The White House is starting to take flak from the public and some members of congress over its refusal to halt flights from West African nations currently in the throes of the Ebola outbreak. It’s interesting to read all of the contortions and gyrations that this administration will go through to protect whatever the hell it’s trying to protect from the travel ban; it certainly doesn’t appear that they’re too concerned about the general population of the U.S. Maybe it’s an esteem issue; certainly don’t want to “stigmatize” those folks in Liberia. If we banned travel from Liberia, we’d be horrible people; haters, no better than, oh, say Columbia, St. Lucia, South Africa, Jamaica and Guyana. Or maybe any of the thirty other nations that have imposed such a hateful ban. Question? What do they know that we don’t? Are they just panicking or do they hate the president because he’s black?
Is the call for a ban really as irrational as the administration and its cadre of supporters want us all to believe? The current line of reasoning is that a ban would drive these folks underground, that they’d find other ways to get out of the affected areas undetected. That line of reasoning doesn’t really hold water in light of the fact that Thomas Eric Duncan lied his way onto American soil; we may never know how successful he would have been trying to cross the border from Liberia into the surrounding countries that have now secured their borders, a phrase quite unfamiliar in this country.
For me, it’s simple math. The number they bandy about is 150 people a day come to the U.S. from anyone of the hot zones in West Africa. Sounds simple right? Surely we can’t go apoplectic over 150 people a day. However, that doesn’t tell me how many flights per day, how many planes, how many passengers they may have spent ten hours mingling with. An Airbus can hold well over 300 people, about the same for a Boeing 777. Put those 150 on one plane and you’ve got another 150 people exposed. Distribute the 150 by 50 per plane and you get 3 planes with 250 available airborne petri-dishes per plane just pouring through the gates of Kennedy or any other major international airport. Where, of course, they come into contact with any number of TSA agents, attendants, food service workers and the general travelling public. Hey no issues there. Remember, it’s only 150 people a day.
The president, the congress and the CDC all have a constitutional and a moral obligation to protect the citizens of the United States. Why this fact is lost on them is anyone’s guess. Bigger question is why any of these idiots are still in office. The CDC can’t get their collective thumbs out of their asses long enough to provide clear directions to health care workers but it makes sense to send our troops and the national guard to ground zero? And the fawning press is making sure that anyone who rings the alarm bell is ridiculed and belittled; it’s fear mongering. This from a press that supports an administration that would never let a good crisis go to waste.
Frontier Airlines is now trying to locate up to 800 people who may have had contact with the Dallas nurse who contracted the virus from Duncan. Another worker from the same hospital who handed samples from Duncan is currently quarantined off the coast of Belize with her fellow Carnival cruise passengers. Does anyone know how many people are currently on that ship? Better than 2,000 one would think.
Any attempt at logic here is futile. We don’t allow school children to attend classes in our little podunk town without proof of inoculations; they can’t come back to school if they have been sick; a minimum of 24 hours fever-free is the guideline. No one is suggesting that these policies are draconian or fear mongering. Are we just hysterical for wanting to protect ourselves from the common cold or flu?
No, we’re actually quite reasonable. And doing what common sense, non-politicized, rational common senses suggests. The kind of common sense that Belize is employing. Reflect for a moment on their government’s statement regarding the quarantine of the Cruise ship just off its coastline;
That’s how it’s done folks. No whimpering. No excuses. No apologies. The government of Belize is ensuring the health and safety of its citizens; sensitivities of West Africa be damned. And us? We’re assuming that if we take the harshest of measures, that most punitive step of banning air travel, well then these folks might just find another way to enter the country anyway. One would assume by taking the “unaccompanied minor express” that rolls through most of Latin America with its final destination of anywhere USA.
I don’t care what your political leanings are at this point; Ebola doesn’t register as an “R” or a “D.” Epidemics don’t start with thousands, they start with a few. Maybe as few as one on a cruise ship or one of 150 on a daily excursion into the land of the free.
Are the administration’s excuses the real hysteria? The world used to look to the U.S. for leadership in a time of crisis; what a shame that the world must now turn to a small country on the eastern edge of the Yucatan peninsula to see what true leadership looks like.