It has boggled my mind to read some of the reactions to Ebola.
What’s happening in West Africa could never happen here, they say. Our government is too powerful, our healthcare system too advanced. We aren’t going to roll around in monkey blood or whatever it is those primitives in Africa are doing! Yeah, a few people might get it, but it’s no big deal. The president and the director of the CDC…they’ve got it all under control.
Come on, you have to be smarter than that.
From day one, Tom Frieden of the CDC has assured us that they would stop Ebola in its tracks. Let’s take a look at what’s happened since he said that. Thomas Duncan, the Liberian who brought the disease into the country, has died. In the meantime, he managed to infect at least two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian. Nursing groups have come out to say that protocols and guidelines at the hospital have been ignored and changed so many times that no one knows what end is up.
And now this. The case of the traveling nurse. Amber Joy Vinson, the second of two healthcare workers infected by the deceased, flew from Dallas to Cleveland and back again with a minor fever. At once, Americans savaged the nurse with scorn – perhaps deservedly so – but it was not until today that we found out the truth. She had specifically told the CDC about her fever and they gave her the go-ahead to fly anyway. Because it was only 99.5 and not the threshold temperature of 100.4. Is this the same temperature chart they’re using at the five airports screening flights from West Africa?
A new report says that the Obama Administration was warned that it should establish multiple disease detection centers around the country in order to protect Americans from the spread of deadly viruses like Ebola. When did they get this warning? 2008, as they were preparing to take office. They failed to adhere to the advice. Government incompetence. The Democrats are running around telling everyone who will listen that climate change is going to kill us all, yet they missed a clear and present danger that might just do what global warming won’t.
Astonishingly, the Democrats are trying to blame the whole thing on Republican funding cuts. Well, it is an election year. But the safety of Americans in the middle of a crisis should take a backseat to political theater. Besides, it’s an outrageous claim. President Bush is more responsible than any other single politician for boosting the budget of the National Institutes of Health.
All of this isn’t so much meant to be a polemic against Democrats or even a rant against the federal government, though I’m more than happy to indulge in both. It’s meant as a wake-up call to any Americans who still believe that government is an answer to our problems. Whether it’s in the realm of taxation, border security, regulations, education, or healthcare, big government bureaucracy is relentlessly and predictably incompetent. Once we all understand that, maybe we can take steps toward figuring out why.