Patterico's Pontifications


Rand Paul Engages in Blatant Fearmongering By . . . Accurately Citing CDC Advice on Ebola Exposure

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:24 pm

From our betters at the Associated Press:

Rand Paul Contradicts Experts, Says Ebola Is ‘Incredibly’ Contagious

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — 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.

His comments directly conflict with statements from world health authorities who have dealt with Ebola outbreaks since 1976.

Stupid fearmonger. Where did he get the ridiculous idea that anyone considers it “exposure” to be standing three feet away? Those who read all the way to the ninth paragraph get a hint:

Still, Paul’s team pointed to the CDC’s website that says being within three feet of an infected patient for a prolonged period of time without the proper gear is a “low-risk exposure” for Ebola.

So: the characterization by the AP is this: Rand Paul — not the CDC, mind you, but Rand Paul — is making the claim that standing three feet away can constitute exposure. This “contradicts experts” and his comments “directly conflict with statements from world health authorities.” And apparently the best he can do to defend himself is to lamely claim that he is somehow basing this on something on the CDC site.

Well . . . is he?

Journalists? Journolists? Bueller? Bueller?

Oh, never mind the journalists. I’ll answer this one: yeah, he is accurately citing the CDC. Here is the page. Grab your screenshots before they scrub it. I have saved it as a .pdf here in case they memory-hole it.

A low risk exposure includes any of the following

  • Household contact with an EVD [Ebola Virus Disease] patient
  • Other close contact with EVD patients in health care facilities or community settings. Close contact is defined as:

    a. being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) of an EVD patient or within the patient’s room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., health care personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., standard, droplet, and contact precautions; see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations)

    b. having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD patient while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

  • Brief interactions, such as walking by a person or moving through a hospital, do not constitute close contact

So 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?

Oh hey — remember this?

“First, Ebola is not spread through the air like the flu,” Obama said in the video released by the White House Thursday. “You cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus. You cannot get it from another person until they start showing symptoms of the disease, like fever.”

It’s almost as if . . . the White House is not telling us the same story that the CDC is telling us.

Which is exactly what Rand Paul was saying.

Look, folks: as Shepard Smith has told us, if things get bad, we need to relax and start listening to our leaders. And if your leaders appear to be saying completely contradictory things? Then get your ears checked, citizen.

UPDATE: Thanks to Senator Rand Paul for the links on Facebook and Twitter. If you like what you see here, please bookmark the main page.

28 Responses to “Rand Paul Engages in Blatant Fearmongering By . . . Accurately Citing CDC Advice on Ebola Exposure”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. The comments at the HuffPo link are amazing. The commenters are shocked — SHOCKED! — that Paul could be so dumb. Meanwhile, at the end of the article, there is a link to a CDC website page that confirms exactly what Paul said. The link is there but apparently none of them bothered to look.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  3. The Left thinks we’re dumb when we disagree with them.

    I remember when Palin said something about Fannie and Freddy having troubles that would cost the taxppayers, the Left response was “what an idiot! those aren’t even government agencies!” and a few days later we found out she was right. But because she knew it before they did, she’s an idiot.

    The Monster (0ab45d)

  4. “we need to relax and start listening to our leaders.”

    Out Of An Abundance Of Caution!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. “…if things get bad, we need to relax and start listening to our leaders.”

    F that… ima listen to my years of training & experience, common sense and history.

    Obola is dangerous, we’re not really sure about this strain or how it transfers, and, if i get it, more than likely i’ll die a horrible death shortly thereafter.

    ergo, it behooves me to be cautious, and to ignore, even fear, people who state otherwise, unless they are bearing rigorously scrutinized scientific data.

    political hacks need to STFU, because i’m not interested in your lies.

    redc1c4 (dab236)

  6. watching and listening to Obama and his hacks has become painful. It’s so extemely insulting to my ntelligence, that it’s hard to endure. They are complete and utter fux ups, yet they continue to spew their nonsense. I hope we live to actually witness what HISTORY says about Obama. And I hope Obama pays for his crimes.

    Gus (7cc192)

  7. Don’t worry Obama will fix it. Obama fixes everything.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  8. October surprise-
    Hazmat suits for amnesty seekers only.

    mg (31009b)

  9. Shepard Smith – I can never forget his initial coverage of hurricane Katrina from the French Quarter: “1116EDT…Fox News Channel’s Shep Smith reports from the scene that ‘The French Quarter looks very good…New Orleans got lucky again…’”

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  10. Rand Paul just posted this on his FB feed. Expect some traffic. 🙂

    Xmas (f65ded)

  11. Here’s what I’m afraid of: If the CDC’s correct and Dem’s listen to their leader, while others take adequate precautions; a high probability exists that we’ll have a tremendously higher percentage of voting age Republicans and Libertarians around for the next election cycle.

    GRBW (ea336c)

  12. Our government has never told the American people the truth about anything… Maybe Rand can wake up Rand can wake up the dumb asses we know as American voters

    mark (57b3b5)

  13. Oh, oh..Typo above

    mark (57b3b5)

  14. It’s a medical issue. Who are you going to listen to: a community organizer (who happens to be President) or a Senator (who happens to be a doctor)?

    Gordon McCauley (77702d)

  15. Fewer people get Ebola from being over cautious than by being under cautious. It only makes sense.
    Glad Rand Paul found that little piece in the CDC website. My question is why is the president and the CDC head not giving this information out.

    annabelle ambrosio (a574de)

  16. Better to be safe than sorry!

    Barney (c61f3b)

  17. UPDATE: Thanks to Senator Rand Paul for the links on Facebook and Twitter.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  18. I’m covering Ebola right now, and am finding mixed messages from public health officials who should really know better.

    Actual Ebola experts are more comforting. Transmission through the air between primates has not been documented and is extremely unlikely. But if you’re next to someone with Ebola who happens to sneeze or gets saliva on you, that’s a cause for concern.

    Bradley J. Fikes (2104c1)

  19. Science scmience, I look to God.

    Winston Smith (2cdd17)

  20. Did any of you notice that the part about being a meter away for a prologed perios of time (such as in a hospital or home situation) is listed under *LOW RISK EXOSURES*? ‘Prolonged period of time’ isn’t a couple hours at a cocktail party, it’s living with someone or nursing them for days.

    Evan Quinn (31ad23)

  21. How is it that an non broad-certified eye doctor think he knows more than the CDC and 99% of doctors on Ebola? This is what happen when you plagiarized your science classwork over reading the actual text book.

    Will Bradlei (18f8a9)

  22. remember when we had decent trolls?

    no, wait… that was Usenet.


    redc1c4 (6d1848)

  23. besides that, what i really want to know is, how do i become a “broad certified” doctor, without having to specialize in OB/GYN?


    redc1c4 (6d1848)

  24. This post made Larwyn ‘s Links featured @ Doug Ross.

    gary Gulrud (46ca75)

  25. As a public health professional who is managing the Ebola prep for my institution, Rand Paul is accurate. Ebola requires an extremely low number of viruses for infection, and it is present in all bodily fluids. There is a report of Ebola virus spreading across a 3m distance in primates- likely via the droplet route – that’s the experimental basis for the 3m rule. Basically, the 3m rules is to deal with incidental exposure from coughing or sneezing, or other types of transmission. Ebola is not infectious via the airborne route unless it is aerosolized (to the best of our knowledge), but it is extremely infectious via droplets from coughing or sneezing.

    It is important to properly be concerned about Ebola. It is one of the few diseases that requires a BSL 4 laboratory to culture, and it is extremely lethal. When you work with hazardous substances, you need to have the proper respect for the substance and what it can do to you. It’s not scaremongering to present the actual risks. Bus trips could include Greyhound lines, or long distance commuter lines – my daily bus trip is at least 30 minutes

    OmegaPaladin (f4a293)

  26. The whole idea of telling people not to go on buses or into theatres or supermarkets, is that in that case, there’s no way to trace contacts, or there’s too many of them, not that the risk is high of transmitting it.

    But in the event that the person not under quarantine, official or unofficial because we are talking specifically about people who are NOT being quarantined, but who are in some kind of limbo, did turn out to have ebola, it would be possible to follow-up.

    That’s what’s going on here.

    It’s not all that well thought out.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2bb62)

  27. Even crazier is the Attorney General of Louisiana.

    Duncan’s body was burned – without apparently getting the permission of the family, although the hosp[ital claimed that. The ashes were going to be taken to a medical toxic waste dump. The Attorney general of Louisiana decided that was dangerous, and also his incinerated belongings.

    But the virus doesn’t last like this. And it is a place for dangerous medical waste.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2bb62)

  28. People can also contract the disease by touching infected fluids and then touching their eyes or mouth. The virus does not spread through the air, unlike measles or chickenpox. And Ebola does not invade healthy skin, so merely touching secretions does not mean an infection will follow. But washing hands or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is essential after any potential contact, to avoid spreading the virus to other people or to one’s own eyes or mouth.

    Ebola does not cause respiratory problems, but a cough from a sick patient could infect someone close enough to be sprayed with droplets of mucus or saliva. Droplets can generally fly about three feet, so people dealing with anyone who may be ill are told to stand at least three feet away, preferably six. Being within three feet of a patient for a prolonged time, without wearing protective gear, is considered direct contact, Dr. Frieden said.

    According to the C.D.C., the virus can survive for a few hours on dry surfaces like doorknobs and countertops. But it can survive for several days in puddles or other collections of body fluid at room temperature. It is not clear how long it may survive in soiled linens and clothing. Bleach solutions can kill it.

    I posted a link to the New York Times article that included this on Friday at 10/3/2014 @ 10:51 in comment #33 at

    MD in Philly #35 said this was generally helpful.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

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