Ann Coulter’s Very Accurate Ebola Post Being Criticized As Being Insensitive Part 2, a follow-up to this post (there are further updates much farther below, too):
Updates much farther below – volunteers, including Red Cross workers, are being murdered by doofuses in Africa – volunteers who are there to help bury ebola dead or help ebola patients.
And, as of Sept 30, 2014, the C.D.C. reports that some American guy who went to Africa and is back in Texas is confirmed as having ebola. There are also now (as of Oct 2), reports of possible ebola infected people in Hawaii and Kentucky. And, as of Oct 3, in Washington.
Ann Coulter is proved right time and again with every new news story about this.
Oct 10, 2014: I am keeping updates at the bottom of the post. More and more people are testing positive for ebola around the world.
I am sorry people are getting sick and dying of ebola overseas, but I don’t see how Americans (or Europeans) flying down to Africa is going to help – looks to me as though non-African involvement is making things WORSE.
Oct 23, 2014: more “doctors without borders” physician volunteers have caught ebola in Africa, one is being treated in New York. Then there’s this headline: “Machete-wielding mob kills 2 over Ebola testing”
I was skimming my Twitter feed yesterday when I saw this editorial by Ann Coulter mentioned, and a series of tweets and RTs, criticizing it:
I’ll include some excerpts from it below.
The criticisms I saw of it were depicting her observations as though they are totally heartless. I disagree.
I think she made a lot of sense and pointed out some common flaws in American Christians. I think her criticisms are true, and the truth hurts – I saw Christians on Twitter accusing her of being mean or cruel. I think the truth hurts.
I don’t think American Christians like being confronted with their total hypocrisy on this issue.
Here are a few excerpts from Ann Coulter’s editorial, with additional comments by me below it:
August 8, 2014
by A. Coulter
I wonder how the Ebola doctor feels now that his humanitarian trip has cost a Christian charity much more than any services he rendered.
What was the point?
Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did in Liberia has now been overwhelmed by the more than $2 million already paid by the Christian charities Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA just to fly him and his nurse home in separate Gulfstream jets, specially equipped with medical tents, and to care for them at one of America’s premier hospitals….
… why do we have to deal with this at all?
Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa? The very first “risk factor” listed by the Mayo Clinic for Ebola — an incurable disease with a 90 percent fatality rate — is: “Travel to Africa.”
Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?
No — because we’re doing just fine. America, the most powerful, influential nation on Earth, is merely in a pitched battle for its soul.
About 15,000 people are murdered in the U.S. every year. More than 38,000 die of drug overdoses, half of them from prescription drugs.
More than 40 percent of babies are born out of wedlock.
Despite the runaway success of “midnight basketball,” a healthy chunk of those children go on to murder other children, rape grandmothers, bury little girls alive — and then eat a sandwich.
… All our elite cultural institutions laugh at virginity and celebrate promiscuity.
So no, there’s nothing for a Christian to do here.
If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia.
Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.
… Of course, if Brantly had evangelized in New York City or Los Angeles, The New York Times would get upset and accuse him of anti-Semitism, until he swore — as the pope did — that you don’t have to be a Christian to go to heaven. Evangelize in Liberia, and the Times’ Nicholas Kristof will be totally impressed.
Which explains why American Christians go on “mission trips” to disease-ridden cesspools. They’re tired of fighting the culture war in the U.S., tired of being called homophobes, racists, sexists and bigots.
So they slink off to Third World countries, away from American culture to do good works, forgetting that the first rule of life on a riverbank is that any good that one attempts downstream is quickly overtaken by what happens upstream.
America is the most consequential nation on Earth, and in desperate need of God at the moment. If America falls, it will be a thousand years of darkness for the entire planet.
… Not only that, but it’s our country. Your country is like your family. We’re supposed to take care of our own first. The same Bible that commands us to “go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel” also says: “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.'”
Right there in Texas, near where Dr. Brantly left his wife and children to fly to Liberia and get Ebola, is one of the poorest counties in the nation, Zavala County — where he wouldn’t have risked making his wife a widow and his children fatherless.
But serving the needy in some deadbeat town in Texas wouldn’t have been “heroic.” We wouldn’t hear all the superlatives about Dr. Brantly’s “unusual drive to help the less fortunate” or his membership in the “Gold Humanism Honor Society.” Leaving his family behind in Texas to help the poor 6,000 miles away — that’s the ticket.
~ ~ ~ End Excerpts ~ ~ ~
You can click here to read the rest of Coulter’s post.
Her criticisms are right on mark.
Coulter describes this sort of behavior as “Christian narcissism.” Yes, that is it exactly.
That is a good phrase for it. I am also reminded of white, American Christians who go to places like Africa, get their photo snapped with a lot of dark-skinned children, and post these sorts of photos to their Facebook page. I sometimes get the impression that these overseas missionaries who return to America care more about “image” than actually helping people, and that it’s quite the trophy, they think, to have one’s photo taken with black children in Africa.
My impression is that they think it makes them look like real spiritual “do-gooders.”
Why can they not help any impoverished inner-city children in their own city (just about every city has them)? Because it’s not considered as sexy or glamorous as flying on down to Africa to serve, that’s why.
Coulter is being branded as an un-Christian, insensitive jerk for this ebola editorial by several Christians on Twitter, and I’d imagine elsewhere.
However, what Coulter writes makes a lot of sense and echoes things I’ve pointed out on my own blog here the last two or three years.
Christians like the idea of sending free food to starving African kids, building wells with clean water for beggars in India – which is all well and good, but they feel doing such grand gestures excuses them from serving in their own backyards.
Please see these former posts of mine for more on that, and for examples:
- (Link): The Bible Says Christians are to Help Other Christians First (not sex trafficked people, not orphans in Africa, not homeless crack addicts, etc)
And Coulter is absolutely correct on this point:
- All our elite cultural institutions laugh at virginity and celebrate promiscuity.
Some American Christians neglect those around them by turning in-wards: that is, married American Christians use their spouse and children to rationalize why they don’t need to help other people around them. Please see this post for more on that phenomenon:
If I saw Christians show as much love, time, devotion and money to fellow hurting American Christians who live next door to them as they pour on strangers they don’t even know in Africa, I could maybe muster up some outrage over Coulter’s Ebola post.
As it is, that American Christians prefer to ignore the hurting in their very lives, their very jobs and churches, I cannot.
Some American Christians are attuned to hurting Americans, but only to the types of suffering they consider exotic and glamorous, such as homeless people, prostitution, and crack addicts.
If you are a hurting American who does not fall under one of those sacred rubrics of crack addict, homeless man, or what have you, you will be told to “suck it up” and move on, or else given platitudes.
If you are a “regular Joe American,” say, for example, a 34 year old woman who is going through a painful divorce, or a 64 year old woman caring for a husband with dementia, your average American Christians will not care.
They won’t bring you food, give you money, or help with care giving during your ordeal, or simply act as a shoulder you can cry on. No, you will be told to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and think of how much easier you have life than starving African children or homeless crack addicts.
That is not compassion, folks – that is callous disregard and shirking of one’s Christian duties. I have also pointed out on previous related blog posts that American Christians -especially white ones- behave as though white, middle class to wealthy Americans don’t need salvation.
If God has planted you on “Elm Street, X City, USA,” he is expecting you to cater to those on your very street, in your job, in your city – not to a bunch of people in Africa or India.
If God had wanted you to minister to Africans, he would have arranged for you to have been born there. Africa already has native-born Christians. They don’t need you.
I think it far more heartless to ignore the hurting, needy, and suffering in your own personal life and immediate vicinity than for Coulter to write the blog post she did.
There is little laudable and commendable about an American Christian flying to Africa to care for victims of Ebola and neglecting one’s duties to the fellow Americans God has placed in one’s path.
And the actions of those two missionaries turned out to be a big waste of everyone’s money, as their medical care and transport cost a big figure, as Coulter rightly pointed out.
God calls Christians not to just be compassionate but to be good financial stewards as well.
Christians willing to fly down to Africa to hand out tracts or mop the sweaty brows of ill Africans but ignore those wounded at home is a lot like the priests in the “Good Samaritan” parable Christ taught, who stepped over the bleeding, dying man in the road they encountered on their way to go worship God in the temple and donate some rice to starving Africans.
You want me to applaud you for donating rice to Africans you’ve never even met, and laud you for being charitable and loving to them, but not say a thing about your negligence to your fellow countryman or suffering Christians who live right next door? No.
Ann Coulter’s post was not insensitive or un-Christlike; it was, on the contrary, true and completely accurate critique of some American Christians’ misguided beliefs about how to make life better.
======== UPDATES UPDATES UPDATES UPDATES ============
Edit. Aug 16, 2014. In light of the information in this update, I’m not seeing how a handful of Christian do-gooding evangelists is going to help much:
(Link): With Aid Doctors Gone, Ebola Fight Grows Harder – New York Times by Sheri Fink
When people started dying of Ebola in Liberia, Clarine Vaughn faced a wrenching choice: Should she send home, for their own health and safety, four American doctors working forHeartt, the aid group she led there? Or should she keep them in the country without proper supplies or training to fight the virulent, contagious disease, which was already spreading panic?
After much agonizing, Ms. Vaughn, who lives in Liberia, pulled the doctors out and canceled plans to bring in more. The African physicians and nurses left behind told her they understood, but felt abandoned. They said, “We need you guys here,” she recalled.
… The departure of many Western development workers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the West African countries hit hardest by Ebola, has further weakened the region’s understaffed health systems at the very moment they are facing one of the most volatile public health crisesever. Liberia, population four million, has fewer than 250 doctors left in the entire country, according to the Liberia Medical and Dental Council. Seven doctors there have contracted Ebola, and two of them have died.
…Mr. Frankfurter, too, sent his four American volunteers home for fear they might fall ill. They left behind 160 Liberian staff members. “It’s certainly not in line with our values, because it’s just such a glaring inequality,” he said. But “it’s a very scary place to get sick right now.”
As an array of international organizations, wealthy countries and charitable groups gear up to provide desperately needed resources to fight the outbreak, the absent doctors and volunteers are a reminder of the daunting practical obstacles. Many African health workers battling Ebola are contracting it themselves. At least 170 workers have gotten the disease, according to the World Health Organization, and more than 80 have died.
… Fear is complicating the huge increase in aid that is needed: food for people in areas that have been cordoned off; laboratory supplies to test for the disease; gloves, face masks and gowns to protect health workers; body bags for the dead; bedsheets to replace those that must be burned. Airlines have canceled flights that could have carried in such supplies, despite assurances from the W.H.O. that properly screened passengers pose little risk. Positions on aid teams remain unfilled.
…“What we have to keep in mind is we are facing today the most devastating and biggest Ebola epidemic of the modern times,” Dr. Liu said. “There is fear, there is a front line, the epidemic is advancing, and there is a collapse of infrastructure.”
…With commercial flights dwindling, the United Nations’ World Food Program began an air service for humanitarian workers on Saturday. “The virus is spreading, and we’re all suddenly realizing we need to do more,” said Denise Brown, the agency’s emergency coordinator for the crisis.
…The single treatment center for Ebola patients in the capital area, ELWA Hospital, was at overflow capacity. In recent days, one health official estimated, it had 70 patients, more than twice as many as the units were designed to hold. A new, 120-bed unit was being prepared.
– And the article goes on and on and on like that. It sounds to me as though anyone contemplating to fly over there to help now is signing his or her own death warrant.
Edit Sept 8 2014…….
And things have only gotten worse. At this rate, it would be even more foolish for any U.S. Christian do-gooders to fly down there to “help.”
- Ebola is spreading exponentially in Liberia, with thousands of new cases expected in the next three weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
- Conventional methods to control the outbreak were “not having an adequate impact”, the UN’s health agency added.
- The current Ebola outbreak is the largest on record. It has spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal and killed more than 2,000 people. An “exponential increase” in new cases is expected in the hardest-hit countries in coming weeks, the U.N. health agency warned.
- by G Vogel
- The Ebola virus that is causing the raging epidemic in West Africa is famously lethal. In previous outbreaks it has killed as many as 90% of the people it infects. That’s why the figures in World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) latest “Situation Report” look like they might be a rare glimmer of good news. Although the rate of infections is picking up speed at an alarming rate, the report says the fatality rate is 53% overall, ranging from 64% in Guinea to just 39% in Sierra Leone.
- But there’s a catch: The apparent low proportion of deaths probably depends more on the way health officials are calculating the number than on the deadliness of the virus—or the quality of care patients are receiving. Indeed, the dramatic increase in cases in recent weeks is one of the main reasons the reported death rate appears to be artificially low.
- There are several ways to calculate what officials call the “case fatality rate,” or CFR, of a disease outbreak. One of the simplest is to divide the number of deaths by the number of total cases. That is what WHO does in its recent CFR calculations.
- But that method doesn’t take into account that many living patients—recently diagnosed and very ill—will not survive. So it underestimates the death rate
- The nurses in Liberia’s main hospital went on strike asking for better salaries and equipment to be protected against the Ebola virus, which rages in west Africa.
Edit Sept 18, 2014
Even more reasons why Christians and Americans should not waste their time visiting Africa in person to help fight ebola (and Obama should not be sending American troops there):
- FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The most ambitious and aggressive government campaign against the Ebola epidemic gripping parts of West Africa began on Friday when Sierra Leone ordered everyone in the country to remain indoors for three days, suspending commerce, emptying the streets and halting this beleaguered nation in its tracks in an attempt stop the disease from spreading.
- When Guinean government officials visited the village of Womme in the country’s southeast, they planned to educate people about Ebola and show them how to avoid it — in a region where many still believe the virus doesn’t exist.
- But it all went disastrously wrong.
- Villagers responded furiously, pelting the delegation with stones and beating the visitors with clubs, according to Guinean radio. The delegation, which included doctors and journalists, fled into the bush after the attack Tuesday.
- The Guinean government said Thursday that eight delegation members had been killed, including several journalists, news agencies reported. There also were reports that 21 people had been injured.
- As details emerge about the brutal murders of at least eight Ebola aid workers and journalists whose bodies were found dumped in a latrine in a Guinean village, questions linger about whether the murders will have a chilling effect on the international relief effort.
(Link): (News story dated Sept 18, 2014): UN and WHO Warn of Coming Massive Ebola Outbreak
Sept 24, 2014:
What is with these ignorant ingrates in Africa? You have medical professionals and other volunteers there to help – such as bury the dead – and they are being ATTACKED by citizens.
WTH? To me, this is yet another reason why U.S. Christians and other volunteers should stay out of that nation (or the entire continent).
- By BOUBACAR DIALLO and SARAH DiLORENZO
- Associated Press / Sept 2014
- A Red Cross team was attacked while collecting bodies believed to be infected with Ebola in southeastern Guinea, the latest in a string of assaults that are hindering efforts to control West Africa’s current outbreak.
- One Red Cross worker is recovering after being wounded in in the neck in Tuesday’s attack in Forecariah, according to Benoit Carpentier, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Edit Sept 30, 2014 Yeah. See. This is yet another reason why Americans should not visit nations that are having issues like this, because they bring the illness back to the USA.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on Tuesday that a patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola, the first case diagnosed in the United States.
- …CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said that the patient arrived in Texas from Liberia earlier this month and exhibited no symptoms. The patient sought care last Friday and has been hospitalized in isolation since the weekend. Frieden said that officials don’t believe there is any risk to anyone who was on the flight at that time.
- A patient was diagnosed with Ebola in the United States for the first time, CNBC reported, citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Until Tuesday, Ebola patients had only been treated in the U.S. after being diagnosed elsewhere.
- The AP confirmed the news.
And this. This is another good reason why Americans and volunteers need to stop trying to assist ebola patients in Africa:
- pub Sept 19, 2014
- At least eight Ebola aid workers and journalists were reportedly murdered and dumped in a latrine in a remote village in Guinea in a frightening example of the growing distrust locals have of foreigners coming to help stem the mushrooming health crisis.
- These deaths are believed to be the first resulting from resistance to international efforts to curb the Ebola outbreak in the region, Reuters reported. Other aid teams have been forced to turn back by crowds in several locations, and a treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia was attacked and looted.
- Villagers in an area near the city of Nzerekore used machetes and clubs to attack eight members of a team trying to raise awareness about the disease, officials told the BBC.
Edit Oct 1, 2014
Edit Oct 2, 2014. And it keeps getting worse.
- Hawaii Patient Isolated for ‘Possible Symptoms That May Be Consistent with Ebola
- UPDATE, 10/2 — 12:15 a.m. ET: The Hawaii State Department of Health released a statement, saying they are “evaluating a patient in isolation at a Honolulu hospital for possible symptoms that may be consistent with Ebola.”
- DALLAS — Health officials in Texas said Thursday that they had reached out to as many as 100 people who may have had contact — either directly or indirectly — with a Liberian man sick with the Ebola virus while he was contagious.
Oct 2, 2014 ABC headline from ABC News Tweet:
- “Texas officials: Family of Ebola patient ordered quarantined “to ensure compliance” after trying to leave apartment”
- Dallas • The airline passenger who brought Ebola into the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital said Wednesday in a disclosure that showed how easily an infection could be missed.
- What American were told was unlikely turned into a reality this week. A man infected with Ebola was admitted into a Dallas hospital after what can only be described as a series of serious missteps. A Missouri doctor put on full protective gear on his trip through Hartsfield Jackson International Airport to protest how the CDC and federal authorities are handling the outbreak.
- Dr. Gil Mobley wore protective coveralls, a hood, a mask, googles, gloves, and boots as he walked through Hartsfield Jackson on Wednesday to get on his Delta flight. The words “CDC is Lying” were written across the back of the coveralls.
- According to the CDC and the White House, measures are supposed to be in place to question people flying into the United States and to spot the potentially sick. Dr. Mobley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he and other passengers coming through international customs were only asked if they had tobacco or alcohol when he flew from Guatemala to Atlanta.
- “With 10,000 people flying out of West Africa daily, it’s only a matter of time until all corners of the world are exposed,” Dr. Mobley explained. “Once it devours Third World countries, the U.S. will be importing these cases daily. Eventually, the clusters will overwhelm even the most advanced countries’ ability to isolate and quarantine all those exposed. The CDC needs to be honest with us.”
- Thomas Eric Duncan was one of those who managed to fly from West Africa to the United States unimpeded. He reportedly carried a woman in Liberia infected with Ebola just four days before flying boarding a plane headed for Dallas, Texas. His contact with family, neighbors, and others may has officials monitoring up to 100 people or more in the Dallas area. “The CDC is asleep at the wheel,” Dr. Mobley said. “It’s going to be bad, and I want to make sure that this conversation is happening that this could get out of control in the United States.”
- by O. Darcy
- An American freelancer working in Liberia for NBC News is being flown back to the U.S. for treatment after testing positive for the Ebola virus.
- “We are doing everything we can to get him the best care possible. He will be flown back to the United States for treatment at a medical center that is equipped to handle Ebola patients,” NBC News president Deborah Turness said in a note to staff.
Edit. Oct 3, 2014
- Federal health officials rushed Friday to assure a frightened public that Ebola does not pose a serious threat in the U.S., even as the first — and thus far only — diagnosis on American soil exposed potential flaws in border screening, treatment and disposal of contaminated items.
- As Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who showed symptoms of the often-fatal disease shortly after arriving from Liberia, was being treated in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, relatives in Dallas resisted a quarantine amid reports that cleanup specialists were balking at disinfecting their home.
- …. So far, Duncan’s diagnosis is the only verified one in the U.S. A man who was isolated in a Hawaii hospital after showing symptoms consistent with Ebola has been cleared, although on Friday, a spokeswoman for Howard University in Washington said the university’s hospital has admiteed a patient who had been in Nigeria and showed possible symptoms.
- Frieden’s assurances came amid calls for better screening of U.S.-bound passengers from Ebola-affected nations and word that Duncan’s initial triage was bungled at the hospital.
(Link): U.S. Ebola patient helped carry convulsing pregnant woman who later died of the virus days before he flew to Texas. Four more of his neighbors died too: So how was he allowed to board a plane?
- Oct 3 (Reuters) – Howard University Hospital has admitted a patient with possible symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus “in an abundance of caution,” it said in a statement on Friday.
- The patient, who had recently traveled to Nigeria, is in stable condition and is being treated in isolation, a hospital spokeswoman said, adding that she could not provide additional details about the case because of patient privacy.
I saw this on Janet Mefferd’s Twitter, by Michelle Malkin:
Edit Oct 8, 2014
- A sheriff’s deputy who helped serve a quarantine order on the apartment where Texas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan had been staying is being examined at a Dallas hospital for “possible exposure to the Ebola virus.”
- The deputy was admitted to the emergency room of Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas today.
- Sgt. Michael Monnig, an employee of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office who is said to have had contact with the Ebola patient who died Wednesday, was taken to the hospital after feeling ill, the sheriff’s office confirmed.
(Link): Sex in a time of Ebola
- However, the Ebola virus can survive in semen for months after a man recovers from the infection, posing an ongoing threat to sexual partners long after he is well. At a time when a man’s bloodstream is swimming with antibodies, and he is immune to the disease, he still may be able to infect others.
EDIT OCT 9
- “In the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said at a World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meeting in Washington, D.C., where many countries pledged funds and services to try to stem the virus ravaging West Africa. “And we have to work now so that this is not the world’s next AIDS.”
- MADRID — The Spanish health authorities said Thursday that the condition of an auxiliary nurse infected by Ebola had worsened, three days after she became the first person to test positive for the disease in Europe.
Edit Oct 10, 2014
After I tweeted a link to this post yesterday on Twitter some woman sent me a sarcastic tweet saying she will be sure to cancel her “Doctors without borders” trip in light of my post.
The smart ass really should cancel – all she wants to do is go to Liberia and bring ebola back to the USA. No thanks.
She thinks she’s a do-gooder, but going to that nation – or the other ebola hot spots – isn’t going to help the people there, and all she is doing is potentially exposing Americans to ebola once she gets on the air line and back in the USA (I assume she was American).
(Link): 16 Members of Doctors Without Borders Infected with Ebola, Nine Dead (Oct 15, 2014 story)
Some nurse from Spain got ebola from some Christian missionary who brought ebola back from Africa:
- Oct 9
- Ms. Romero [the nurse] tested positive for Ebola on Monday, six days after she first reported feeling ill and after tending to a Spanish missionary who died at the hospital on Sept. 25.
- On Wednesday, the authorities offered the first official explanation of how Ms. Romero might have been infected.
- A doctor who has been treating her said that based on her own account, she touched her face with her gloves on after removing her protective suit following a visit to the room of Manuel García Viejo, the Spanish missionary who had Ebola.
From that same page:
How Many Ebola Patients Are Outside of West Africa?
At least 14 cases have been treated outside of West Africa. Full Q. and A. »
- SKOPJE, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Macedonia said it was checking for the Ebola virus in a British man who died within hours of being admitted to hospital in the capital Skopje on Thursday.
- A recently released Pew Center survey found Americans extraordinarily disengaged from news surrounding the 2014 midterm elections. While the poll results are notable, what is capturing Americans’ attention may be even more telling: the Ebola virus, and not the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS), garners more attention.
OCT 12, 2014
(Link): Second U.S. Ebola Victim
- UPDATE (9:20 a.m. EDT): CNN reported new details Sunday morning on the health worker infected with Ebola in Texas: The victim is a female nurse, and Texas Health Resources chief clinical officer Dan Varga said she was involved in Thomas Eric Duncan’s second visit to the hospital, meaning that she was wearing full protective gear when she interacted with Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the virus in the U.S.
- A “close contact” of the nurse has been “proactively” isolated as well, Varga said.
- On Sunday morning it was announced that a Dallas-based health care worker who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who brought Ebola into the U.S., has been diagnosed with the virus.
- At a press conference on Sunday morning, CDC Director Tom Frieden said the new diagnosis is “certainly very concerning. There’s a need to enhance the training and protocols to make sure the protocols are followed. A single lapse or breach can result in infection.”
- A breach in protocol resulted in a preliminary Ebola diagnosis for a female health care worker who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient in the United States, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today.
- The female health care worker has been interviewed by investigators and could not identify when the breach may have happened, said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. She was involved in Duncan’s treatment during his stay at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital that began on September 28, according to the hospital.
- The health care worker, a female nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, had “extensive contact” on multiple occasions with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., who died last week, Dr. Tom Frieden said in a press conference Sunday.
- If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S.
- MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia’s United Nations peacekeeping mission has placed 41 staff members, including 20 military personnel, under “close medical observation” after an international member of its medical team was diagnosed with Ebola this week — the second mission member to test positive for the deadly disease.
- U.S. troops deployed to help combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa run the risk of contracting the virus, with ABC News medical expert Richard Besser stating that the possibility of a solder getting Ebola is “very real.”
- American soldiers are in Liberia to build field hospitals and an isolation center for health-care workers infected with the disease. Still, the presence of the virus is so large in West Africa that Besser feels soldiers are at risk. Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Besser made it clear that U.S. soldiers may end up contracting Ebola, even if they are not there to care for patients.
- “Right now we have a situation where only 20% of patients with ebola are being treated in treatment units. So there are a lot of patients who have ebola who are not in a protected environment. So the possibility of a soldier getting ebola is very real and something we have to be ready for.”
Edit Oct 15, 2014
- The second Dallas nurse to be infected with Ebola after treating a Liberian man who died from the virus last week will be moved to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, federal officials said.
That lady who tweeted me an oboxious tweet a few days ago said (in response to my tweet) that she guesses she will just cancel her “Doctors without Borders” trip. Yeah, I guess she might seriously want to consider that in light of this news story (and the other one, dated Oct 23 below – yet another ‘Doctor Without Borders’ volunteer has ebola now):
(Link): 16 Members of Doctors Without Borders Infected with Ebola, Nine Dead (Oct 14/15, 2014 story)
- by LYNSEY CHUTEL, Associated Press | | Tuesday, October 14, 2014
- JOHANNESBURG (AP) — International aid organization Doctors Without Borders said that 16 of its staff members have been infected with Ebola and nine of them have died.
- Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg Tuesday, the head of Doctors Without Borders in South Africa Sharon Ekambaram said medical workers have received inadequate assistance from the international community.
- …The number of those who have died from Ebola is probably an underestimate because many families hide their sick and dying loved ones, said Juli Switala, a Doctors Without Borders staff member. More than 4,000 people have died from Ebola so far, according to the World Health Organization.
- The news that a nurse who’d treated Thomas Eric Duncan has Ebola herself puts the lie to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s repeated assurances for months that “US hospitals can safely manage patients with Ebola.”
- The nurse is now in isolation at the same Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian.
- Dr. Dan Varga, the chief medical officer, confirmed that she became infected despite wearing CDC-prescribed protective gear, including waterproof gown, gloves, goggles and a plastic face shield while caring for Duncan, who’d contracted Ebola in Liberia.
- Eighteen other hospital staff are being watched for symptoms.
- No wonder. Treating Ebola patients is a deadly job. More than 233 doctors and nurses have died from Ebola in Africa this year.
- Many had limited equipment and training, but the fatalities also include renowned epidemiologist John Taban Dada, medical director of Liberia’s two largest hospitals, as well as UN doctors and two health-care workers from the highly trained Doctors Without Borders teams.
- Although New Jersey’s 72 critical care hospitals are in the process of staging drills for Ebola, the head of state’s professional nursing group said today his group doesn’t think patients should be treated here.
- Instead, they should be transferred to one of the four bio-containment units around the country.
- “Put them in an ambulance and ship them where they need to go,” said Richard Ridge, chief executive officers of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, the professional association for the state’s 118,000 registered nurses.
- Infection said to be killing seven out of 10 patients in W Africa as German hospital reports death of UN medical worker.
- The Ebola outbreak in West Africa kills seven out of 10 victims and new cases could hit 10,000 a week within two months if it is not brought under control, the World Health Organisation has said.Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO’s assistant director-general, said on Tuesday that the death rate was higher than the official 50 percent rate and that “a lot more people will die” if the West Africa outbreak was not stopped
Oct 17, 2014
- DALLAS — Adding a new and troubling dimension to the search for Americans possibly exposed to the Ebola virus, the State Department said Friday that an employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who might have had contact with specimens of the disease had left the United States aboard a cruise ship.
- The employee and a traveling partner, who were not identified by name, agreed to remain isolated in a cabin aboard the vessel, the State Department said, and “out of an abundance of caution” efforts were underway to repatriate them.
- Ebola has now infected multiple people in America: The first two homegrown cases of Ebola are a pair of nurses who got sick after treating Thomas Duncan, the first person ever diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.
- Both nurses with Ebola — Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson — were among the 70-plus staff who encountered Duncan during his 10-day stay at Dallas’s Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. However, several staff on Wednesday anonymously told reporters that the nurses were not given sufficient protection against the risk of Ebola.
- … The allegations that the Dallas nurses didn’t have sufficient protections against Ebola are disturbing — more on those in a second — but the infection pattern keeps with a sad trend: A disproportionate number of people who were sickened with Ebola in West Africa were health care workers, too.Doctors Without Borders this week said that 16 of its staff had contracted Ebola in the current outbreak, and nine had died from the disease. Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, the doctor who heroically led Sierra Leone’s fight against Ebola, got sick and died in July; his colleagues opted not to give him the experimental ZMapp cocktail, which appears to have helped treat several Ebola patients.
- BRUSSELS, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Medecins Sans Frontieres, a medical charity that has been at the forefront in the fight against Ebola in West Africa, said it was reaching its limit and urgently needed other organizations to step up the efforts against the deadly disease.The organization currently operates six centers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a total of 600 beds. Its personnel on the ground have grown from about 650 at the start of August to about 3,000 currently.”We have increased our capacity a lot,” said Brice de le Vingne, director of operations for MSF, which is also known as Doctors Without Borders. “Now we have reached our ceiling.”
- ASSOCIATED PRESS | Oct 14, 2014 8:01 AM CDT in Health, Politics
- JOHANNESBURG (AP) — International aid organization Doctors Without Borders said that 16 of its staff members have been infected with Ebola and nine of them have died.
Oct 23, 2014.
Some new guy, a doctor who went to West Africa for “Doctors Without Borders”, has been diagnosed with ebola:
- updated 10:27 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
And now that work in Guinea, where he reportedly was helping treat Ebola patients, has put him at risk.
Spencer, 33, tested positive for Ebola on Thursday, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter told CNN. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
While authorities have not publicly identified Spencer, they confirmed earlier Thursday that a Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned to New York from West Africa exhibited symptoms of Ebola and was undergoing testing.
- Oct 23, 2014
- A doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus in New York City, according to officials.A law enforcement official and a city official confirmed to the Associated Press that preliminary tests have confirmed the first case in the city.The New York Times was the first to report Dr. Craig Spencer had tested positive for the virus after he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in New York Thursday.The CDC will conduct another test to confirm the official diagnosis.Spencer, a 33-year-old emergency room doctor, was working with Doctors Without Borders and returned from Guinea more than a week ago. Officials were contacted after he reported a fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a statement from the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- A New York City doctor has tested positive for Ebola after returning from work in West Africa with an aid agency, the first case of the deadly disease diagnosed in the most populous U.S. city.
- The doctor, Craig Spencer, 33, is being treated in an isolation unit at Bellevue Hospital Center in midtown Manhattan.
- by Chris Perez / Oct 22, 2014
- A riot in Sierra Leone left two people dead and 10 others wounded after an angry mob brandishing machetes and shovels went on a rampage because health care workers tried to test a 90-year-old woman for Ebola, doctors said Wednesday.Security personnel in the diamond mining town of Koidu battled an infuriated horde of youngsters Tuesday after they stopped a medical team from taking a blood sample from the elderly mother of Adamu Eze, an esteemed member of their group.“Ebola contact tracers visited the house of a prominent youth leader to take a blood sample of his ailing 90-year-old mother but were barred by a gang of youths,” a witness told Agence France-Presse.Disgusted that the team would try to test a woman who they insisted was not infected with the virus, the irate crowd took up arms and told the workers they would not let them take the woman’s blood.
October 29, 2014
- Nurse Hickox, I keep being assured, is one of the most selfless human beings on Planet Earth. On the podium of public opinion right now she’d probably give Mother Teresa a run as Greatest Nurse in History.
- Let’s consider some hard facts.
- She has just returned from Sierra Leone, one of the most Ebola-ravaged countries in the world.
- More than 4,000 people have contracted the virus there so far, of whom 1,341 have died. It is estimated 5 people an HOUR are currently being infected and that rate is doubling every 20 days.
- On October 19, the World Health Organisation reported there had been 129 cases of health workers in Sierra Leone infected with Ebola, of whom 95 had died – an appalling 73% fatality rate.
- Nurse Hickox, working for the wonderful Doctors Without Borders, spent the last few weeks directly treating Ebola patients, immersing herself at the sharpest, most infectious end of the very epicentre of this dreadful disease.
- When she flew back to America on Friday, Nurse Hickox explained to screeners at Newark Liberty airport where she had been and what she had been doing.
- ….Understandably, they took her away for further questioning and she had her temperature taken. It showed a fever of 101 degrees.
A few days previously, there was a huge national outcry after another American medic, New York doctor Craig Spencer, ignored instructions to self-quarantine after also flying in from West Africa – and went around the city on the subway, using Uber cabs, eating in restaurants and bowling.
The day after he did all this, blissfully content in the self-diagnosed knowledge that he was ‘asymptomatic’ and therefore ‘not contagious’ – Dr Spencer woke up with a fever and tested positive for Ebola.
(It’s now emerged that he lied to officials, insisting he had stayed inside his home since arriving back in America. Detectives only discovered the truth when they checked his credit card statement.)
Chris Christie did what any sane, rational person would surely do in his position: he immediately ordered Nurse Hickox to be placed in quarantine while further examinations were carried out.
The conditions she was kept in were not exactly Four Seasons quality, granted. But nor were there anywhere near as bad as the horrific working environment she had endured in in Sierra Leone.
Nurse Hickox was tested several times for Ebola and the results were negative. Her fever stopped and after 65 hours in quarantine she was allowed to go home to Maine.
- ….My own view is that Nurse Hickox, like Dr Spencer, is an exceptionally brave person whose work in West Africa has been quite astonishingly selfless.
In that sense, she is absolutely a heroine.
But as we saw with Dr Spencer, her behaviour since she returned to America has been equally astonishing – in its reckless selfishness.
If I were running this Ebola fight in America – and I am just as qualified to do so as the newly-appointed Ebola Czar – I wouldn’t trust America’s medics to ‘self-quarantine’ because as we have seen, they will either refuse to comply or lie about it.
I would make a 21-day quarantine mandatory for every single doctor and nurse who returns from treating Ebola patients in Africa.
No excuses, no exceptions, no succumbing to political point-scoring pressure.
Oct 29, 2014
- The U.S. health care apparatus is so unprepared and short on resources to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that even small clusters of cases could overwhelm parts of the system, according to an Associated Press review of readiness at hospitals and other components of the emergency medical network.
- Experts broadly agree that a widespread outbreak across the country is extremely unlikely, but they also concur that it is impossible to predict with certainty, since previous Ebola epidemics have been confined to remote areas of Africa. And Ebola is not the only possible danger that causes concern; experts say other deadly infectious diseases — ranging from airborne viruses such as SARS, to an unforeseen new strain of the flu, to more exotic plagues like Lassa fever — could crash the health care system.
Oct 29, 2014 updates, continued:
- Tweet from ABC News link
- Nurse briefly exits Maine home, says not willing to let civil rights be violated by Ebola quarantine
- (Reuters) – Saying she will not be bullied by politicians, a Maine nurse is giving the state an ultimatum: Lift her Ebola quarantine by Thursday or she will disregard the restrictions and go to court.
- The saga of nurse Kaci Hickox illustrates how U.S. states are struggling to protect against the virus without resorting to overzealous and useless precautions or violating civil rights.
- As Maine officials said they were preparing to get a court order to enforce a mandatory quarantine, Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox said tonight she is not willing to “stand here and have my civil rights violated.”
- “You could hug me, you could shake my hand [and] I would not give you Ebola,” she said outside her Fort Kent home alongside boyfriend Ted Wilbur.
- Asked whether she would try to fight the court order, she said, “My lawyers and I will discuss that and then decide.”
- INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 29, 2014) – State health officials are monitoring six people in Indiana for Ebola symptoms in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- All are considered low risk. Indiana was one of the first states to begin “direct active monitoring” of returning travelers. Gov. Mike Pence and the Indiana State Department of Health implemented the policy on Oct. 16.
Oct 30, 2014
(Link): Hysterical Media Tell Us To Calm Down by Ann Coulter
- Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire accused her Republican opponent, Scott Brown, of “fear-mongering” about Ebola, but she sure didn’t mind fear-mongering on health care. In order to pass the widely unpopular Obamacare, Shaheen carried on about insurance companies’ obscene profits and hectored, “We cannot wait!”The New York Daily News’ Denis Hamill wrote five hysterical columns on Ferguson. One was titled, “Is this Selma in 1965?” But when it comes to a disease that kills more than half of the people it infects, he says, “Take a chill pill.”How about telling the deranged protesters in Ferguson to “take a chill pill”?After years of Republican candidates having to assure voters that it would require several million policemen to take away every woman’s birth control kit — but that was an excellent question! — it’s too much to have to listen to liberals scoff at a disease with a 70 percent fatality rate.
- Ebola is a lot more dangerous than any of the fears whipped up by liberals. Peter Piot, the Flemish scientist who discovered Ebola in 1976, recently told the British Guardian:”I always thought that Ebola, in comparison to AIDS or malaria, didn’t present much of a problem because the outbreaks were always brief and local. Around June it became clear to me that there was something fundamentally different about this outbreak. … We Flemish tend to be rather unemotional, but it was at that point that I began to get really worried.”
Part 2, a follow-up to this post: