Patterico's Pontifications

12/16/2014

PolitiFact: Defensible Opinions About the Spread of Ebola are THE LIE OF THE YEAR!!!!1!!!!11!1!!!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:06 pm



Of all the actual lies they could have chosen, they decided to slap the “lie of the year” label on so-called exaggerations about Ebola — citing a mishmash of opinions, including several that are eminently defensible, given the wildly varying guidance on the subject offered by our betters at the Centers for Disease Control.

Here’s the verdict from the Masters of Factual Accuracy at PolitiFact:

While no singular line about Ebola matched last year’s empty rhetoric about health care, the statements together produced a dangerous and incorrect narrative.

PolitiFact and PunditFact rated 16 separate claims about Ebola as Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire on our Truth-O-Meter in 2014. Ten of those claims came in October, as Duncan’s case came to the fore and as voters went to the polls to select a new Congress.

Fox News analyst George Will claimed Ebola could be spread into the general population through a sneeze or a cough, saying the conventional wisdom that Ebola spreads only through direct contact with bodily fluids was wrong.

“The problem is the original assumption, said with great certitude if not certainty, was that you need to have direct contact, meaning with bodily fluids from someone, because it’s not airborne,” Will said. “There are doctors who are saying that in a sneeze or some cough, some of the airborne particles can be infectious.” False.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., described Ebola as “incredibly contagious,” “very transmissible” and “easy to catch.” Mostly False.

Let me start by simply noting that it is foolish enough for journalists to make ultra-confident pronouncements about something like the spread of Ebola, given how wildly inconsistent the Experts at CDC have been. In a post from November, I surveyed some of the CDC guidance on Ebola and summarized the results as follows:

  • CDC says: “There is no evidence indicating that Ebola virus is spread by coughing or sneezing.”
  • CDC says: Ebola is spread through droplet spread, which includes sneezes. “Droplet spread diseases include Ebola, plague.” Also: “Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person.”
  • CDC says: “Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet.”
  • CDC says: “Droplets generally travel shorter distances, less than about 6 feet from a source patient.”

Can’t you feel your faith in federal medical expertise swelling — much like, let’s say, the untreated infected extremity of a U.S. veteran?

But mere foolishness becomes a breathtaking mixture of arrogance and ignorance when a “fact-checking” organization starts labeling defensible opinions as “lies” — based on the sort of hairsplitting and sub-moronic reliance on handpicked expert opinion that we see in today’s PolitiFact piece.

Let’s start with the George Will quote. PolitiFact refers us to this October 2014 classic from their annals of factual excellence:

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 7.27.26 PM

LIAR!!!!!!! Here’s Will’s supposedly “false” (not “mostly false” or even “kind of false” but just plain “false”) quote:

“Some doctors say Ebola can be transmitted through the air by “a sneeze or some cough.”

Keep in mind: this is proclaimed by the Sultans of Factual Accuracy at PolitiFact to be, not just an inaccuracy, but a LIE — the foremost example of a LIE that one can justly call the LIE OF THE YEAR.

Except it’s true.

As I noted in this October post, the CDC itself (which I think employs a doctor or two) published this poster:

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 7.38.07 AM

This poster clearly says that Ebola is spread through droplet spread, which includes sneezes. Direct quote: “Droplet spread diseases include Ebola.” What is “droplet spread”? Direct quote: “Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person.”

What was Will’s quote again? “Some doctors say Ebola can be transmitted through the air by “a sneeze or some cough.” THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT THE CDC SAID.

PolitiFact’s linked post engages in all manner of hand-waving and throat-clearing, and a skill at verbal hairsplitting that would make Bill Clinton turn purple with enraged jealousy. Sample quote:

“It’s important to note that this form of transmission does not constitute ‘airborne,’ ” Gire said. “This is still a form of direct contact.”

See, even though sneeze droplets can be “borne” through the “air” . . . the experts tell us that it is not “airborne.” So when Will says that Ebola can be transmitted through the air through a sneeze, the truth is actually that a sneeze which travels through the air can transmit Ebola. You see the difference, don’t you? If you do, then you can easily see why this is the LIE OF THE YEAR.

Now, let’s move onto the Rand Paul quote. I have actually dealt with this previously, in this post. I noted that the AP ridiculed Paul for the following claim:

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told a group of college students Wednesday the deadly virus Ebola can spread from a person who has the disease to someone standing three feet away and said the White House should be honest about that.

As I noted with careful links to the CDC:

Rand Paul has accurately repeated what the CDC says: namely, the CDC defines “exposure” (albeit “low-risk”) to include being within “three feet” of an Ebola patient for a “prolonged period of time” — whatever that means. I assume it could include riding on an airplane — or, perhaps, the bus?

President Obama, I noted in that post, assured West Africans: “You cannot get [Ebola] through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus.” Which utterly contradicted what the CDC was saying. Which was Rand Paul’s point.

But PolitiFact eschewed any analysis of Rand Paul’s factual statements about CDC guidelines. Instead, consistent with their rigid adherence to long-accepted principles of “fact” checking, PolitiFact got up in Rand Paul’s grill over his opinions, calling “mostly false” his opinions that Ebola is “incredibly contagious,” “very transmissible” and “easy to catch.” Here is an excerpt from their genius band of logic:

So far, though, only two individuals — both Texas health care workers that treated an African man who later died from the disease — have contracted the virus on U.S. soil. This despite the fact that infected individuals have come into contact with dozens, if not hundreds, of people while they purportedly had the disease, including close family members.

That seems to dispel, at least anecdotally, the idea that the disease is “incredibly contagious” and “easy to catch,” even from an infected person. But let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Looking at it another way, “at least anecdotally” (and, let’s face it: fact-checkers around the globe universally agree that anecdotal evidence is the Gold Standard for fact-checking), one might anecdotally observe that health-care workers who believed they were taking every precaution and yet inexplicably ended up contracting the disease might come away from that experience saying: gee, it seems like Ebola is easier to catch than I realized!! Why, one might even call it “incredibly contagious” or “easy to catch”!

If one were expressing a defensible opinion, that is.

Or, one could look at some recent statistics. I found these today at the New York Times, which reports: “The number of new cases in Sierra Leone remained above 600 for a fourth straight week.” Moreover: “More than 18,000 people in Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone have contracted Ebola since March, according to the World Health Organization, making this the biggest outbreak on record. More than 6,800 people have died.” Yeah, that doesn’t sound very contagious to me.

A portion of the same New York Times piece that says it was updated October 23 says: “Doctors Without Borders has sent 700 doctors and aid workers from around the world to Ebola-stricken countries. Of those, 270 are currently working there. Only three have contracted Ebola: a doctor from Norway, another from France, and now, an American.” See? Only 1 health care worker per 230 contracts the potentially fatal disease!

Whether you find that reassuring or alarming is up to you, I guess . . . but using that as a basis to label an opinion THE LIE OF THE YEAR is a joke.

But then, PolitiFact has always been a joke. I don’t write this post because they are (or should be) taken seriously. It’s just that a target this fat and juicy simply cannot be ignored. It’s not my fault. I am forced to write this post, simply because of how easy it is to ridicule these people.

32 Responses to “PolitiFact: Defensible Opinions About the Spread of Ebola are THE LIE OF THE YEAR!!!!1!!!!11!1!!!”

  1. By the way, they have won the Pulitzer prize! So has sock puppeteer Michael Hiltzik and serial f*ck-up Chuck Phillips.

    The Lie of the Decade is that they are “fact checkers.”

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Is this thing on?

    Patterico (1b4610)

  3. Does PunditFact have any credibility left to lose? Anyone who has paid any attention to them knows that they are untrustworthy. PolitiFact calls the truth a lie, next breaking news the pope is Catholic.

    max (4fdf98)

  4. It really does not matter how many people die or how many women are raped or whether the air is cold or hot. All that matters is the narrative.

    Here’s a Facebook post from a close friend of mine who is a liberal:

    Try to Forget That My Brother Left The Country in Smoldering Ruins

    — rejected Jeb Bush campaign slogan

    Which is a Twitter comment by someone who is apparently named Andy Borowitz.

    God bless the collective left-wing hearts, but they have nothing. They have lost the simple ability to do things. All they know is cultural snark as a substitute for thinking. Their hero is a Stephen Colbert puppet with Jon Stewart as a clown-nosed master and Rachel Maddow in a supporting role for double plus good points.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  5. Here’s what I wrote them.

    On Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 11:08 AM, Tanny O’Haley wrote:
    Subject: 2014 Lie of the Year

    I don’t see how George Will’s comments about Ebola could be the lie of the year when he was quoting the CDC.

    I’m disappointed at the choice of George Will when there were better candidates for Lie of the Year.

    Tanny O’Haley

    Aaron Sharockman Wrote me back.

    Thanks for writing. Mr. Will wasn’t quoting the CDC, he was misquoting research published by the University of Minnesota.

    You can read our original fact-check here:
    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/oct/19/george-will/george-will-claims-sneeze-cough-spread-ebola/

    The CDC has never said Ebola is transmitted through the air as Mr. Will suggests. Lastly, Mr. Will’s comments were not our Lie of the Year. They were one of 16 statements that collectively were our Lie of the Year.

    The other statements are available by reading our full story

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/dec/15/2014-lie-year-exaggerations-about-ebola/

    Best, Aaron

    Tanny O'Haley (c674c7)

  6. Doctors without Borders has admitted to at least 24 of their people contracting Ebola.

    Source:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/craig-spencer-24th-doctors-borders-staffer-ebola-article-1.1986015

    So far, some 130 doctors & nurses from western countries have contracted ebola.

    Aarradin (bab74a)

  7. It’s hackery like that at Politifact that convinced this fool he had produced a well-written, convincing argument in defense of his cause.

    http://patterico.com/2014/12/16/this-is-not-what-strength-looks-like/#comments

    In both instances their hackery constituted own-goals; merely by taking the positions that they did proved that their critics were right all along. Then the self-unaware twits proceeded to produce more rope with which to hang themselves.

    I don’t know what causes liberals to cave in to the impulse to hang “kick me” signs around their necks and then hallucinating they’ll have the opposite effect proceed to explain at length why people should really, no-s%$#, kick them.

    But I like it.

    Steve57 (b0b04b)

  8. 5. …Aaron Sharockman Wrote me back.

    Thanks for writing. Mr. Will wasn’t quoting the CDC, he was misquoting research published by the University of Minnesota.

    You can read our original fact-check here:
    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/oct/19/george-will/george-will-claims-sneeze-cough-spread-ebola/

    Tanny O’Haley (c674c7) — 12/16/2014 @ 11:58 pm

    It’s amusing to note that while accusing George Will of misquoting the CIDRAP’s research, the hacks at politifact have to make that case by misrepresenting the CIDRAP’s research.

    George Will’s earlier statements about Ebola transmission, taken from the link politifact sent Tanny O’Haley:

    “The problem is the original assumption, said with great certitude if not certainty, was that you need to have direct contact, meaning with bodily fluids from someone because it’s (Ebola) not airborne,” Will said Oct. 19 on Fox News Sunday.

    “There are doctors who are saying that in a sneeze or some cough, some of the airborne particles can be infectious.” Will also said Ebola could survive on a dry surface “for a number of days.”

    Show host Chris Wallace cut Will off, asserting that Ebola does not spread like the flu, which does move from person to person when someone with the illness is out in public.

    When another guest challenged Will to cite his source, he ultimately referred to scientists at the University of Minnesota.

    And what those scientists at the University of Minnesota said about how Ebola is transmitted:

    …In a recent commentary, Drs. Lisa M. Brosseau, Sc.D., and Rachael Jones, Ph.D., make the case for respirators, not just face masks, as necessary equipment in the fight against Ebola. Recommending the precautionary approach in such a serious matter, the duo says that, just because it hasn’t been confirmed that Ebola can transfer through the air doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be treated as such, especially when people’s lives are on the line.

    The fact of the matter is that Ebola has never been proven not to transmit through the air, which is reason enough to assume that it does for the safety of workers on the ground. The two doctors explain that, scientifically speaking, Ebola currently has “unclear modes of transmission,” meaning nobody truly knows all the ways that infections can emerge.

    “We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks,” they wrote, citing an earlier paper Dr. Brosseau published in the American Journal of Infection Control…

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/046986_Ebola_airborne_transmission_respirators.html#ixzz3M9KEPlAx

    In other words, Will was more accurate than politifact.

    But then, my dogs’ fact-checking is more accurate than polififact’s.

    Steve57 (b0b04b)

  9. They are right. It is the lie of the year, although they seem to be including some things hat aren’t totally wrong.

    Michael Fumento, the author of the 1993 book, The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS: How a Tragedy Has Been Distorted by the Media and Partisan Politics says the same thing: (although he doesn’t pickout transmissibility as the lie.)

    http://nypost.com/2014/12/14/the-great-ebola-lie-outbreak-hyped-for-funding-media-attention/

    The current Ebola outbreak is “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times,” Ian Smith, the World Health Organization’s executive director, announced at a mid-October press conference.

    Huh? Worse than the “Spanish flu” of 1918-19? Extrapolated to today’s world population, that would mean 60 million to 150 million deaths. Worse than AIDS, with its 35 million deaths?

    But the media weren’t asking skeptical questions. The next day, reporting on a separate WHO conference, a New York Times headline blared: “New Ebola Cases May Soon Reach 10,000 a Week, Officials Predict.”

    The “soon” in that warning from the WHO’s Bruce Aylward was “by the first week in December.”

    Well, the WHO has now reported cases for that period. Total: 529. It was no fluke; the average over the last three weeks was 440.

    You’ve been lied to, folks. For months.

    They first ignored it, and then they predicted an enormous number of cases, and tried to cover up the fact it wasn’t happening, and maybe now they will try to claim credit, that that is imposisble.

    It’s really down in Liberia, more or less stable in Guinea, but may be getting worse in the capital of Sierre Leone, where you don’t have everybody using bleach. Even so, it isn’t spread that easlily – not like the flu anyway, but almost always where oeople have had contact, either member of the same family, or at a funeral, or at a hospital.

    Ebola has indeed been lied about.

    It peaked in Liberia, like I said, and they were trying to cover up the fact that it peaked.

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  10. I think it’s important to note that politifact couldn’t get the researchers they cited in relation to the CIDRAP guidelines (that health care workers should wear respirators) to say Will had misquoted their findings. The closest politifact could get to that, no doubt after a lengthy interview trying to get the one quote they needed to support the preordained conclusion in their hit piece on Will, was this:

    …”We are not aware of any published data about the viability or infectiousness of the Ebola organism in aerosols in the real world,” Brosseau told PunditFact. “It appears unlikely that the public will be exposed to infectious aerosols because they are not likely to encounter infected people experiencing the severe symptoms.”…

    Note that I’m not using the WaPo standard of accuracy. I’m not mischaracterizing what these people said, and then implying they said it. I’m noting exactly what the researchers, Doctors Lisa M. Roseau, Sc.D. and Rachael Jones, actually said.

    They said that they are “not aware of any published data the viability or infectiousness of the Ebola organism in the real world” but they also said that Ebola has has “unclear modes of transmission.” It is precisely because so little is known about Ebola that there is a) no published data on this mode of transmission and b) Ebola’s modes of transmission are unclear.

    So they didn’t say that Will misquoted their research. Indeed, he drew the only rational conclusion one could draw from it. That the original assumptions about how Ebola is transmitted, “…said with great certitude if not certainty…,” are anything but certain.

    In order to create the false impression that Will misquoted Roseau and Jones politifact had to go to NOT Roseau and Jones to manufacture the evidence.

    …Stephen Gire, a research scientist in the Sabeti Lab at Harvard University, said if someone with Ebola sneezed or coughed into your face when you were close to them, that could transmit the virus through droplets

    But, “It’s important to note that this form of transmission does not constitute ‘airborne,’ ” Gire said. “This is still a form of direct contact.”

    “If you were on a plane, and someone sneezed, you wouldn’t be at risk of getting infected unless you were sneezed on directly within close quarters, and that cough or sneeze transferred droplets into mucosal membranes. This is very unlikely scenario, but not out of the realm of possibility. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been sneezed on directly, and only one of those times was by someone I didn’t know.”…

    Of course, politifact undoubtedly didn’t tell Gire that they were conducting a witch hunt. We know what Gire said. What we don’t know is what the question was. And Gire is correct. If someone sneezes directly on you so that you actually feel the droplets hitting you, that is direct contact.

    But that isn’t what Roseau and Jones concluded in their research. They concluded that there is evidence the “Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients.”

    In other words, just like Sabrina Erdely and Rolling Stone had to go rape hoax shopping to perpetrate their fraud, Jon Greenberg and politifact had to go researcher shopping to produce what in fact is the perpetrate their fraud about what they want people to believe is the lie of the year.

    Again, I love how when liberals are accused of something that looks really bad, their defense actually reveals that what they’re doing is even worse than it first appeared.

    Steve57 (b0b04b)

  11. More Michael Fumento:

    In fact, the Ebola epidemic peaked a full month before those press conferences, in mid-September. Says who? The WHO. In its data, which is available to anybody with Internet access.

    It peaked at the same time the WHO was demanding a billion dollars to prevent the epidemic from getting far worse — and before President Obama pledged $1.26 billion and sent in the troops and the European Union pledged another $1.26 billion. In fact, before almost any outside intervention…

    …Where did the 10,000 cases figure come from? Apparently from the imagination of Aylward, the WHO’s Ebola head, who produced it from nowhere at that press conference.

    The WHO never published any support for Aylward’s estimate, but merely rallied around him afterward. (When I asked about the basis of the number, the WHO gave me a bizarre explanation that combined cumulative cases with new ones.)..

    I think actualy there was intervention, but nothing that the outside world really helped. It was the educational campaign in Liberia.

    There’s really more. The treatments that have been ignored: statins, or the dialysis that filters out teh virus.

    And the vaccine that, I tell you now, probably will not work, because it’s against a different strain of ebola.

    And the whole horrbly cruel and wrong idea of not “experimenting” on Africans, and so not offerin the best treatments, even to doctors and nurses.

    And the whole long drawn out trial of trying plasma, somehting known to work (how well maybe not, but the priciple yes, and it was what was used early in the 20th century before there was antibiotics.)

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  12. 9 * maybe now they will try to claim credit, except that that is impossible.

    Steve57 @10 It seems like the problem is this specialized meaning of “airborne” and of “direct contact” which goes back some time.

    It is transmissible by air, when someone is very sick, and shedding lots of virus. By which time they should not be moving around very much. It might be possible to get it before, but that’s very much akin to a freak accident, and people don’t guard against freak accidents. Even for close contacts it is freak accident if someone has no symptoms. Think of a bell curve, with the left tail probably entirely or almost entirely to the right of the point of recognition that someone has ebola.

    If George Will didn’t get the fine points, it is not his fault.

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  13. What’s really wrong with Politifact, is that it was the World Health Organization, and to some extent the CDC, and all the experts, who were lying, and they don’t have one word against the credibility of the official experts.

    Re: the CDC:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/well-probably-never-know-if-the-cdcs-big-ebola-forecast-is-accurate/

    This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alarming Ebola forecast: Without an increase in effective interventions, there could be 1.4 million cases of the disease in Africa within four months, up from the fewer than 7,000 cases recorded so far.

    But behind the report are many assumptions and limitations that reduce its accuracy. And we may never know the true accuracy of the forecast. Donor nations and groups may ramp up their fight against Ebola because of that forecast, undermining its central assumption that the status quo continues

    Oh, yes we do know, because there’s no way donor nations and groups ramped up their fight in such a way so as to hold off its progress in the way it has been held off.

    In fact one big problem is that some donors still want to build ebola hospitals in places where they are not needed, and don’t want to allow substitutions to areas where ebola has not yet really started.

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  14. Politifact will go to extraordinary lengths to manufacture a Narrative, either by using contortionist pretzel “logic” to claim Team R lied, or to cover for an actual leftist lie.

    JD (86a5eb)

  15. 14. The narrative here is apparently, that problems come when laymen weigh into somethinbg in which they have no expertise.

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  16. As contrasted with “Experts we spoke to”

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  17. Never let it be said that Sammah isn’t great at parsing things that weren’t said, or discovering new and exotic conspiracy theories. #bandar

    JD (86a5eb)

  18. Now maybe some people’s speculation went beyond the CDC, which wanted to say that while there’s a great danger in Africa, there is none in the United States, but that was caused in part by the fact that CDC said things that logically contradicted themselves, or were unclear.

    The scale of the possible epidemic came entirely from official medical personnel.

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  19. I must admit to surprise in finding that Ebola, and perhaps all the hemorrhagic fevers, analogous to cholera, are predominantly gastroenteric ailments at bottom and not particularly fatal with early diagnosis and modern treatment.

    DNF (1ed653)

  20. News flash: Politifact, like the rest of the media, is a press agency for its social nexus. Its social nexus makes use of the Democratic Party as its electoral vehicle.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  21. 15, 16. Sharing 99 & 44/100ths of another’s DNA does not make one a peer.

    DNF (1ed653)

  22. This short article’s embedded chart may partly help explain why ebola (though not Will’s exact statement) ended up as the lie of the year “choice”. Ebola interested people and is what they clicked on. People have tuned out politics. Media knows it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/12/16/people-magazines-worst-selling-issue-this-year-the-one-with-hillary-clinton-on-the-cover/

    Also, George Will has said some things very disrespectful to the rape culture narrative this year, so, you know…….he must be punished.

    elissa (db8a4d)

  23. Polifact’s claimed “Lie of the Year” article is itself a contender for the lie of the year.

    htom (9b625a)

  24. Latest Fox News poll:

    Romney dominates the field for the 2016 Republican nomination. He comes in at 19 percent among self-identified Republicans, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent. No other candidates garner double-digit backing.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul each receive eight percent. Next, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker captures seven percent, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan each at six percent and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at five percent.

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (four percent), Ohio Gov. John Kasich (two percent), Texas Gov. Rick Perry (two percent), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (one percent) and former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum (one percent) each receive the backing of less than five percent of Republicans.

    Bush is the only GOP candidate tested in the hypothetical matchups to keep Clinton under 50 percent — and to keep her advantage under double digits. She leads him by just 7 points in a head-to-head matchup (49-42 percent), which makes this the best Bush has performed against Clinton so far. Clinton was up by 13 points in March (51-38 percent).

    DNF (1ed653)

  25. Sorry, wrong thread. Oh, bother.

    DNF (1ed653)

  26. 19. I think ebola is a little bit worse than cholera – and far more contagious.

    Cholera used to be very fatal, until they started replenishing electrolytes. I don’t know if they do that in Haiti, where the disease wasa brought to the country by the United Nations.

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  27. politifact should invite people recently exposed to ebola to a holiday party at Politifact HQ for to celebrate the lie of the year!

    festive!

    i can make rice crispie treats! (sp?)

    and egg nog!

    I have a question though – is it redundant to say “spiced egg nog” or are “eggnog” and “spiced eggnog” different things?

    i’m guessing the former

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  28. The political left has been rescued by the fact that Ebola has been confined to Africa, probably by an unspoken ban on travel by many airlines. It is rampaging through West Africa still and health workers are frequent victims because it is airborne, especially in that climate.

    The CDC is also becoming a political organization and the new surgeon general fits well with their focus on gun control rather than infectious disease.

    Murthy, 37, a physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School, won confirmation on a vote of 51-43. He’s a co-founder of Doctors for America, a group that has pushed for affordable health care and supports Obama’s health care law.

    Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said most of Murthy’s career has been spent as an activist focused on gun control and other political issues, rather than on treating patients.

    Perfect credentials for Obama.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  29. People confuse the words infectious and contagious. Ebola is highly infectious, that is, once you are exposed it adversely impacts you very quickly and severely. It is also not terribly contagious, meaning it does not spread that easily between people. However, there have been numerous cases where people have become infected despite taking precautions, while other have not become infected despite taking limited precautions. One reason may be we don’t fully understand all the modes of possible transmission, however, another interesting possibility is there are genetic variations between people that determine how contagious ebola will be – some people are much more easily infected than others.

    Democrats I know blame Ebola for the Dem wipe-out in the election. They simply can’t accept that their message, canidates, performnace, whatever, could have anything to do with it.

    Tennhauser (291f30)

  30. Tennhauser (291f30) — 12/17/2014 @ 12:10 pm

    another interesting possibility is there are genetic variations between people that determine how contagious ebola will be – some people are much more easily infected than others.

    Or that there are subclinical cases.

    There is every reason to beleive that a certain percentage of people beat it bacvk without ever becoming noticeably sick. That may also have something to do with the srength of tyhe exposure.

    A very slight exposure may act as a vaccine. That used to happen woth smallpox.

    Sammy Finkelman (8bd44f)

  31. People confuse the words “eggnog” and “spiced eggnog” too but you don’t see me making a big deal out of it

    unless you scroll up

    happyfeet (831175)

  32. =Democrats I know blame Ebola for the Dem wipe-out in the election.==

    Wait a minute–whut?! Have these people never heard of Barack Obama or Wendy Davis?

    elissa (ac3f37)


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