Not satisfied with the federal response, several states are taking the Ebola crisis into their own hands – tapping emergency funds in their budgets, launching treatment units and holding public hearings to stanch the spread of misinformation about the virus.
The lines of responsibility for what the federal government and what the states should be doing have blurred in recent days, amid questions over guidance initially provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But the states touched by the outbreak scare are scrambling to shore up their medical lines of defense.
On Monday, a legislative-spending panel in Ohio approved $800,000 for the state’s health department to better equip area hospitals if an outbreak occurs. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry also announced two new state-of-the-art Ebola treatment and infectious disease containment facilities.
Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott, too, is stepping up the response while demanding additional federal aid to help his state fight public health issues like Ebola.
New Jersey and Georgia are stepping up efforts by monitoring residents and visitors who have recently traveled to their states from West African nations.
Responding to emails and calls from nervous residents, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced a 13-person task force to help calm complaints over the state’s preparedness.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has assured the public that health workers are being properly trained, with officials saying all state hospitals are prepared and eight specific facilities are now designated for handling Ebola. Such designations are made independent of the CDC.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts are holding a public hearing Thursday to review the state’s response plans if Ebola surfaces there.
The Indiana State Health Department, working in tandem with local officials, has been given the green light from their governor to beef up medical measures so the state is prepared to treat patients and contain the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola.
Similar plans also are in place in California and Oregon.
Thus ten states have essentially decided the federal government's response is too effed up to trust or follow blindly anymore, and they're taking care of business themselves.
This is the first sign of anything approaching adult supervision and intelligent leadership since this problem first arrived on our shores.
Hopefully it's some sign of things to come.