Ebola: Who’s at Fault?

The fault with Ebola can be spread far and wide.   Start with our Homeland security not seeing Ebola as a threat.  Move to a do-nothing congress unwilling to fund research and development, equipment and training. Then look at a racist, hubris filled country which did not demand action while this disease was decimating African nations and believes that somehow chanting USA! USA! makes us better and more capable than other nations.  That is the pot.

Next add a drug industry uninterested in developing medications and treatments for conditions and diseases which don’t pay and instead concentrate on developing drugs for men (Viagra, Cialis) and the wealthy (Botox, Cancer treatments). Stir in apathy and a large portion of unwillingness to see beyond the bottom line.

Bring to a boil over a fire of mistaken belief that Americans are John Wayne clones who can handle any threat with enough gun fire.

Now go to Texas where these beliefs are exaggerated.  Enter a corporate hospital where oversight is slack, and budgeting focuses on corporate gain instead of patient care.  Investment in employee training and personal protective equipment is minimal, despite the deaths overseas and the growth of local refugee populations.  Overconfidence and lack of understanding of the situation upon patient admission left any who came in contact exposed.  The incompetence and lack of training of the state and local health departments as well as the hospital’s concerns about liability (nurses were advised to use their best judgement) combined with a media mandate to minimize the threat in order to not “cause a panic” despite the very facts they were reporting, to create an environment in which contamination and transmission were practically guaranteed.

Finally, sprinkle liberally with a health care system that encourages the poor to stay away from diagnosis and treatment until they are in extremis and you have not just a recipe, but a mandate for disaster.  At each level ignorance, greed, overconfidence, dodging of responsibility and racism are putting not just Americans, but the entire hemisphere at risk.  

However, this is hardly the time to be divesting ourselves of experts. Reporters at CNN stated “Americans don’t want to be told to stay at home and watch daytime TV for three weeks”.  Of course we don’t.  But, it doesn’t matter what we want now.  It doesn’t matter what the bottom line is.  It doesn’t matter how many guns you have or what political party you belong to.  We have to put all that aside, admit it and deal with it. 

Ebola is a deadly epidemic and it’s here.  It’s in Dallas, and it’s quite possibly cropping up in other Texas cities, in New Haven, Connecticut and perhaps Ohio. It will show up in other places.  We can’t close our borders to disease.  A wall won’t keep it out.  America is going to have to buckle down and prepare.  We will have to spend money.  We will have to learn something.  We will have to train people.  

We don’t have time to argue about blame.  That will have to wait.  We need to get to work.  Together.

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About Perry Tenitiss

I write on all sorts of subjects at various sites. Check the list below and enjoy!

Posted on October 16, 2014, in agencies, Amarillo, America, CDC, corportations, death, disaster, Disease, drug products, Ebola, epidemic, exposure, FEMA, greed, hubris, Illness, immigration, Pandemic, Pharmaceutical, politics, Texas, treatment, United States, vaccine, victims and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. You hit the nail on the head, but add in the cockiness of the Heath Care industry here in Texas with their quotes the first few days, “We will keep it controlled. It won’t be an issue of spreading in America because we have better care here in the USA.”

    I believe the people being monitored last I heard after being in contact with the Late Mr. Duncan and the w healthcare workers that he infected who are showing symptoms so fr is around 200, or so. Or has the number jumped again?

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    • I haven’t checked lately, but there are at least that many being monitored from the nurse’s trip to Ohio as well. My favorite comment was Rick Perry’s “It’s in Texas. We didn’t want it”. Actually, that’s from memory, I’m not sure it’s an exact quote. I just remember shaking my head and thinking, are you wishing it on someone else?
      We got caught with our pants down, but weeks before this happened I was posting that ISIS didn’t scare me, ebola did. The photos and stories coming out of Liberia and Sierra Leone were terrifying and doctors in full Hazmat gear were getting sick. All the hospital had to do was Google “ebola” and they could see how those nurses should have been outfitted. There were bodies lying in the streets for days because people were afraid to touch them. There were photos of newspaper booths covered in headlines “Burn All Bodies”. There is absolutely no excuse for this to have happened, and considering that the regional headquarters for FEMA is in Denton, Texas, I can’t understand why there was no plan for this. WHO projects that in five months about 1,000,000 will have contracted ebola. The actual kill ratio is around 80%. The reason it is reported as around 50-60% is that there are still those who have it who have not yet died. Of all those who have gone through the course of the disease and either recovered or died, the rate is much higher. And despite attempts to calm everyone with the idea that ebola will not become airborne, articles I’ve been reading for months indicate doctors are terrified it will mutate into an airborne virus.
      We’re going to have to get off our butts and jam this genie back in the bottle, if it’s not too late already. I think we can control it here, I do. But, if it gets out of Africa in large numbers, we’ll have a problem. Africa has a problem. Liberia has collapsed as a country. There is no infrastructure, they can’t get deliveries of food or medications because no one will drive a truck across the border. Their leaders have departed for Europe. The economy is collapsed. Surrounding countries have sealed their borders: no vehicles, boats or planes.
      Of course, back in 1917-18 we had an influenza pandemic that killed 3 million worldwide. Between that and the Great War we reduced the population. My grandmother caught that while she lived in England and survived. She also got on the Titanic and got right off again. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. Thanks Gramma!

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  2. Well what I just do not get… as someone who knew they were exposed to ebola, what possessed them to just get up and going traveling around, exposing hundreds and thousands of others? It was idiocy, and IMO criminal and they should be charged. They KNEW there was a chance they were infected and they showed reckless disregard for the lives of others.

    If I were exposed, I would be hiding in my house for a month (screw the 21 days just in case I was a “late bloomer”) because I would not want to bring that sort of potential misery on one single other person, much less be hotfooting it across state lines and spreading it around the country. Just criminal.

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