Patterico's Pontifications


No Need to Worry About Ebola: Obama and Your Friendly Federal Government Are On The Case!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:09 pm

Obama, September 16, 2014:

First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low. We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States. In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home. We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus. We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.

A job well done:

Mai Wureh told The Associated Press that her brother, Thomas Eric Duncan, went to a Dallas emergency room on Friday and was sent home with antibiotics. He returned two days later after his condition worsened and was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Mark Lester confirmed Wednesday that a nurse asked Duncan on his first visit whether he had been in an area affected by the Ebola outbreak that has killed thousands in West Africa, but that “information was not fully communicated throughout the whole team.”

Feeling reassured by your government yet? Keep reading:

Duncan, who is in his mid-40s, came in contact with 12 to 18 people after developing symptoms of the deadly disease, health officials said Wednesday during a news conference at Presbyterian.

Of those contacts, five are Dallas ISD students who attend four campuses: Tasby Middle School, Hotchkiss Elementary School, Dan D. Rogers Elementary and Conrad High School. They aren’t showing symptoms of the virus and officials are now monitoring them at home, Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles said.

So don’t worry. Officials are closely monitoring those 12 people. Or . . . 18 people. Or . . . you know. Whatever.

There is, by the way, a second possible case, related to the first.

As another aside, you should be aware that there is a mathemetician who developed a model to predict the severity of Ebola outbreaks — so, science is on this, and you can relax. Read more about it from this October 2012 piece. Or, conversely, read more about it from this September 2014 piece, in which the author of the study says the model is useless to predict this current outbreak (referring to the one in Africa), which is, quote, “out of all proportion and on an unprecedented scale when compared to previous outbreaks.”

I do not recommend panicking. I do recommend that residents of Dallas behave as if they do not trust experts to be omniscient. I especially recommend that they behave as if they do not necessarily trust their government to tell them the truth.

43 Responses to “No Need to Worry About Ebola: Obama and Your Friendly Federal Government Are On The Case!”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Is this thread going to take over activity from the last Ebola thread?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  3. Mathematical models, like Climate scientists use?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  4. The biggest issue confronting the Obama White House: how do we blame this on BUSH!?!

    navyvet (ec562e)

  5. There is discussion as to whether Obama wanted Ebola to get here, as we have not barred flights from west Africa like Britain and France have:

    But this fellow flew to Belgium, and unless they are stopping people on the road at borders, he could just as easily shown up in Paris or London, true?

    Even those of us who have always felt president Obama was of the kind of folk who are domestic terrorists that blow up things, guilt by association sometimes is true, even I would find it hard to believe he would invite an Ebola crisis. for what purpose? anarchy and martial law, cancel elections? I’m sure Bill Ayers would do that, so maybe it’s not impossible to think Obama would.
    but I’m inclined to think it is a combination of incompetence, arrogance to not realize his incompetence, and a focus on PR and political instead of the reality of governance.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  6. The USDA will ask you if you’ve petted a dog while overseas, though. And God help you if they catch you with fresh fruit.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. Just to keep people interested, those who have not read Clancy”s “Executive Orders” might benefit from doing so. Being a novel, it documents nothing other than what might happen, someday. Sadly, Clancy has a knack (had a knack) for letting his fiction end up being pretty close to fact. His “Debt of Honor” is an example. I recall people in significant government positions saying that they had no idea that people would actually fly airplanes into buildings. At that time I recall thinking that more officials should read more Clancy.

    Gramps, the original (7adb80)

  8. I’m not sure what your point is, Patterico, about referring to a mathematician who says his model doesn’t apply to the current situation.

    Previous outbreaks have all been limited in scope because of their inherent isolation, sparse population, and limited number of people to be observed and isolated.
    None of that is true in Liberia, especially, and it is not even true with this fellow now in Dallas.
    The case in Nigeria was easier. The fellow collapsed in the airport, contacts were limited in number and able to be tracked. secondary cases were known to be at risk, monitored, and isolated at fist sign of illness, just like in previous outbreaks in remote areas.
    We now this fellow was kept in contact with others at least 48 hours after symptoms, without precautions, in a heavily populated area.

    Issue #1, the reassuring scenarios of control in the US assumed people would do their jobs, not be incompetent. Every time one exposed individual has the opportunity to move to a geographically distinct area, even if only on the other side of Dallas, you have allowed the epidemic to break containment and need to make an additional effort to contain it again.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  9. I’m not sure what your point is, Patterico, about referring to a mathematician who says his model doesn’t apply to the current situation.

    Experts don’t know everything.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  10. Ok, we agree at that.
    so, science is on this, and you can relax.
    and that must have been sarcasm
    it’s late and time for bed, my sarcasm indicator is already shut down.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  11. From link at #5:

    The White House said Wednesday it will not impose travel restrictions or introduce new airport screenings to prevent additional cases of Ebola from entering the United States.

    Spokesman Josh Earnest said that current anti-Ebola measures, which include screenings in West African airports and observation of passengers in the United States, will be sufficient to prevent the “wide spread” of the virus.

    Huh, it must depend on one’s definition of “wide spread” because clearly those current anti-Ebola measures are in the process of *not* working.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  12. Acceptable losses.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. It applies to everything. From peeling potatoes to storming the beaches at Normandy. It’s a valid doctrine in the pursuit of a positive objective. Not so much for “It’s too distracting from the President’s golf game”.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. Since I live in Ebola-central, my college children have decided to never come home again. At least that is their excuse.

    Me, I’m just waiting to die a horrible death. Alone.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  15. Ag80, well Ebola has just provided the perfect excuse for you to go visit those college children.

    Dana (4dbf62)

  16. Dana:

    That would be just what they expect.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  17. The headline of this thread is perfect. I made the same point 24 hours ago on a well known blog.
    Obama has NO IDEA what he is doing. Those who Obama has hired, have no idea what they are doing. Professionals, even LIBTARD MORON Bureaucrats MIGHT have a clue, but they have no LEADERSHIP.
    In short Obama is a CLUSTERFUCK. A CLUSTERFUCK. He has the MIDAS touch in reverse. He is not able, he is not wise, he is not honest, he is not patriotic, and he lacks the skills necessary to lead a one horse parade TO WATER.

    Gus (7cc192)

  18. MOAR good news!

    well, i can’t afford a vacation there anyway… 😎

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  19. I’m still trying to decide if Ebola is another media over-hyped squirrel package to distract from ISIS and the election. It’s alleged seriousness when laid out against the CDC’s seeming unpreparedness and the government’s nonchalance about flights from Africa seems curious.

    elissa (68eca7)

  20. why does the State Department think it needs 160,000 Haz-Mat suits?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  21. from its past track record, i’d take Ebola extremely seriously.

    from the last 6 years, i would attribute the lack of preparation and nonchalance on ignorance, starting with the Oval Orifice, and sliding down hill from there.

    of course, from BamBam’s POV, he and his family are as safe as you can get, and if bad things happen to Amerikkka and all the racists in flyover country, that’s just a plus to him

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  22. Hey, let’s lighten things up a bit, shall we? It’s Jimmy Carter’s birthday and President Obama knows just the thing…..

    elissa (68eca7)

  23. Ref #12:
    “Acceptable losses.”
    nk (dbc370) — 10/1/2014 @ 9:04 pm
    = = = = = = =

    Unintended consequences? Collateral damage? Eggs and omelets?

    Oh, wait, I know: didn’t Dear Leader refer to The Benghazi Unpleasantness as “bumps in the road”?

    A_Nonny_Mouse (f576b4)

  24. And watch out for the killer bees too.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  25. Duncan knew he’d been exposed to Ebola before he left Africa. He’d had a US visa for a while but it would be interesting to learn on what date he made his airplane reservations.

    creeper (9275c7)

  26. Yeah. Do you think others will not try, by hook or by crook, to do the same? They know that if they land at an American airport, they will not be put on the next flight out. They will receive the best treatment we can offer. Meantime, we’ll have to worry about everybody they came into contact with on the way over.

    Has Obama-Lama-Ding-Dong averaged even par yet?

    nk (dbc370)

  27. Stop me if I’m wrong. But we are now the first nation outside of Africa to diagnose a case of Ebola within its borders?

    In other words, my assertion that Barack Obama was going to turn us into a third world nation has been borne out? We now have third world disease outbreaks.

    And we also have third world government officials lying to us. Note that is one thing we have in common with the Liberians, Cote D’Ivoirians, et al. If they resort to rioting, it’s because they think their government (and the NGOs who must be complicit since they are working with the government) are lying to them.

    Steve57 (b50fab)

  28. The Feds are continuing to feed Americans lies and bullsh*t, just as they have for the last 6 years. They treat citizens like children who can’t handle the truth.

    Colonel Haiku (ed365f)

  29. Of course, Obama’s on top of it. “According to Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad, minister of health and human services for the Nation of Islam,” the United States is responsible for the disease and its spread in the first place.

    Apparently, “just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone … the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus.”

    It would seem that “‘There is no natural disease called Ebola,’ … [rather it is] ‘weaponized virus’ rooted in chemical and biological weapons research by Germany in the 1930s and perfected in the United States. It is a weapon that can be used to depopulate, weaken and dominate nations.”

    What more objective of a source could you ask for than this? :

    Lorem Ipsum (cee048)

  30. I’m beginning to wonder if I should have bought travel insurance for my Thanksgiving trip to Dallas.

    aphrael (001863)

  31. Obama-Lama-Ding-Dong

    Oh, I love that , nk. You can bet I’ll be using that one in my bar-hoppin’ travels!

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  32. nk, I’ve already texted Obama-Lama-Ding-Dong to four friends so rest assured it’s spreading faster than Ebola in a Liberian tent city.

    Hoagie (4dfb34)

  33. Hoagie, when you have nothing better to do (and that includes watching paint dry), Google Patterico’s Pontifications comment by nk Obama 2008 I made a meme of creating middle names for Obama. A different one every time I mentioned him, in response to “Hussein” being forbidden to be spoken. It annoyed the hell out of Leviticus.

    nk (dbc370)

  34. 28. Dead nuts on target, sailor.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  35. Hope and Ebola
    The Audacity of Ebola
    Dreams Of My Ebola
    If you like your Ebola, you can keep your Ebola.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. AIDS, an RNA retrovirus, has defeated to date all attempts at vaccination. Expect the same from Ebola due to its similar high rate of mutation.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  37. gary-
    I once saw a video simulation of how HIV binds to a cell, I don’t know if the video is available somewhere on the web.
    The argument made was that the binding and entry into the cell is a very elaborate mechanism that is more or less protected by the outer parts of the virus structure. It would do space engineers proud, how an external structure facilitates getting close to the binding site while still protecting the mechanism itself, then when too close for an antibody to squeeze in the binding mechanism and entry engages.
    So, antibodies to HIV generally bind to some part of the virus on the exterior shell that has no effect on the pathogenicity.
    If there is a problem with a vaccine for Ebola, I doubt it would be for the same reason as for HIV. HIV, a retrovirus, is a perfect “Trojan Horse” infection.

    Now, from what you have said about Ebola being relatively small, and the Reston variant not being lethal and communicable via the respiratory route, perhaps the problem with a vaccine will be to find something on the virus to duplicate without being pathogenic.
    Did anyone ever test animals once infected with Reston with a more pathogenic strain? Did anyone study Reston to see how stable its genome is, i.e., that it doesn’t mutate back into a m ore pathogenic strain?

    I don’t see my old virologist friends anymore, it would be interesting to know of their thoughts, though none of them were working on Ebola like things.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  38. 38. The Reston animals were slaughtered during the lab outbreak.

    Ebola is a negative sense RNA virus, not the same class as AIDS, and certainly unlike other negative sense viruses like the much larger, more robust Influenza viruses, so your point is well considered.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  39. #28, Steve: And we have yet to see the results of the intentionally wide distribution of illegal child immigrants who are known to have a number of serious medical problems including TB. Last headline I saw proclaimed that all 50 States now have their affordable care allotment of inoculants, and they are all now enrolled in our local public schools. No natural disease could match such an efficient mechanism for distributing carriers to unprotected populations of our children. And around Christmas time some of the hospital troops we deployed to West Africa will be returning.

    The perfect storm. The only thing missing is the reintroduction of malaria to the Mississippi Valley. This is no doubt under consideration by the EPA under the guise of wetland restoration.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  40. #29, Col: I think they presume we can’t discern the truth. So why not lie if it serves some political or egotistical purpose. I don’t think they are concerned about our feelings or the dismay the truth would cause, because that hasn’t been an issue for nearly a decade. And it’s also the case that their supporters are so wrapped up in all these lies that continuing to lie does serve to reinforce their base. But that base is becoming a smaller and smaller fraction of the population as the truth emerges despite their best efforts.

    bobathome (5ccbd8)

  41. 29. Colonel Haiku (ed365f) — 10/2/2014 @ 7:04 am

    The Feds are continuing to feed Americans lies and bullsh*t, just as they have for the last 6 years. They treat citizens like children who can’t handle the truth.

    No, they are treating people like children, to whom the truth is too complicated to explain.

    Where they are really lying is in Liberia. They are trying to get people to a hospital, but going to any kind of center in Liberia where ebola patients, and suspected ebola patients, are collected, is probably the worst possible thing for the patient. For the family, too, unless that would prevent one or more of them becoming infected.

    Sammy Finkelman (efc0ed)

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