Sunday, November 16, 2014

Still An @$$Clown


CNN screenshot of interview with CDC Director Frieden, who apparently just won't go away.

Some people don't get that the best thing they could do is shut up, and quietly hide in their offices for 5 to 10 years, if not quietly retire to BFEgypt.

Usually, if you weren't clear on the concept, the president appointing a political hack to get the spotlight off of you, then keeping that guy in more seclusion than US nuclear weapons information, is normally a pretty good clue to STFU and slither away.

But hubris is a tough disease to beat, and CDC Director Tom Frieden still has a raging case, as noted in this CNN exclusive interview with him:

(CNN) -- In an exclusive interview with CNN, Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reflected on the lowest moments -- and the surprises -- that occurred when Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person to unexpectedly arrive in the United States with Ebola.
Duncan has been the only person in the United States to die of the disease, and two nurses who cared for him became infected with the virus. The CDC was roundly criticized for its handling of the crisis, and some Republican lawmakers called for Frieden's resignation.
Frieden's lowest moment: when the first nurse, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with Ebola.
"We learned that the situation wasn't going to be as simple or as controlled as we thought it would be, and we immediately intensified our response to address the situation in Dallas," he said.
He said his biggest surprise was the difficulty of Duncan's care.
 
"I think we didn't recognize how hard it would be to care for someone with Ebola who was desperately ill in the U.S., and how much hands-on nursing care there would be, and we didn't expect two nurses to get infected," Frieden said. 
Gotcha Tommy. You only misunderstood the disease itself, how to treat it, and how to prevent its spread. Say, by the by, what's the NAME of your agency again...?
During Duncan's hospitalization, Frieden repeatedly said in press conferences that any hospital in the United States should be able to treat Ebola.
CNN asked Frieden if he regretted those statements, considering that at Texas Presbyterian Hospital, Duncan died and two nurses became infected, but the other nine U.S. Ebola patients, who were treated at hospitals that were specially designated to treat the disease, all lived. In those cases no workers became infected.
 
"Clearly there are things that we wish we'd done differently," he said. "The bottom line is that Ebola is hard to treat, and when the first patient ever with Ebola came to the United States, we thought the guidelines would protect the health care workers. When two health care workers became infected, we recognized the guidelines didn't work. So we changed them."
Riiiiiiiiiiight. The only thing you do, as an agency with no coercive power, is to promote standards and guidelines for all 5000 hospitals in the US on anything that could be a public health concern. Particularly a virus with no known cure and an 80% mortality rate. So the only thing you had to contribute on Ebola, you totally fucked up nine ways from Sunday, and had to completely backtrack on and revamp, because you'd never noticed the work done for decades by groups like Doctors Without Borders in dealing with this very disease much better under far more primitive conditions. Great job, Tommy!
He added that one thing his agency would have done differently would have been to tell nurse Amber Vinson not to board an airplane from Cleveland to Dallas. Vinson had taken care of Duncan and had reported a temperature of 99.5 degrees, but was told she could fly, because the CDC's threshold at that time for Ebola was 100.4 degrees. Vinson later was diagnosed with Ebola.
Because when your main goal is the public's inviolable health and safety, what better bureaucratic approach than to throw all caution to the winds, and stick lockstep with inappropriate and clueless guidelines, right?
CNN also asked if he considered leaving his post when several Republican lawmakers called for his resignation.
"I'm really just focused on stopping Ebola. I'm working around the clock to do that, and I will continue to do that, as long as Ebola is spreading, as long as I have the opportunity to do that," he said.
Based on your performance in this crisis so far, you "working around the clock" on it is pretty much every American's worst nightmare. Consider other opportunities, and update your resume. There's got to be a town somewhere in North Dakota or the Yukon that needs a good dog and cat vet where the locals may not associate you with the CDC gig right off the bat. Think hard on this, will ya?
"I wish I had know then what we know now," he added. "But that's not how the world works. We live life forwards and we understand it backwards. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, there are always things we would do differently."
Like wishing the president had hired someone who wasn't a flaming head-up-the-ass hemorrhoid to supervise the CDC, no doubt. Or, simply playing calliope music as the background music whenever you make an interview appearance. Like this time.

And now, some appropriate exit music for you...


19 comments:

Rob Crawford said...

The most maddening thing is hearing the "public health experts" dismissing quarantine in exactly the same terms it was dismissed 100 years ago, ahead of and during the Spanish Flu. This is the clue that they are not scientists, not medical experts, but first and foremost "progressives", as that pack of clowns believe they are omnipotent, omniscient, and their personal prejudices are a better indicator of what will work than actual results.

Grouch, MD said...

I must say, I was...underwhelmed...with the CDC's response. A quiet retirement should be in the works. He can live next door to the jackhole at MIT who is so proud of lying to the stupid 'murricans to have Obamacare passed. That way we will only need 1 road trip and 2 Molotovs...

Anonymous said...

Aesop, I'm convinced it's a masquerade. Incompetence is only a feint, whereas in actuality these guys are old-line eugenicists for whom "depopulation" is a primary goal.

TXMom said...

Has no one at the CDC read The Hot Zone? They are worse than incompetent.

mike18xx said...

Of interest, now that Ebola is galloping through Muslim regions: what would evil people with an infectious disease? -- There's no need to guess.

The Corrupted Blood Plague (World of Warcraft)

In 2005, Blizzard added a new boss with a hit-point draining spell that effected anyone standing directly next to him. Since stepping to the boss meant you were probably about to die anyway, they saw no harm in making the spell contagious. ...But players soon worked out how to teleport the plague out of the dungeon and into the real (fake) world. An MMORPG pandemic was born.

The hit-points it took away were enough to instantly kill low level players, so high-level players immediately started teleporting around the map as much as possible. Because if there's one thing World of Warcraft players hate more than people who don't play, it's people who do play but not as much as them.

The plague killed new players, old players; it even infected non-player characters who couldn't get sick but acted as carriers -- so talking to an innkeeper could infect and kill you.


It was also revealing: In a game where people can be heroic knights or masterful mages, many leaped at the chance to become Terrorist Tyhpoid Mary. A small Taliban like force of plague-carriers actively fought Blizzard while hiding in the mountains, breaking quarantines and even incubating the plague through server-purges by infecting their own virtual pets then re-infecting themselves. They forced Blizzard into hard server resets, nuking and reinstalling their entire world. It was douchebaggery on measurable scientific and national security scales: Real-life scientists and bioterrorism experts now study it as a case example.

Hllbillygirl G said...

Martin Salia MD, dead of ebola in Nebraska. More lawsuits from Jesse Jackson in 3,2,1...

Miles said...

Here's the lastest blurb on the doctor's death.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/11/17/surgeon-who-contracted-ebola-virus-in-sierra-leone-dies-at-nebraska-hospital/

Here's an earlier one on how he was already sick and showing some symptoms, tested negative, then how it went downhill from there.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/a-doctors-mistaken-ebola-test-we-were-celebrating--then-everything-fell-apart/2014/11/16/946a84da-6dd5-11e4-a2c2-478179fd0489_story.html

Hopefully some of these people over here will open their eyes and understand how this can go very wrong, very quickly.

Miles said...

Aesop;

was going through the comments on the WaPo article.

One part of one comment caught my eye.

"By contrast, I am TOTALLY opposised (sic) to U.S. taxpayers being saddled with the $20 million cost for the NYC treatment of Dr. Craig SPENCER as Senator Chuck SCHUMER is now demanding."

If true,(and how can the accuracy be determined - perhaps your contacts in the med field?) now we have a SWAG on how much a single patient with Ebola can cost a hospital.

Willburr said...

Good post but a tiny FYI... I know you are being snarky but Veterinarians are pretty smart and talented. Every bit as the best human medicine counterpart.

For example one needs better grades to get into veterinary med school than human medicine as there are a lot less schools with fierce competition for seats and they only take the cream of the crop. The curriculum is grueling and there are internships and residencies just like human medicine once one graduates.

I come from a family with both types of doctors and this has been discussed quite a bit before!

Anyway thanks and keep up the good work!

Aesop said...

@Wilburr
While comparing Frieden to them may require that I apologize to both veterinarians and ordinary @$$clowns, I think he has it in him to be a vet; after all, he's already made it through medical school. I just want him somewhere such that his next screw up will only risk pets, rather than people.
@Miles:
$20M is re-cock-ulous! Work out how many days he was hospitalized, and divide that number onto $20M, and you'd get something like $1M/day; if any ICU was spending that amount, that hospital would go bankrupt the week they opened.
What $20M represents is the opportunity costs for closing their entire hospital ICU to treat ONE guy, which means another 10-20 beds were empty every day he was there. IOW They didn't spend that amount on Spencer, but they certainly may have lost it by treating him there.

As for policy, the best way not to get more of that, is not to subsidize it.
If hospitals know they're on the hook for all costs, that'll be the end of people working in Ebolaville, and the end of US hospitals caring for them once they become infected, and thus the end of transporting them there, or back here in the first place. Win-win-win.
Congress needs to publicly tell Bellevue to piss up a rope for that money, in order to get that ball rolling.
Send the bill to Dr. Spencer, and tell him he's working at half salary at Bellevue until his debts are paid off. That would be 20 years paying half of a notional $200K/yr., normal annual gross for a ER doc like he is, and they could use the help.
And he can write it off on his taxes for that entire time under current IRS regs.
So make that win-win-win-win-win.

Capitalist Eric said...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-17/ebola-infected-doctor-dies-nebraska-medical-center

Aesop said...

Noted.
So he's dead.
He was a sideshow at best, unless U NE or someone else screws up, and he becomes the source of a new outbreak.

Other than to his family and friends, his journey here, and even his passing, isn't particularly noteworthy.

It just means Sierra Leone is another doctor short.

Anonymous said...

"he wishes he knew back then what he knows now??" that's odd-- I'm a little old gray haired lady and I KNEW BACK THEN that he was f-- up! How come he didn't know??!!

geoffb said...

From this story they had 600 people on this for 21 days. Allowing one million for actual hospital expenses and costs other than people, which is a bit since Germany did theirs for $500,000 total for all care of a much sicker patient, that is 600 people for 21 days, 100,800 man hours. divide 19 million by 100,800 and we get $188.49 per hour. not bad pay.

Aesop said...

Which is why I'm calling "BS" on that number.
That's Schumer gilding the lily, SOP for a federal bill.
We run a 50+ bed ER with 200 people 24/7/forever, on one helluva lot less than $20M/yr.

Like I said, Bellevue may have eaten a few $Mil in billable care, but no way in hell did they spend $20M on that dickhead.

Even Steve Austin only cost ABC TV $6Million, back in the day.

mike18xx said...

Mali now attempting to place 442 people under surveillance (whatever that means).

More fun: "Meanwhile, a cargo ship on its way from Guinea to Ukraine reported it had a crew member with possible symptoms of Ebola, and prepared to drop anchor off Athens so doctors could board to examine him."

And in Guinea, the United Nations envoy charged with leading the Ebola response in that country, Rwandan national Marcel Rudasingwa, died on Monday.

Lastly: "Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we weren't able to save him," said Phil Smith, medical director of the bio-containment unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

You did the best you could, Doc, given that the REMFs took their jolly sweet time getting the patient on a plane. When seconds counted, they had days to waste.

In Washington, the White House extended condolences to the doctors family, praising him as a man who "dedicated his life to saving others."

...so, it's what? 0-2 now for saving the lives of black guys?

When we get to, say, 0-4, the ulterior motives of the Shadow Party scum running the Obama Administration behind-the-scenes will be realized: smearing the US as racist while simultaneously advancing their covert depopulation agenda.

Dissipation, dissipation, dissipation.

Miles said...

"@Miles:
$20M is re-cock-ulous! Work out how many days he was hospitalized, and divide that number onto $20M, and you'd get something like $1M/day; if any ICU was spending that amount, that hospital would go bankrupt the week they opened.
What $20M represents is the opportunity costs for closing their entire hospital ICU to treat ONE guy, which means another 10-20 beds were empty every day he was there. IOW They didn't spend that amount on Spencer, but they certainly may have lost it by treating him there."


OK, That makes sense
Although not much else dealing with this does.

geoffb said...

Costs at a non-NYC hospital.

'At UNMC, it has cost around $1.16 million to treat the two patients directed to us by the federal government. Treatment costs vary based on the severity of the patient when they arrive, but the cost is well beyond the normal costs incurred for an intensive care patient,” the school’s chancellor, Dr. Jeffrey Gold, said in prepared testimony for a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight subcommittee.

“In addition to the direct costs, we also take additional beds in the ward out of service when an Ebola patient is being treated which is a direct financial cost to the hospital. We estimate having to take those additional beds out of service has cost $148,000 so far.”
'

Not the 20 million, but then they will say they didn't have to track down over 300 people either though that is a bit thin as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Hey I live up here in North Dakota and we surely do not want that jackhole in our state. What did we do to you?