do if they decide to jump. 


Again ill defer to the experts on this and not just assume everything they are doing is wrong. Are they capable of mistakes...Sure...But more often than not they are going to be right.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister @Chris30338 From 1996 to 2002, Frieden was based in India, assisting with national tuberculosis control efforts. As a medical officer for the World Health Organization on loan from the CDC, he helped the government of India implement the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP).[9][10][11][12] The 2008 RNTCP status report estimates the nationwide program resulted in 8 million treatments and 1.4 million saved lives.


Thats 1.4 million saved lives. Ill say again.


1.4 million


So can we give the man a chance to do his damn job please ?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Frieden

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Chris30338  I heard that even though he told them he traveled from Liberia, he denied being in contact with anyone who had ebola, when in fact he had helped a pregnant woman who later died of ebola.  Look at my questions from earlier in the blog.  Did he, in fact, know that he had ebola, and traveled to this country to get treated for it, even though he had no health insurance? 

Trefusis
Trefusis

@Chris30338  None.  I mean so many people want to say that nothing good can come from this unscientific politicization.  You must know that it comes from Left as well.  It's all so inexcusable and counterproductive, but you'd sooner produce a Unicorn than shame a politician.  Had this health scare blown up two months after rather than two months prior to the midterm elections, everybody could've been so much more rational. 

Chris30338
Chris30338

@RafeHollister @Chris30338 So you're blaming the CDC because ONE PRIVATE hospital was woefully ill-prepared??? I mean seriously, anyone watching the news knew that Liberia was a hotbed of Ebola; this guy walks in and says he's sick and handled Ebola victims in Liberia and they SENT HIM HOME??? The interesting thing is that no one else seems to have gotten sick except for the nurses who had the most direct contact with this poor guy's bodily fluids which seems to bear out the fact that you can't catch Ebola through casual contact. Second: Has anyone caught the disease on a flight because they sat next to someone with Ebola? I haven't heard anything to support that conclusion either. SO again, the facts and evidence don't support the hysteria.


So you can either look at the facts about this disease or you can buy into the ignorance based hysteria with everyone else.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Chris30338 You guys do not read or comprehend well, where did I say I was afraid of being infected.


I'm afraid of a government so afraid to tell us the truth and so inept they can't decide what is the right strategy.  Not sure what a "private hospital" has to do with anything, other than you socialist want to point blame at any private healthcare facility.  The CDC director said ANY hospital can handle it, he didn't say ANY hospital with adequate training can handle it.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

“The Ebola crisis continues to be a serious concern here in Georgia. The President’s lack of leadership on the matter is putting American lives at risk.


- David Perdue


This is the BS we get from the other side....Of course he supports the Travel Ban..Because he clearly knows better that the CDC experts.


Give me a break

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@DawgDadII @HeadleyLamar She probably does but I doubt her heart is in it.


Republicans have forced Democrats to take a position on this. And they have successfully framed the issue like this.


If you are against a Travel Ban...you are Pro Ebola. Which is nonsense but that is the over simplified way people are going to see it. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@HeadleyLamar @DawgDadII Michelle once again pretending to be something she is not, in an effort to fool the voters, right Headley?  The Great Pretender is not just a Platters gold record hit.

Smokeyone
Smokeyone

@HeadleyLamar @DawgDadII That's the thing about Dems. They don't have the guts to push back and that's how they end up voting for a war they weren't convinced was right.

fez
fez

@RafeHollister EVERY politician tells you what you want to hear, whether genuine or truthful or not.  Stop pretending that it only happens with one political party.  Most are in the legal profession, so they're proficient in bending the truth or speaking in a convincing manner.  Two sides of the same coin.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

Despite the mistakes and current level of hysteria, this statement appears to still be holding true:


“I have no doubt that we will control this importation or case of Ebola so it does not spread widely in this country.”


Go get your flu shots folks. You have a better chance of catching that at the moment . . . on planes even.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

@Yes_Jesus_Can  -- “why in the world would a bamster have him as head of CDC.  Speaking,”.

Speaking?Really?It takes a little more than being able to “Speak” effectively.  Here's his bio:

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the nation’s top public health official, has always overcome obstacles. He stopped outbreaks of tuberculosis in New York City and made headway against the disease in India.Dr. Frieden’s job is a delicate one. He must strike a balance between informing the public and keeping it from panicking. “He’s not a warm and fuzzy guy,” said Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “He cuts to the chase. What does the data say? Boom boom boom.”


Many public health experts defend the job he is doing. They say he is managing during a fast-moving crisis, with limited information and partial authority. The C.D.C. must be invited in by states, which have strong powers.Nearly all health experts say that the infection of two nurses, while tragic, does not constitute an uncontrolled outbreak,


“It’s like being on a battlefield,” said Dr. Kenneth Bernard, who was special assistant to President George W. Bush on biodefense from 2002 to 2005. “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”

Trefusis
Trefusis

@DebbieDoRight @Yes_Jesus_Can  Yeah, Kyle, I agree with Debbie opposite the aisle.  Let the AJC, above all outlets, tell the nation first who this man is and why and how this happened.  Yet once again the Paper hiccupped.  Very bad Journalism.

lvg
lvg

"""Pollsters at TDC Opinion Research created a hypothetical "conservative alternative" to Obamacare and asked a sample of 2,000 registered Republicans if they approved of the proposal.

"Republicans in the House have proposed a new universal health insurance program based on the ideas of Ronald Reagan," the poll asked, "This program - called Reagancare - mandates Americans take individual responsibility for their health by requiring them to purchase insurance from private companies.

"It also creates health exchanges where people can use the power of the free market to buy policies, and provides modest subsides to those who cannot afford to pay the full cost. Do you support Reagancare?" 

Despite the details of "Reagancare" being identical to President Obama's Affordable Care Act, nearly two-thirds of Republicans said they supported it, with 27 percent opposed and 8 percent undecided.""""""""""""""


http://dailycurrant.com/2013/10/03/poll-republicans-support-obamacare-if-called-reagancare/

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@lvg You realize the Daily Currant is a satire site, right?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar I can appreciate good satire, regardless of the target. This is just a reminder of why I prefer The Onion.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Kyle_Wingfield @lvg "I don't know there's just something about the word Reagan that makes it work,"says Todd Johnson, an unemployed civil war reenactment specialist from Huntsville, Alabama. "It sounds lighter, more bright and optimistic. Obamacare has a very dark tone to it. It seems shadowy and ominous.


Yes it is but that is funny.


Humor is the good natured side of a truth.


- Mark Twain