Health experts all over the United States are promising us that we do not need to be worried about Ebola whatsoever. Even though one case has already been confirmed in Dallas, Texas and another potential case is being monitored, health authorities assure us that we have the greatest health system in the history of the planet, and that we will be able to handle any isolated cases very easily. And all over the mainstream media on Wednesday, there were headlines declaring that the arrival of Ebola in America is a non-event. One example is this headline from Bloomberg: "Ebola in America? Don't Worry About It." So, are they right? Should the rest of us just kick back and relax because a bunch of really smart guys are assuring us that our health system can easily deal with anything that Ebola can throw at us? The following are 10 quotes from prominent experts promising us that Ebola will not be a problem in this country…
#1 Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "We feel confident that there won't be an outbreak."
#2 University of Chicago professor Michael Z. David: "While this all sounds very frightening, there's no need to worry at this point about Ebola spreading widely here."
#3 Gerardo Chowell-Puente, an associate professor of mathematical epidemiology at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University: "Math and history show us that decisive efforts to isolate those who are infected with Ebola and to follow up quickly with the potential contacts of the infected can help to get an outbreak under control. We're lucky that we have such capacities in the United States; even with the Ebola case in Dallas, the epidemic should not get much of a foothold here."
#4 Texas Health Director David Lakey: "This is a very sophisticated city, a very sophisticated hospital … and the chances of it being spread are very, very scarce."
#5 Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health & Human Services: "This is not Africa. We have a great infrastructure to deal with an outbreak."
#6 Dr. William Shaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center: "We're very prepared: Infection-control people in hospitals over the past two months have been reviewing all their infection- control procedures because we anticipated just this sort of thing happening—a person coming from West Africa, they were healthy at the time they traveled, but got sick here."
#7 Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC: "It is certainly possible that someone who has had contact with this patient could develop Ebola, but there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here."
#8 Dr. William Shaffner: "Even Doctors Without Borders in West Africa are moving the fatality rate from 50 percent down to 30 percent—I bet we can do substantially better than that here."
#9 Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston: "The Ebola virus is not easily transmitted from person to person, and we have an outstanding infrastructure in place both to contain the virus and trace contacts. There will not be an Ebola epidemic in the United States."
#10 Thomas Frieden: "The bottom line here is that I have no doubt that we will control this importation or this case of Ebola so that it does not spread widely throughout this country."
So are they right?
I don't know.
I hope that they are.
But considering how out of control the Ebola pandemic in West Africa is, I wouldn't be as dogmatic as those experts are being.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to act as if nothing has changed either. Even though a number of other nations have shut down all air traffic to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, Obama still refuses to restrict air travel to and from those countries…
After U.S. officials disclosed another potential case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas, this morning, the question remains whether the Obama administration will finally stop flights from Ebola-stricken countries as multiple nations did over a month ago.
In mid-August, Korean Air and Kenya Airways announced they were halting flights to the West African countries ravaged by Ebola, and British Airways and Air France also decided to suspend service to the Ebola hot zone a few weeks later.
"France is recommending that its citizens leave Sierra Leone and Liberia, two of the countries hardest hit by the worst ever outbreak of the disease," Jessica Plautz reported for Mashable. "The government said the increasing spread of the disease prompted its request that the airline to suspend flights."
Yet the Obama administration made no such request to U.S. airlines and government flights, despite the Center of Disease Control advising Americans to avoid "non-essential travel" to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea several weeks ago.
Obama says that he has a tremendous amount of confidence in the "extensive screening" at our airports.
Would that be the same "extensive screening" that some CNN employees recently experienced?…
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said when she and two colleagues recently returned from reporting in Liberia, they got a mixed bag of responses from Customs and Border Protection officers.
"We all said we were journalists who had just been in Liberia covering Ebola," Cohen said. "One of my colleagues was told, 'Oh, OK, welcome back home, sir' — and (was) just let in — that was it."
Cohen herself got a different response.
"I was told, 'Wait a minute, I think I got an email about this,' and the border patrol officer went and consulted with his colleagues," Cohen said.
That officer later told her she should check her system for 21 days.
"I said, 'What should I be checking?' And he wasn't sure," Cohen said.
And even though it has already been demonstrated that someone from West Africa can bring Ebola over to the U.S. on an airplane, authorities all over the country seem content to proceed with business as usual.
For example, according to Fox News, college students from West Africa "may be subject to extra health checks."
Or they might not.
No big deal, right?
After all, if a case or two of Ebola does pop up, our health authorities can easily take care of the situation like the experts are saying.
The truth is that we aren't talking about measles or the flu here. We are talking about one of the deadliest diseases ever known to mankind.
I think that John Little summarized what we are potentially facing very well…
When you look closely at this virus, it's hard to see any reason for optimism. It really is one of the most horrifying viruses known to man. It is massively contagious. It has an extremely low survival rate. Those that survive will often die later on – from organ failure, because of the massive internal damage this virus causes to even those who survive.
So those experts better be right.
They better be able to stop this virus just like they are saying.
Because if not, they are going to have to deal with millions of Americans that are extremely angry that they got lied to.
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