Friday, October 17, 2014

President Obola: Stop The Flights

Stop the horseshit. Stop the flights.
One infected person already took two flights back and forth to Ohio from Dallas-Ft. Worth. The two planes involved made 27 further flights, potentially exposing thousands of contacts to Ebola.
Another previously non-monitored healthcare worker is "self-quarantining" on a cruise ship loaded with people, 2000 miles away off the coast of Belize. And so far even Belize is smarter than you and the CDC about how to handle that: they said "Fuck no!" when asked if we could waltz her through their country to get her back in lockdown here ASAP. When banana republics are smarter than you are, you should probably take note.
The "voluntary" isolation orders laid on 74 other workers require them not to go out in any public place or use any public transport, including busses, trains, planes, or ships.
So it's far beyond jackassical to make the farcical claim that halting all passenger transport or entry visas from the three most-affected countries won't work.
It works so well, in fact, that it's the exact first thing we do with our own people here at home with even less suspicion than any of the hundreds of travelers proceeding here daily from those three countries engender.
So let's stop the monkey-assed claims that it doesn't work, won't help, and will lead to them sneaking in here some other way.
For both your benefit, and that of your Chief Medical Flying Monkey, CDC Director Frieden, there hasn't been a land route into the US from Africa since somewhere between 6000 and 200,000,000 years ago, according to either biblical or geologic scholars.
So any "experts" telling you that somehow Ebola victims will be able to walk on water to get here are clearly stupider than a bag of hammers. The fact that you can't and won't name any such experts is proof that they're nothing but your Imaginary Friends; all well and good to have when you're four years old, but when you're a sitting president of the US, not so much.
If concerns are that they'll somehow fly to another country and then walk across the southern border, then maybe, since you're already up, you could pull your head out on that and start securing it too. People have only been shouting for that for 20 years, so maybe you could finally get on that, just for the helluvit.
We know it's hard for someone with such strong ties to your native continent to ever put the concerns of the country you were elected to represent first, but grow a little:
Put America First.
I know it's a novel concept in the Oval Office these past 5 or 6 years, but perhaps a small step, like not exposing 316 million of your own citizens needlessly to a deadly pathogen, might be one of the first tentative steps to actually thinking and acting like an American would in similar circumstances. Who knows where that could lead?
I'm not asking you stop waving your latte at the Marine guards on Marine and Air Force One, or actually learning the words to the Pledge of Allegiance, or the National Anthem, or where your hand goes when you say them in public - that would be crazy talk! - because God damn America! knows what a busy golfer President you are.
But hopefully we can agree that not transporting a weekly quota of Ebola-infected plague-drones here to kill people, expose our kids, devastate our hospitals, and wreak havoc on the national economy, psyche, and the peace of mind of everyone living here (with a functioning brain)* is a good idea.
*{Tom Frieden, call your office. Oz left a message: the Wizard's found your diploma!}
But if we can't agree to that, then institute this simple compromise: From here on out, on days you aren't using it, we start flying everyone leaving Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone here on Air Force One. That way we'll all know exactly how safe it is to let them get on planes and come here, and you can get some great photo ops with them!
It's a shame your Aunt Zeituni has passed away, but maybe you can find some other relatives over there to help by giving them work as cabin attendants for the flights, and welcoming folks from their country to ours on your behalf. I hear Chelsea Clinton needs a gig too now that she's no longer working for NBC, and she's got a new baby. Putting her on board would help out a struggling new mom, and give you a chance to pay back Hillary for those long years of faithful service getting our consulates burned down and such, making up wild cover stories, and then forgetting all the details.
So how about it? Show us how much you're buying the "you can't catch Ebola on an airplane" stories, by putting as many of those totally harmless non-symptomatic travelers on your plane, to help support their struggling economies. And then, no one could accuse you of blatant double-talking, flagrant lies, and obvious hypocrisy, because then you'd no longer be recklessly endangering the entire country while carefully ducking any personal consequences.
Unlike what you're doing now, every single day.


Emily Disraeli said...

We now have a federal Ebola 'czar', Obola appoint Ron Klain. They are following the plan to the letter.

A Texan said...

"It works so well, in fact, that it's the exact first thing we do with our own people here at home with even less suspicion than any of the hundreds of travelers proceeding here daily from those three countries engender.

So let's stop the monkey-assed claims that it doesn't work, won't help, and will lead to them sneaking in here some other way."

The assclown-in-chief CAN'T stop the claims, any more than he can actually put up a fence and make a serious effort to guard the border - BECAUSE IT WOULD WORK, AND HE DOESN'T WANT IT TO WORK!

Even simply banning flights from West Africa (which, clearly, would work wonders in keeping new cases out) isn't something he wants. Why? Not because he wants us infected, but because it wouldn't allow him to achieve something that he values far more than our collective health, which is his and his party's political power. A successful ban on flghts from West Africa would necessarily lead to questions about other diseases being brought in from south of the border (like EV D-68) and even Ebola itself (either from Africans trying to evade the flight ban, or from South or Central Americans who get infected in the future). Thus ALL of his policy regarding immigration and open borders would be questioned - or, IMHO, not merely questioned, but reversed by a Congress stunned at the anger of the American people. That defeat would crush him, psychologically, far more than 10,000 Americans getting Ebola - because, you see, he is among the most malignantly narcissistic people out there, and FAR more dangerous because he has damned near complete power to do as he wishes. He simply does not care about us - though he can make a good show of such in order to further his goals. He cares far more - actually, ONLY - about his power, and the image of him that is tied to that power.

Actually, Aesop, mere assclowns are kind of funny and entertaining compared to Resident Obola - they generally don't hurt vast numbers of people. A few, maybe, and that's bad enough, but not like this narcissistic SOB.

Maybe if the American public gets sick and tired enough of him and his galactically stupid minions, they'll reward him with a 15 seat loss in the Senate. THEN you'll see some movement - because a scared-to-death Congress will shove it down his throat.

A Texan said...

@ Emily Disraeli

A czar. Rather, ANOTHER czar.

What is it about this SOB that he loves to appoint unaccountable (to anyone but him) bureaucrats whose job description is named after some of the most despotic, brutal hereditary dictators ever to breathe air? Says just a bit about him, doesn't it?

Oh, and if the "czar" says to ban flights from West Africa, will Resident Bozo Obola do it? Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

Islamic Burial Rituals Blamed For Spread Of Ebola

Able said...

I was just re-reading "Return of the Black death: The World's Greatest Serial Killer" by Susan Scott and Christopher Duncan.

A 'sobering' read but one which raises the issue of indigenous host animals as a viral reservoir (a spread to other mammals is hardly unlikely). You might want to examine the fact that America has an abundance of species which have already shown an ability to act as an asymptomatic reservoir species in 'immigrant' diseases such as Yersinia Pestis.

Africa is (obviously) a warm and humid area, and there's some evidence that cold environments are not (as) conducive to haemorrhagic fever spread – just like parts of the US.

So maybe part of what should be being considered is (like happened with the considerably more benign and treatable Yersinia Pestis) is the possibility of a reservoir in America allowing for repeated re-emergences.

To quote from the book:

“Health authorities throughout the world are well aware in general
terms of the dangers of emergent diseases, and international
teams are standing by to deal with any reported outbreak. But
have the lessons of HIV/AIDS been learnt? If a disease were
to emerge with a lethality and ferocity comparable to the Black
Death it would be not simply idiotic but suicidal for governments
to pussyfoot around with advertising campaigns, or for anyone to
think ‘it could never happen in my country’. Once the means of
transmission had been identified and the nature of the disease
determined, strict control and security measures would be
immediately necessary. The key lies in the determination of the
incubation and infectious periods. Full international aid and
cooperation should be made available without question. Teams
of epidemiologists and microbiologists would have to work around
the clock to determine the characteristics of the new disease, so
that the spread and outcome of the epidemic could be predicted
and appropriate measures taken.
As ever, the price of safety is eternal vigilance.

My one consolation in all this so far is that I think it's highly unlikely that the O and his minions have the CCR5-∆32 mutation
, so ...

Able said...

Oh, and a question!

We've been repeatedly 'informed' that Ebola Zaire has an incubation period of approximately 21 days (I wonder just what the actual extreme range is 21, 31, 41 days? After all 2 days seems to have supposedly been the minimum – quite a spread there!), but what is the (assuming it is known) the latent period, and what is the infectious period?

As with 'The Black Death' the latent period was considerably shorter than the incubation phase and so the person was asymptomatic but highly infectious for a considerable period, which is how it became spread as widely and rapidly as it was. (Time from infection to death averaged about 37 days so the independently, across all of Europe, developed quarantines of forty days was about right – pity we don't have some of those old-timers around now to run the show).

Personally I'd like some (trustworthy) reassurance that 'being asymptomatic' actually equates to 'being non-infectious'. Is there any evidence that the latent period is 'that' long? (Let's be honest here 'all' the filoviruses have an asymptomatic but infectious period).

Seriously appreciate an answer if anyonwe has one.

A Texan said...


1) I saw a report about a study (how's that for first-hand knowledge :>) ) that mentioned an incubation period of 42 days - with 2% of victim's not even having symptoms at that point. Me, I'd order a 60-day quarantine if I had the authority.

2) I saw that another report mentioned that 13% of Ebola victims NEVER show an elevated temp. So much for these temp screenings here and in Africa.

3) FYI, a relative of mine wh0 works for the federal government in a position where knowledge of life sciences is important told me last night that the temp screenings are as much "Health Theater" as the entire TSA apparatus is "Security Theater." IOW, it is all show and no substance.

Andrew said...

How about routing all flights from that part of the world through DC airports as a compromise? The quarantining the potential carriers on the White House lawn in tents? They can go inside to use their bathrooms after all.
Air Farce One is busy hauling King Putt to the back nine you know.

Aesop said...

Bats, rats, and polecats have always been repositories for disease.

The asymptomatic latent period is from 2 up to 21 days - in 95% of cases. Meaning 5% have always been understood to be longer.

Part of the problem is we have more Ebola cases right now than the total of all there ever were before this year, forever.
So the statistics for our current knowledge are somewhat limited.

As far as whether someone can be contagious without being symptomatic, it hasn't been observed to be true, which says more about the limited number of observations than about the actual truth.

And it isn't ethical to put uninfected people unprotected in with asymptomatic infected people, and then see whether or nor they get the disease, in order to find out.

Ebola is, functionally, brand new, because many basic facts are still unknown, and they're learning more about it right now than most of what they already knew for the past 38 years, in terms of experiential and observational behavior in the wild, in humans. As has ever been true with deadly plagues.

Which is a long way of saying that we're all guinea pigs, if we sit still for it.

Able said...

Tex, thanks, in other words no one has any real idea yet?


I agree it's immoral and unethical to 'infect' someone just to gather the data … but we have a pool (small but growing) of those where we have a definitive contact date/time. Surely monitoring them sufficiently closely so should they (and hoping they do not) develop the infection we can at least chart the progress accurately (it may not help 'them', who may be beyond any help at that stage, but it will certainly help others. If it was me I'd be demanding they did so).

I'm aware of the disease carrying capabilities of most of the mammal/reptile/insects here but what struck me was the data that indicated that the disease, for example Bubonic plague, was only able to reoccur (20 times in 50 years at one spot) due to an unaffected host animal population elsewhere (eg. gerbils) – the black rats that spread the plague were killed by that very plague and so limited and prevented a reoccurrence, until another 'outsider' animal reinfected the replacement population. (The Black Death relied on, initially, reseeding from central/western Africa, and then later 'something' happening in France to maintain it for centuries).

I guess what I am trying to say is, 'if' ebola becomes sufficiently widely disseminated, and if an unaffected animal host species is infected, then we're in for repeat plagues unless and until either the host population is wiped out, a vaccine is developed or we develop some immunity (that or we all die out) like Europe did (possibly for a 300+ years). Once it's here and entrenched it will be something our great great great grandchildren will be dealing with.

Better to prevent than deal with either way.

Mark W. Bennett said...

I have a question: do you think we should ban all flights directly from West Africa, all flights originating in West Africa, all flights from airports served by flights directly from West Africa, all flights from airports served by flights originating in West Africa, or (probably the same as the last option) all flights?

I'm enjoying your blog.

Anonymous said...

No one should be allowed to leave the 'host' countries without a 60 day monitored quarantine. Not by aircraft, boat, car, truck, foot, hang glider, scooter... NO ONE, NO HOW, NO WAY. This contagion must be contained, and the definition of "contained" is: don't let it out because otherwise... (risking redundancy) napalm.
We may be fortunate and blessed at some future time for placing blame, making correct assessments regarding the lack of leadership, etc. Right now, that is a big 'if'. What we NEED immediately is the strength of will to make the hard decisions necessary to protect the uninfected people and places on the planet. If the sacrifice of the few to save the many is required... for God's sake, people, someone needs to step up to the plate.

IvyMikeCafe said...

Epic beatdown. Steel on target.

Aesop said...

No American carrier flights from any of the three affected countries UFN. Period.
No one from the three affected countries to here without a full isolation quarantine, at their expense.
Anything or one needs to get in, put them on a military mercy flight, and ship them. Same thing coming out, same quarantine regs.
Any thing we ship in can be rolled off, and left for indigenous personnel to move around, thus no aircrew contact.

We could even build an isolation pod for passengers, so that in case someone goes symptomatic in quarantine, we don't loose the aircrew to isolation; they'll have been separated from the inbounds the entire time.

And the only people coming in or going out are mercy flight cargo or passengers.
There's not one damned person or thing coming or going from those three countries that's vital enough to risk another Duncan.

No visas to anyone from there, or anyone who's been there, without the quarantine stop.

That would solve 99% of the problem, and eliminate all the false alarm Ebola cases, because no one here from there would be fresh enough to worry about.

Exactly the way it's been done for centuries: shut off the supply of infected hosts.

Then we can focus our efforts on getting the stuff we need to the people on the ground who need it, over there, instead of doing the Headless Chicken over here, every other day.