Thursday, October 30, 2014

Because Science

FORT KENT – Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, left their house Thursday morning, got on bicycles and headed down the road, with two state troopers following them.
Hickox and Wilbur pulled onto a snowmobile or bike trail. The troopers drove behind them but did not attempt to stop them.Hickox, who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, vowed Wednesday to wage a legal battle against Maine’s intention to enforce a 21-day quarantine with a court order.
Hickox and Wilbur addressed the media outside his house here Wednesday night, as local and state police watched from across the street.
“We have been in negotiations all day with the state of Maine and tried to resolve this amicably, but they are not allowing me to leave my house and interact with the public even though I am completely healthy and symptom-free,” Hickox said Wednesday. “I am frustrated by this fact, and I have been told that it is the attorney general’s intention to file legal action against me. And if this does occur, I will challenge the legal actions.”
Stephen Hyman, Hickox’s attorney, said Thursday morning that he had heard Hickox and Wilbur had left the house, and reiterated that she has every right to leave and the state has no legal authority to force her to stay in her house.

MiMi Crybaby's argument: Yes, I was exposed to rampant Ebola patients.
Yes, the disease can be contracted, and not manifest itself for 21 days.
No, it hasn't been 21 days since my last exposure yet.
Therefore, because science works differently for me, I should be at liberty to expose the entire area, because Constitution, bitchez!

State of Maine's argument: get your ass back in the house, until we're reasonably certain you aren't going to spread your cooties to the whole county. That would be a whole 'nuther 11 days, Dipshit. Qwitcherbitchin', put on your Big Girl pants, and stop acting like a farking moron.

If whatever state she allegedly holds a nursing license from doesn't take action to suspend or revoke hers, for demonstrated reckless disregard for the public's safety, and demonstrated inability to perform critical thinking skills materially related to the practice of nursing, they should show cause right now why they themselves shouldn't be removed from their positions immediately.

This is beyond mollycoddling this jackhole, it's gotten to criminal dereliction of duty.
It doesn't matter if she ends up not infected. The state is asking for and has the right to pro-actively quarantine someone based on reasonable potential for spreading a disease, in this case a deadly incurable pathogen. Crybaby meets that criteria, as Dr. Spencer's case from NYC demonstrates amply and beyond argument.

Friend-boy, not even a nurse yet, ought to be dropped from his nursing program for the same reasons, for the good of the entire profession. Neither one of them, nor even both combined, has the brains God gave a jackass.

And even odds somebody in Maine is going to start taking pot shots at them, quarantine or no.


Anonymous said...

Please see article at Natural News site..." Ant-quarantine nurse Hickox was trained as an intelligence officer by the CDC ". Her behavior now makes sense.

A Texan said...

“We have been in negotiations all day with the state of Maine and tried to resolve this amicably, but they are not allowing me to leave my house and interact with the public even though I am completely healthy and symptom-free,” Hickox said Wednesday."

In addition to being forcibly quarantined at this point, this bitch should be criminally charged with wilful public endangerment AND have her nursing license revoked - let her fight that one for the next 6 months while not making any money.

I simply cannot understand, by any rational though process, why she would be doing this. Yeah, no one wants to be confined. But in similar circumstances I would DEMAND to be quarantined and watched, so as to be legally (as well as morally) blameless for infecting anyone. I simply couldn't face a lifetime of questioning and blaming myself if I were the cause of someone getting this horrid disease (plus the chance of them infecting yet more people, etc.). I guess that her morality is just a bit different than mine.

Robert Fowler said...

I'd give her a choice. 21 days in your house or in a plastic wrapped jail cell. She could bitch to the press after it was determined she was safe.

Anonymous said...

People we haven't heard anything about lately:

Baltimore patient transferred, mystery guest

Chicago air travelers confined to hospital, one adult one child

Boy, 5, tests negative for ebola, awaiting second test for confirmation

74 people still under monitoring in Dallas, is the vomit washer one of them or not? What about Judge Clay? or the sheriff's deputies?

182 people in Ohio still under monitoring- what about stepdad and the bridesmaids?

48 people released in Dallas, statistically 2 of them will become infected after 21 days, one in the next 21, one will never develop symptoms.

Unknown number of subway riders- if you monitor someone who was on a plane with an infected person, why not monitor someone on a subway? Oh right, it is easy with the plane because you have names. Not so easy with a subway. And searching by metro card and cell phone movement would demonstrate capabilities someone would rather not talk about.

Anyhooooo, lots of potential for cases to develop even without new cases arriving by planes trains or automobiles.


Anonymous said...

Not wearing any blaze orange and going down a trail during deer season. It would be awful if they were involved in a tragic hunting accident.

Emily Disraeli said...

Whinny bitch needs to change her name to Mary "as in typhoid Mary" for no one in this country will ever allow her to touch them let along treat them. She is as good as dead professionally as Typhoid Mary was.

Anonymous said...

This whole charade feels to me like an elaborate Psyop to set us up for something much bigger. Too many things just don't make sense or add up. Nice that she had a PR quality photo of herself in nursing garb at the ready for this show. Something smells folks,,,


Anonymous said...

Since nobody of decent morals would even think of risking the lives of hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens because of selfishness, I can only reach one conclusion as to why she's doing this...

Mimi Bitchypants is a redhead. All redheads are batshit crazy.

Einstein proved it.

Sherm said...

The more she digs in on this the less likely she'd self-report even if she becomes symptomatic. I mean, what if she has a mild fever, rushes to the hospital, and she turns out not to have ebola? She can't admit to being wrong just in case it becomes a case of crying wolf.

It'll take a high grade fever at the very least to get her into treatment. By then, of course, her boyfriend and who knows who all else will be exposed. Treatment will be a bigger issue too since she'll be that much further along in the disease. Idiot!

Anonymous said...

From Drudge earlier today, here:

And the money quote from the veterinarian:

If I wish to import a horse into the United States from Liberia or any African country other than Morocco, the horse needs to undergo a 60-day quarantine period at a USDA-approved quarantine facility prior to mingling with the general population of horses in this country. …

If I were a resident of Liberia incubating Ebola, however, in order to enter the United States all I need to do is present a valid visa. I could lie when asked if I’d have been exposed to Ebola or, if showing symptoms, take Tylenol before going to the airport. Within hours (no quarantine required) I can be walking the streets of any city in the United States.

So, to recap: 60 days for African horses but we can't do 21 days for the Ebola exposed

Anonymous said...

Why does this woman need to be forced into quarantine? I seriously don't get where all of the hysteria is coming from.

To date, who has been infected by someone who was asymptomatic? Anyone?

Yet we have tons of examples of people being in close proximity to patients showing early symptoms (Duncan's family, for example), who didn't contract ebola.

There is no risk-free option in life - everything we decide to do or not do carries its own set of potential risks and benefits.

Thus far, no one has demonstrated that mandatory quarantine for returning medical personnel will reduce the rate of infections, but it could very well have negative consequences in terms of getting volunteers to West Africa, where their efforts are desperately needed.

Not to mention the fact that if you're cheer-leading locking up someone who isn't really a threat now, how are you going to feel later, if that type of over-cautious behavior multiplies and you find yourself stuck in a quarantined community, not because there's a real chance that everyone in that community might be infected, but simply because of the same hysteria?

You can criticize this woman all you want, but my guess is that you'll sing a different tune when the consequences of this precautionary principle behavior fall on you.

Here's a question that needs to be answered - while some ebola patients haven't developed fevers, what were the viral loads in those patients before other symptoms started to show?

If we can get data on that, then we can make rational decisions about what level of risk returning health care workers represent. But until we've done that, this is just a modern day witch hunt, imo.

Aesop said...

Quarantines in this instance aren't for contagious people, they're to prevent possibly contagious people from infecting absolutely healthy and uninfected ones.
We call this "infection control" in the trade; perhaps you've heard of the concept?

They're currently checking temps twice a day.
Okay, great.
What about during the 1438 other minutes per day when they're not checking??

This isn't chicken pox (which incidentally killed 16 people a year before 1995, when the vaccine was introduced), and letting potentially symptomatic persons run around risks exposing dozens to hundreds of people to a horrible disease for which there is no cure.

Characterizing the fear of that prognosis as hysteria is frankly asinine.

You're arguing that we ought to expose dozens, hundreds, even thousands of people to a disease against their consent, rather than isolate a few individuals at home for three weeks.

Not burn them at the stake, not throw them in the Chateau D'If, but simply require them to sit their ass home for three weeks, reading books, playing video games, and watching TV, as a precaution. O, the cruelty!

We also have megatons of examples of people being in close proximity to infected patients who did become infected: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia.
None of whom got their infections from the Ebola Fairy: they got them from other people, many of whom didn't look sick, but were.
13,000 of them are infected and5000+ are dead.

As to Duncan's con-conspirators, whether they knew how infectious he was, and what precautions they took from the get-go because of that personal knowledge is also an open question.
Curiously, they're in total seclusion and not talking to anyone about their part in his entry to the US, their knowledge of his infection status, or what precautions they took before and after his diagnosis.
We don't know what they knew, or when they knew it, and if asked, they'd all plead the 5th.

And if anybody claims they or anyone else would be willing to go to West Africa, 5000-8000 miles away, and work amongst rampant Ebola, but for having to stay home for three weeks afterwards upon their return, they're quite plainly full of shit.

As for your "question that needs to be answered", take a number.

The people working this thing are a bit too busy to be doing clinical research just yet, and the sum total of all Ebola patients in world history before this outbreak was a couple of thousand, most all of whom were dead before anyone started asking them questions or researching their clinical progress.
The list of things we don't know about Ebola therefore remains HUGE.

So when you don't know, and you don't know what you don't know, you act prudently and cautiously. And just as your right to swing your arm ends where my nose begins, your right to wander about the community ends where your risk of spreading Ebola begins, which could have been five minutes after your last twice-daily temperature check.

As a nurse, she knows this, so she's just being a raving jackass and whinging that it's all about her rights, and "F*** the community's concerns!"

The science says she has a nice cup of STFU, and stays home until November 10th. If she has a problem, the lawyers can fight it out in court, during which time she still keeps her stupid whiny ass indoors at home, because she could still be wrong.

This is anything but a witch hunt, but given her demonstrable lack of any common sense, ability to think logically, or concern for the greater community, burning her at the stake to stamp out the gene would probably be an excellent start, as well as the perfect thing pour encouragere les autres.

Anonymous said...

There are thousands of examples of people in close proximity to *symptomatic* patients contracting the virus, but I've yet to hear of a *single* example of someone contracting the virus from someone who wasn't already ill.

Until that changes, this OVER-precaution amounts to nothing more than hysterical fear mongering.

You can invent any hypothetical threat you want and claim that's a valid reason for restricting people's freedom of movement, but that doesn't make it wise to do so.

Until there is at least a scintilla of scientific evidence to indicate that asymptomatic ebola patients are highly infectious, blanket quarantine efforts like this are just cultural voodoo.

You might as well advocate quarantining people for 'cooties' because 'cooties' and asymptomatic ebola patients have the exact same number of documented instances of infecting people - zero.

Anonymous said...

Also, with respect to changes in health care workers' willingness to travel to the outbreak zone to help, I don't think your statement makes any sense.

If someone is making a commitment to go over there to help out for three weeks or a month, you think they will have the same willingness when the commitment to be away from their paying job would now be six or seven weeks?

What sort of vacation policy do you think most people have? Do you think they all have trust funds?

How can you think that varying the time commitment would not cause the volunteer rate to vary as well? Your assertion makes no sense to me.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 2:14
You're arguing ex nihilo.
To date, they don't how anyone is infected, nor by whom.
They apply deductive reasoning, but there is zero scientific evidence to support it.
You could look it up.

Think about what you're asking for:
"I've seen zero evidence of invisible phlogiston killing people. Therefore, there is no invisible phlogiston."

Now take out the word "phlogiston" and substitute "radiation", and tell me about your logic.

We do not know if asymptomatic but Ebola-infected people are contagious.
We do not know how infected people infect other people.

So, what if MiMi Crybaby wasn't a nurse, but was just another volunteer?
What if she was a flight attendant?
A kindergarten teacher?
The server at your favorite restaurant?
Should she be back at work already?

There is nothing from the side of common sense that argues for setting her at liberty until there is no likelihood of her being infected, and thus passing that infection on to others.

Suggesting otherwise is irresponsible hogwash.

If/when there's a way to determine infection status, at any point, to a reasonable standard of reliability, on a given date less than 21 days, that's how long the quarantine should last. But we don't have an Instant Ebola Test.
So toughski shitski for her, and everyone in the same boat.

Right now, the latent period is 2-21 days (in 95+% of cases. So we're already giving her a 5% benefit of the doubt with that. And when you give a mouse a cookie...)

Ebola isn't a hypothetical threat, and MiMi Crybaby wasn't theoretically exposed to it. It's as real as a heart attack.

You can wave your arms and keep repeating "Hysterical! Hysterical! Voodoo!" all you like, but it's counter-factual, anti-scientific, and anti-commonsense not to quarantine her, and there isn't enough lipstick to make that pig of an idea a beauty queen.

Aesop said...

And if tacking on three weeks' commitment is that big a deal, then maybe they can't afford to go. They can save up more, or wait longer, or stay home.

I'd like a Ferrari, but I can't afford it.

That's called reality.

Your desire to be a do-gooder does not obligate me to risk my safety and that of every other person in the community because at the back end you suddenly realized this was going to inconvenience you personally.

The answer to that perplexing conundrum is "Too fucking bad. Life is tough. Learn to deal with it."

I didn't give those people Ebola, and I didn't send MiMi over there to care for them. She wants to go, that's between her and the airlines.

She wants to come back? There are rules about that, and have been in civilized societies going back millennia.

"Quarantine" used to be 40 days, (it's where the term comes from) and for exactly the reason she's being put in one.
She should STFU and take her medicine, and be thankful they don't tack on the other traditional 19 days.

Anonymous said...

I noticed you didn't try to defend your claim that mandating an extra three weeks for volunteers won't limit the pool of volunteers.

The parts of your argument you did try to defend weren't very convincing.

There are hundreds of examples, just here in the US of instances where people have been around patients who are starting to be symptomatic, in an apartment, on a few airplanes, in a bridal shop, etc., and yet not a *single* additional infection resulted from those interactions.

That's called data.

What can we conclude from this data?

That there is zero chance of catching ebola from casual contact with a patients with early symptoms?


But we can conclude that the risk is very low - just like we can conclude that the risk of someone developing symptoms after 21 days is very low, but also non-zero.

We could also conclude that the risk might not be low, and our experience in the US just happens to be a fortunate statistical aberration.

But even that's not a reason to over-react - it just means we need to watch to see if the data changes, and correct course if necessary, but not institute policies that may hurt the CRITICAL goal of stopping ebola at the source of the outbreak, just because we're not sure.

How hard is that? Respond to the data, not to the panic.

Anonymous said...

Okay, now I see you are trying to defend that claim about health care workers - sort of.

What your response reveals is that you don't seem to understand that the danger of Ebola eventually showing up in the US in large numbers has MUCH MORE to do with stopping it in Africa than it does with fear driven (rather than data driven) reactions here in the US over quarantines.

If we save 10 or 20 near future contact cases here in the US but the cost of that is an outbreak that spreads through-out the 3rd world when we might have had a better chance of stopping it in West Africa by not making it harder for medical staff to volunteer, do you think that would be a good trade?

I don't.

Percy said...

They'll nail her into her house as soon as they can get this before a judge. She'll appeal and ask for suspension of the confinement order pending appeal. Denied. The 21 days expire. Case is moot. Damages for ruin of her own reputation: not available -- she did it, not Maine or New Jersey. Maybe she hopes for a future as a commencement speaker somewhere or as an author. Tired of nursing now, no doubt -- and a good thing, too.

Aesop said...

That's because I never said it wouldn't limit volunteers. I said that anyone claiming they're willing to go thousands of miles and work with Ebola but not if I might be quarantined for three weeks is talking fluent BS.

As to the asymptomatic contacts, that's nifty, except for the fact that many of them are still in the initial observation period.

So now you're arguing that parachute failures aren't a problem, because none of the people still falling have died yet.
Brilliant logic!

So you have NO data, just fond hopes.

So, was it okay for Dr. Spencer to traipse all around NYC, since he didn't manage to infect anyone?
Was it okay for Amber Vinson to fly back and forth and expose hundreds of passengers, since no one got infected?

Is it okay to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater as long as no one gets injured in the melee afterwards?
That's your whole argument.

What's telling in your responses is that it's entirely based on expediency, and contrary to standard infection controls.
It's right because you want it to be, and so far, it hasn't colossally failed, therefore we should use the entire public as your guinea pigs to test your unsupported theory.
The fact that your unsupported contention could lead to one or all dying a horribly excruciating death doesn't enter into your equation at any point.

Public health authorities have to be prudent, and manage the risk to THIS public, and their needs, as being more important than hypothetical risks to people on the other side of the ocean.

If you want to make their lives over there better without risking mine, try teaching them to stop eating bats, kissing dead people, and maybe to wash their hands after they crap and before they eat.
Because quite frankly, they're dying by the thousands now, and any risk of killing people here out of stupidity isn't balanced by more people going there in a futile gesture.

Because based on the current situation, there is absolutely nothing, that we have done, will do, or could do, that will slow, let alone stop that outbreak. In 5 or 6 more weeks, we'll have constructed, at great risk to 3000+ troops, some 1700 beds, for which there isn't and never will be adequate staff.
But in the intervening 9 weeks it took to accomplish that feat, Ebola will have increased by some 30,000 cases (it has already increased by 10,000, just this month).

We couldn't stop that if we sent the entire US military, and half the doctors and nurses in this entire country, even if they wanted to go.

By around New Year's, give or take, likely one or all of those three countries will collapse.
Infected people will disperse outwards, to Cote d'Ivoire, Mali. Senegal. And new outbreaks will start there - and there's nobody left to send to help them - in countries with more than double the population of the current three (54M people v. 21M).

So if a little caution now keeps us from having to deal with more Ebola here, even for a day, then nurse Whinypants can suck it. Or fly back right now. I don't care which.

Anonymous said...

What I think is going on here is that we are more afraid of the firecracker that is two feet away from us, than from the machine gun pointing at us from one hundred yards away.

And that's a mistake.

There's a way that we could handle our near term concerns in the US while at the same time enhancing our response to the greater threat in West Africa by simply paying people.

Let's say we need 2,000 doctors and 8,000 nurses to serve in West Africa for the next six months to get this under control.

Offer to pay those doctors $100,000 per month and those nurses $25,000 per month with a contractual obligation to self-isolate for 21 days upon return.

The cost? 2.4 billion plus infrastructure, transportation, and consumables costs. So let's say 5 billion, all in.

That's about $20 per US taxpayer, or about half of what the government spends in a day. You could probably even crowd source it.

This would be a smarter way to speed up wiping out this ebola outbreak than reacting from fear and failing to adequately adress the bigger problem.

Anonymous said...

So you think you can escape it if it spreads in the third world?

That's ridiculous.

Once it's in Latin America, it's here.

There is no way to stop it here without stopping it there, and even if it takes 500 billion dollars, that's still a preferable outcome to the existential alternative.

Aesop said...

No it wouldn't, because next year, some dumb bastard over there would decide he wanted BBQ bat, his wife would prepare it, give Ebola to the baby, and we'd be off to the races again.
And every year thereafter.

AND they'd blame us for giving them Ebola, like the leading newspaper in Liberia already did this September.

There isn't enough money in the entire federal budget to fix that kind of problem.

You want to start a charity and raise money, knock yourself out. I'll send you the $20. But keep your hands out of my pocket, and get off my back. I can't carry the 47% Free Shit Army here, plus 11-20M illegal aliens, and now 20M ignorant tribesmen in Africa. If we can find $5B extra in the federal budget(and we could find 10 opr 100 times that much), then it's $5B too big.

At some point, they're going to need to start figuring stuff out themselves, and in the meantime, there's no requirement to import them here daily. We're already carrying the lion's share of the load on relief there. They've had famines and epidemics for millennia. The "civilized" countries have figured this out already.

Stop throwing life preservers to the ones who put 400 people on a 50 passenger ferry, and then look shocked when it flips over.

Anonymous said...

Aesop, it sounds like you WANT this to spread.

Anonymous said...

Even that argument makes no sense.

I think it is possible to stop it because other countries in Africa have done just that.

But even if I took your view that a vaccine is the only hope, and we're just playing for time here, then that's even MORE reason to work on slowing it down over there.

None of your logic makes any sense.

If you think we can stop it, then stopping it over there makes sense.

If you think we can't, then slowing it down over there (where it's currently growing at the fastest rate) makes sense.

Aesop said...

Because I won't blow sunshine up your skirt and tell you "Everything's gonna be okay"??
Sorry if Reality leaves a mark. get used to it.

@Anonymous 4:00
If you think I've ever said that, you haven't read this this blog.

We can't stop it there, and we won't stop it here.

But we can sure as hell slow it down and stave it off, maybe even long enough to figure out treatments or a vaccine.

Tell me your master plan to stop it over there.
So far, everything we've don, total, worldwide, to date, hasn't even slowed it down.
Not once in 10 months.

So tell me how you'd do more, harder, faster, and with what, from whom.

This thing was out of the can back in April, and after July, there was never any way of getting ahead of it, which is when I started noting that.

You could look it up.

You're standing five miles downwind from Hiroshima, and telling me you want to try and stack sandbags before the nuclear blast wave gets here.

Best of luck with that plan.

I love Lucite said...

It is a sad reflection on today's society that a person is unable to be alone with themselves for a period of 21 days. People today have nothing but air between their ears. Faced with isolation, they are unable to live with the emptiness inside their brains. Instead, they seek some constant distraction to keep their minds 'occupied'. Actual thinking ability is non-existent (see: Facebook for a look inside American minds!)

Aesop said...

Other countries stopped it with one case, and/or with one vector.

As we will here, the first few times.

When it hits 20, then 50, then 100, a country still has a shot.

But once it's multiplying faster than you can catch it, it's gone.

Sorry Cupcake, but that window closed for W. Africa months ago. You can't get ahead of it now, and you won't.

A month ago, there were 7000 cases. Now there are 14000. Next month there will be 28000. In December, 56000. And those are "official" numbers, whereas the actual numbers are three times that big.
And it's doubling every three weeks.

You're trying to footrace with a Indy racecar on the straightaway. it's futile, stupid, and wasteful.
We can't stop it there, and we can't slow it down over there, except by keeping it out of uninfected countries with quarantine.

Which, golly gosh and surprise!, is exactly what I've been saying here since frickin' August.

Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia are gone.
They're dead men walking.
Everything, EVERYTHING we're doing, that EVERYONE is doing, is having virtually no effect whatsoever on the spread of the disease.

That's why this is a big deal, despite only 9 US cases to date.

And why keeping it as far away for as long as possible is in our interests.

If charities want to work in the future destroyed countries, that's their business.

If we wanted to do something useful it would be to improve the medical response and capabilities in Cote d'Ivoire, and Mali, and Senegal, and Guinea Bissau, so that they have some shred of hope to catch and stop infected people at 1 case, 2 cases.

Because it they get to 20 or 50, they're done. Just like any city here will be.

Anonymous said...

Well, as I already wrote, once it hits Latin America, then it's as good as here, so if you don't think that anything can be done to slow it down, then you might as well just give up at this point.

So why comment at all?

Just to preserve a month or two of peace here before the global spread hits Mexico?

I don't see much point in that. Perhaps if we did have a few more cases here, we'd be more likely to spend the kind of money it would take to slow things down over there.

That's another possibility.

Kath said...

I haven't seen this addressed. But it's a fact that many experienced Ebola doctors have stated that 12-13% of people (think min. 12 out of 100) who have gotten Ebola do not get a fever. Some cases never do get a fever from onset to death. So when do they become symptomatic? If she develops fatigue tonight or tomorrow, she can blow it off because of her exercise from her bike ride and justify it to herself, right? She has no fever.She has a little bit of a tummy ache, but she’s still getting use to the American diet again and something didn’t agree with her, right? She has no fever. Etc. etc. etc. If she is one of the twelve who never get a fever, I believe she will go in later for treatment because of reasons like this.

Kath said...

Reply to Anonymous at 4:41 PM:

A very smart General gave this statement to consider and this was before we even had a case here in the USA:

A top U.S. general admitted that a potential Ebola outbreak in Central America is a real threat to the United States and a scenario which could result in a mass migration across the U.S./Mexico border, as thousands would attempt to flee the deadly virus.

“The immediate thing that really keeps me up awake at night, I tell you, it’s the Ebola issue,” said Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of U.S. Southern Command,to an audience at the National Defense University on Tuesday. “There’s no way you can keep Ebola in West Africa.”

It’s a startling statement from Kelly who, as the man responsible for all U.S. military activities in South and Central America and the Caribbean, oversees a slew of serious issues from human trafficking to drug trade. During the videotaped event, the general said that many countries in Western hemisphere have “no ability” to deal with an outbreak of this sort, and much like we are seeing in West Africa, the disease “would rage for some period of time.”

“If Ebola breaks into Haiti, and Central America, I think it is literally ‘Katie bar the door’ in terms of the mass migration of Central Americans into the United States,” Kelly said, of the thousands he foresees fleeing countries like Honduras, El Salvaldor and Guatemala if an Ebola outbreak there were to occur. “These populations will move to either run away from Ebola or, in the fear of having been infected, to get to the United States, where it would be taken care of.”

The general added, “If there is an outbreak in the Caribbean, particularly in Central America, it would make the 68,000 unaccompanied children, I think, look like a small problem.”

Anonymous said...

The anonymous anti-quarantine poster above is entirely correct that Ebola will eventually overrun Mexico and Central America, but it's pretty dimwitted to then infer that the U.S. would automatically be screwed in that situation.

Sure we'd be screwed if we didn't take preventive measures. But the right response is to then say, "OK, let's take appropriate preventive measures for that contingency," not "Oh no we're screwed for sure and there's nothing we can do!"

IF we value open borders above all else, then yes, of course we'd be screwed. But if we were to instead value our own self preservation over open borders, then odds are good we would NOT be screwed.

It would be pretty frickin' easy to quickly draft a couple million people and station them on the border as armed border agents. We could shut down the border 99.9% in a few weeks if we decide to do it. (Hell, there'd probably be so many volunteers sign up to help secure the border that a draft might not even be necessary.)

Shut down commercial flights from hot zones, implement mandatory quarantines (for 42 days imo), and implement a draft to close the border down 99.9% practically overnight. Do those 3 things and we would DRASTICALLY curtail and possibly completely stop spread from Mexico/Central America into the U.S. even if 30 million of them were sick.

Combine those 3 'slow down the spread' tactics with a radical ramping up of vaccine/treatment production (we could easily ramp it up a hundredfold, and should have months ago), and there would be virtually no Ebola deaths in the U.S. even if all of Mexico/Central America burns.

The goal from a U.S. perspective should be to buy enough time to mass produce enough vaccine/treatments for every U.S. citizen. That can easily be done, and should be the goal of every relevant U.S. public official.

If I were president, we would have had enough vaccines/treatments for every U.S. citizen by Christmas (maybe even by Halloween), and virtually no cases by then thanks to suspending visas/flights, legit quarantines, and a buttoned-up border.

And then the disease would have quickly been brought under control WORLDWIDE in January (or even a couple months earlier) thanks to the continued uber-mass production of vaccines/treatments.

If our nation is healthy, we can be a frickin' juggernaut in terms of vaccine/treatment production and in terms of having the logistical capability to quickly deliver it where needed, worldwide. But if Ebola catches fire here, out capacity to help the world would (will) be severely impeded.

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting perspective, but wouldn't it be more cost effective to employ a few thousand people over there rather than a couple of million people over here?

And also by doing that, avoid the martial law complications that would most certainly be part and parcel of circumstances that would drive us to the two million person border security effort you describe?

Anonymous said...

Why people? We have drones, Apaches, etc. Would be cheaper.

Aesop said...

@Anon 8:08

What makes you think there'd be any martial law necessary?
In 1944 1 American in 6 was in the military, no martial law, and the economy was at capacity.

And what "few thousand people"?
WHO has trouble right now finding so many as 10 volunteers.

Over here, there's been a nursing shortage every minute of the last 35 years, and it's only going to get worse.

You couldn't find a few thousand anybodies to go over there, even if you used a press gang.

Anonymous said...

"What makes you think there'd be any martial law necessary?"

Ummm, perhaps the fact that with a handful of cases in the US, Christie and the governor of Maine already seem to be warming up to that sort of thing by quarantining people who show no signs of infection?

With dozens or hundreds of cases coming across the southern border every day, you don't think they'll move on to further measures?

In 1941, the field of battle wasn't here in the US. Had it been, you can be sure the country would have been under martial law. In this case, the battle will be here on our soil.

What "few thousand people?" The ones who would volunteer if you paid them handsomely to do so. Is that guaranteed to work? Nope. But isn't it worth trying? Offer nurses 150k for half a years work - five months in Africa + one quarantine month back home. Money does tend to motivate people.

And if that number doesn't work, then pick a bigger one. It will still be cheaper beating this back over there than it will over here, because once these societies start to collapse, war is likely to follow, and that's only going to fan the flames and drive the spread of this virus.

Aesop said...

Quarantines have been enforced in this country since forever, and they've never resulted in martial law.

Thinking that's necessary now or in the future is simply delusional.

With dozens of cases coming across the southern border, the only martial law will be open season on border crossers. Game over in 5 minutes. Ebola kills you in 12 days. A bullet to the head is rather quicker. So unless you live within 20 feet of the border, your martial law worries are simply lunacy.

We probably wouldn't even need to send troops. The border counties would be happy to let the local citizenry take on the job, and the border would be sealed tighter than a frog's butt in about an hour, and for good.
(Of course, President Obola would have to grow a brain, or be impeached, to sit still at the prospect of losing his 20-50M future Democrat voters forever, but if Ebola-infected hordes begin to appear on the southern border states' radar, the impeachment may well come from the muzzles of tank cannons on the White House lawn.)

As to sending people, there is no amount available in the real world you could send that would have any effect on this crisis in W. Africa.
That dream is history. I figured it out from looking at their own numbers in July, and WHO is only just now coming to grips with it. It's like trying to drain the ocean a spoonful at a time.

It takes 12-16 years after high school to make one doctor. It takes 3-4 years to make one nurse. People that highly trained and remunerated already, and in short supply already, aren't going to go over to Ebolaville for money for the most part, and the few who you will get won't be the best ones, just the most desperate. You'd do as much good spending the money on hookers and cocaine.

Meanwhile, it only takes 21 days to turn 1 Ebola patient into 3 Ebola patients. You can't fight that math.

So when those countries collapse, there isn't going to be a war, there's going to be a stampede. Most of them have been at war internally for years up until recently already, which is why those countries suck at getting anything constructive done. They're so broken now a collapse will only change one thing: keeping the infected inside the borders. And as ten+ years in SWAsia have proven, you can't create a country (or three) by throwing money and troops at it, and wishing hard. And it doesn't work any better if you send doctors and nurses instead of soldiers and bombs.

Straight Male Nurse said...

Another complication in West Africa is the deep seated distrust of western medicine. For decades during and after colonization, European pharmaceutical and medical companies performed experiments on the african people. That history has really poisoned the well.

Aesop said...

Oh please. Just stop.
These are people who, right this minute, think Ebola is caused by witchcraft.
That's right, people are dying of Ebola because witches fucking cursed them.
Nobody needed to poison any well.
They're illiterate, superstitious morons, and have been old is H. Australopithecus again?

Anonymous said...

"So when you don't know, and you don't know what you don't know, you act prudently and cautiously."

Though I tend to think Kaci is most likely not carrying or she would have shown it by now, I cannot deny the slim possibility. And thus, on your statement above, I am wholeheartedly with you, Aesop. It is so totally unprofessional of her, even if she completely believed she was fine, not to simply submit to the quarantine out of consideration for the fears of others and the reputation of nursing. A wise man once said, "Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor." She is the dead fly in the oil of nursing.
Bill K.

Anonymous said...

Let's think of humanity as if it were one big interconnected organism - one big person, the US is the brain and West Africa is the left little toe, and the left little toe has cancer.

If you operate on the cancer, there's a risk it might spread faster, but data thus far show that risk to be small and there's a chance you could slow or stop it.

If you use chemo, you might hurt other parts of the body, but you are also likely to slow its spread from the source.

The other option is for the brain to ignore the cancer in the little toe, hoping that a miracle cure will arrive just in time to prevent it from killing the brain.

The problem is, the body (and the brain) can die long before the cancer actually spreads there. If you take out the heart (China?) or the lungs (India?), then the body and the brain die along with it.

The global economy, particularly the international banking system, is far too interconnected to believe that conditions in the US won't deteriorate rapidly as a result of outbreaks in other countries well before mass infection becomes a problem here.

Anonymous said...

Your anon do gooder is confused about many things. One is the meaning of "volunteer." When making such a fundamental error, it's no surprise that s/he makes other logic errors.

There are people in Africa that will RAPE a CHILD in the belief it will cure their AIDS. That's pretty well documented and about as sick as it comes. They will not abandon touching their dead, no matter that you can see what happens later with your own eyes. They won't stop eating bush meat, even though it is killing them. They MURDER health workers.

Watch the Vice News report Monkey Meat and the Ebola outbreak in Liberia to see what you are up against in West Africa.

At about 3:30 we meet Dr Sahr, an epidemiologist, who is in charge of all infectious disease testing in Liberia. HE was SKEPTICAL about the presence of ebola in June. Look at the end note in the segment, it says that in June 357 people had died of ebola. The current number is more than 5000 4 months later.

Watch the Vice News piece on the fight against Ebola

Watch at 23:41 when the Dr in charge of the treatment center gives the interviewer the lowdown on why he shouldn't enter the treatment area, no matter what PPEs he has. If you watch all the way to the end, you will even see special thanks to Mukpo, the guy who ended up being treated here in the US. He listed Vice on his resume'. Looking at the conditions where they were filming, it really shouldn't surprise anyone that he got sick.

We shouldn't spend another life trying to do the impossible in africa. Save our resources for ourselves. I'm tired of being the savior of the world, and getting spit on and attacked for it.

Let africa burn, or let the Euro's get off their asses and do something about it. I don't have ONE DOLLAR MORE for africa.


Anonymous said...

Oh, the toe analogy? If you have cancer in your toe, you cut the fucker off. You DO NOT risk the rest of the body for something you don't really need anyway.

Yes, the world is interconnected and outbreaks in other parts of the world will affect us. That is why we need to isolate the contagion. Let it burn itself out. IF it manages to escape, DESPITE SERIOUS EFFORTS TO CONTAIN IT, then we deal with those outbreaks.

There is NO reason to HELP it spread.


BTW I'm sick to death of hearing about the mythical volunteers that are SO concerned they will RISK A HORRIBLE DEATH to help, but won't accept being quarantined. You know, the ones who will be dissuaded from helping if we quarantine. How the hell could someone be that messed up, that HORRIBLE DEATH is somehow not as bad as 3 weeks vacation?

Unless, you know, their volunteerism is really a form of misery tourism and self aggrandizement. Maybe mix in a little latent racism that THEY can't get sick because only the under skilled natives make mistakes. Just thinking out loud...

idahobob said...

Lock the whining bitch up.


Anonymous said...

It's racist to condemn BEHAVIOR? Since when? Guess what, people have been screaming 'racist' at people who aren't for long enough that it has lost its effect. Call me whatever makes you feel better, and lets you dismiss my ideas. Has no bearing on me.

I didn't "break it" and neither did my ancestors. I don't have any obligation to fix it.

"If the West had left Africa alone, "-- ah the myth of the noble savage, beloved of the uninformed everywhere. Talk about racist.

Anyway, if you want to go "fix" it in Africa, go ahead. Take your friends with you. But don't try to compel me to help. I'm fresh out of milk of human kindness.


Anonymous said...

LOFL at the dimwitted notions that:

1) sending a few thousand extra people to West Africa will solve the problem (there's almost zero chance that would help enough to 'stop the problem there', so get real)

2) drafting a couple million people to serve as border agents and shutting down the borders 99.9% for the next 6 months or so will necessarily cause martial law (that's just dimwitted--closing the borders, along with enacting mandatory quarantines and halting visas/flights, is precisely what would allow us to AVOID martial law)

Obvious shill is obvious.

Anonymous said...

"The global economy, particularly the international banking system, is far too interconnected to believe that conditions in the US won't deteriorate rapidly as a result of outbreaks in other countries well before mass infection becomes a problem here."

...unless we simply go ahead and take some rather simple preventive measures. Your conclusion only follows if we do nothing to prepare, which would be stupid. How about we simply take the simple actions that would obviate any sort of rapid and nasty deterioration here?

Also, you do realize these are short timescales, right? As in, shut down the borders and incoming flights for like 6 months. That's way more than enough time for us to mass produce enough vaccines/treatments for every U.S. citizen, which would render Ebola as no longer any kind of serious threat to us. And within just a few months after that (if not sooner), we could produce and distribute enough vaccines/treatments worldwide to completely halt the pandemic.

It's naive and grossly unimaginative to think that the U.S. couldn't manage to partially disconnect from parts of the world for a very short time without falling apart. Get real.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, the toe analogy? If you have cancer in your toe, you cut the fucker off. You DO NOT risk the rest of the body for something you don't really need anyway."
Yeah, that toe example was horrible.

If you've got Ebola in your toe and there's a serious risk of it infecting and killing the rest of the body, you isolate/quarantine/cut off the toe. Sorry toe, I love you and all, but you're not worth the risk.

The person who proposed that stupid toe example actually did a decent job of showing the mindset of the dolts in charge by not even considering the obvious solution.

Well sure we could easily stop Ebola, save ourselves, and then save the world if we temporarily close our borders for 6 months or so (i.e. temporarily cut off our toe for 6 months), but we can't do THAT! That's cheating!!

Aesop said...