Of all the examples of incompetence and failure to protect Americans that the Obama administration has displayed, its failure to keep Ebola out of our country may be the worst. Obama's No. 1 job is to keep dangerous people from coming into America, and he has flunked the test.
Ebola is a particularly horrible disease. Infected patients face a death rate of 25 to 90 percent.
Long ago, our country designated Ellis Island as a place where people could be held until we decided whether or not to let them in. Disease is one of the major reasons why, over the years, thousands of people have been denied entry and returned to wherever they came from. more >>
Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, who became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States on Sept. 30, died Wednesday.
"It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan at 7:51 a.m. Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing. We have offered the family our support and condolences at this difficult time," said a statement from Texas Health Resources.
A report in The New York Times said Duncan was being treated with the experimental antiviral drug brincidofovir. He had been listed as nonresponsive and critical as his condition worsened over the last few days. more >>
Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who named Ebola and was part of a team of scientists who discovered the virus in Kinshasa, formerly Zaire, in 1976, says the Ebola outbreak is no longer an epidemic but a "human catastrophe" he never thought "could get this bad."
"It should be clear to all of us: This isn't just an epidemic any more. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. We don't just need care personnel, but also logistics experts, trucks, jeeps and foodstuffs. Such an epidemic can destabilize entire regions. I can only hope that we will be able to get it under control. I really never thought that it could get this bad," said Piot when asked if the world had lost control of the Ebola epidemic in an interview with The Guardian.
"I have always been an optimist and I think that we now have no other choice than to try everything, really everything. It's good that the United States and some other countries are finally beginning to help. But Germany or even Belgium, for example, must do a lot more," he explained. more >>
Despite assurances from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden and the White House that there is no need to ban travel from Ebola affected countries, calls have increased to do just that since America publicly confirmed its first case last Tuesday.
"This seems to be an obvious step to protect public health in the United States," said Republican Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal in calling for a travel ban, according to a report in The Times-Picayune last Friday.
Jindal, one of the first politicians to publicly call for a travel ban to Ebola affected West African countries explained that if a case of Ebola is found in Louisiana he would take executive action and declare a public health emergency. This move would give him broad powers to suspend regular operation of state agencies. more >>
American charity Operation Blessing International has announced it's sending a team of aid workers with multiple chlorine generators and a shipping container full of critically needed hospital supplies to Liberia, one of the countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak.
The faith-based relief group is the latest to join in the fight against the deadly virus, which has killed over 3,400 people throughout West Africa, and has reached the United States.
"Chlorine is one of the most important tools in the fight against Ebola because it kills the virus on contact," OBI president Bill Horan explained in a press release. more >>
Some 3,000 American soldiers are arriving in Africa to fight an Ebola epidemic that is doubling about every 3 weeks, with the number of infections projected to reach 1.4 million by January. President Obama said: "It will require an 'air bridge' to get health workers and medical supplies to areas that are affected."
Meanwhile, the virus has used the air bridge of a commercial flight to reach Dallas. So far, only the index patient is ill, but 100 contacts are being observed.
Although a large number of experts agree that the likelihood of a widespread outbreak is "vanishingly small," owing to our "highly sophisticated public health system," a number of breaches in our invulnerability are already manifest. more >>