Renowned neurosurgeon and possible 2016 presidential hopeful, Dr. Benjamin Carson criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monday for bringing two Ebola infected missionaries to the U.S. for treatment, citing the highly contagious and deadly nature of the disease.
"Why would we bring that into our country? Why would we expose ourselves when we already know that there are problems that can occur and have occurred," said Carson, who is a former director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and Hospital, in an interview with Newsmax TV.
"Ebola is a terrifying disease. If you don't treat it, close to 90 percent of the people will die," said Carson.
- (Photo: Reuters)
Two missionaries, Dr. Ken Brantly, 33, who works with Samaritan's Purse and Nancy Writebol, 59, an aid worker with SIM, are both being treated at a special unit set up at Emory University Hospital in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, after being infected with the deadly virus while working in Liberia. They were both flown to the U.S. in the last few days after receiving doses of a trial serum call ZMapp and are now reportedly improving.
Dr. Carson, however, does not believe it was a wise move to treat them stateside.
"I'm a little concerned that we're bringing it back here. I think we have the ability to treat it in other places," said Carson.
"The reason I would be concerned about bringing it back here is because it is transmitted primarily through bodily fluids. And it can actually survive outside of the host, outside of the body for several days at least. Which means that, let's say a container or urine or vomit or whatever for whatever reason, gets disseminated into the public, you got a big problem," he noted.
"Why do we even risk such a thing when we can send experts elsewhere? We can send a plane equipped to handle this somewhere to land. We can create parts of a hospital somewhere. We have lots of options," explained Carson.
When asked if he thought it was a mistake for the CDC and Emory University Hospital to bring the missionaries back to the U.S. for treatment, Carson said: "I certainly would treat it where it is and then once we have cured the individuals, bring them back with open arms."
"It is a highly contagious disease and all it requires is infractions in some procedures and all of a sudden you got more spread, and that's what I am afraid of," said Carson.