Tag: Ebola

Bad News: Turkey Shoots Down Russian Jet. Good News: Sierra Leone is Ebola-Free


Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 08.23.29Turkey has shot down a Russian jet. this was the first time a NATO jet shot down a Russian one since 1952. Those who grasp the gravity of this have broken out in a cold sweat. Yes, it’s as serious as it sounds.

I don’t know exactly what happened, and truly, no one who really does is going to be talking. Given that this is the kind of thing that can — although probably won’t — expose NATO as a paper tiger, crank the current level of geopolitical hysteria up to 11, and even, in extremis, lead to direct superpower conflict, I don’t think it would be helpful for me to opine about what the United States should do, save to say that I hope wisdom prevails, and urge all concerned to back away from the precipice (as if anyone would listen to me).

Here are things others’ have written about this, but Medvedev apart, I don’t think they know more about it than anyone else. They just had deadlines and had to put words on paper.

Nightmares Averted


pandoraboxTwo of the biggest new stories of 2014 were the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 and the first cases of Ebola in the United States. Both were serious matters and involved a great many unknowns, so it should come as little surprise that some of the news coverage slid into wild speculation: specifically, that the aircraft had been hijacked and (possibly) landed intact — with the passengers suffering only God knows what — and that the United States might be on the verge of an epidemic itself.

Both stories subsequently dropped off, as no new evidence could be found in the former and the latter seemed to burn itself out. This week, however, there’s been developments in both stories, one of them reassuring that the worst had not happened, the other positively good.

On the matter of the missing flight, a handful of pieces of wreckage have washed ashore on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, one of which is part of a Boeing 777. Réunion is (roughly) down-current of the area where most investigators believed the flight to have crashed; I find I can’t read statements that evade definitive identification of the wreckage as that of the missing plane without hearing General Buck Turgidson insist that he’d “like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in.” Whatever terrors the passengers and crew of Flight 370 suffered, it seems all but certain that they ended long ago over either the Indian or Southern Oceans.

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  Enough with all the czars already. It seems to me we’ve had more czars than actual problems. Consider this very incomplete list: AIDS czar, global AIDS czar, green jobs czar, drug czar, car czar (the government made a rhyme!), global warming czar, climate czar (but I repeat myself), domestic violence czar, ethics czar (my favorite), […]

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Karl Rove Strikes Again


I’ve got it, I’ve got it. I have finally figured it out. This whole Ebola kerfuffle is the work — drum roll, please — of that consummate Machiavel: Karl Rove.

It could not be otherwise. Who else could have invented Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC? Who could have instructed him to say that, if we sit on a bus next to someone who has been exposed to Ebola, we should not worry one whit, and then to add that, if you have been exposed to Ebola, you should not ride on a bus? Someone should investigate how Dr. Frieden wormed his way into the Obama administration. I myself smell a rat. It had to be the work of that mastermind of wickedness — yes, yes, I mean, the evil Karl Rove.

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I’m finally convinced of what I’ve long suspected.  In addition to being completely incompetent at his job (nice backswing though) our president is stark raving mad.  For those of you who haven’t spent the last couple of months vacationing on Mars, you are probably aware that we are at the beginning of what could be […]

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Political Ebola Czar Working Exactly As Obama Intended (UPDATED)


After weeks of fumbling and false promises, President Obama appointed an Ebola Czar. Selecting a public face for the crisis response was designed to calm the public, quiet critics and, most importantly, redirect complex and awkward questions away from the President and his press secretary.

Instead of choosing an expert qualified in infectious disease, Obama selected Ron Klain, a longtime political fixer. Klain served as a handler for Vice Presidents Biden and Gore, and parceled out billions of stimulus dollars to politically favored interests.



We need to talk about Ebola-shaming.

It is past time someone speaks up about our insidious and malignant cultural tendency to police, judge, and condemn people who projectile-vomit a virus that might melt your internal organs; a perfectly natural virus that occurs naturally in nature and is thus natural.

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As the arrival of America’s newest pre-existing condition dominates the headlines, worries over the Ebola virus have wreaked havoc on Wall Street, causing the S&P 500 to post its worst three-day slide since November 2011. But if Ebola thinks it can just waltz into this country and diminish Wall Street’s wealth, then Ebola doesn’t know President […]

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The headline in The Wall Street Journal this morning read, “Ebola Vaccine Push Ramps Up”. My initial surge of relief and optimism made me wonder whether news of vaccines for smallpox, measles, polio, etc. gave people a similar feeling. It also made me hope for the day when the disease has been so tamed that […]

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With Republicans (and most of the general public) demanding travel restrictions to Ebola-stricken African countries, but with Obama and his Administration “Experts” poo-pooing the idea, why don’t the airlines themselves cancel flights? If I were the CEO of an airline, I would cancel flights myself for several obvious reasons. First, liability issues — if my product might cause harm to […]

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Damage Control: Obama Appoints an Ebola Czar


Things are becoming dire . . . not necessarily for those of us who fear that Ebola may spread to the US, but for Barack Obama and the Democrats. If things were not becoming really, really dire, the President would not have done what he just did — which is to appoint — drum roll, please — an “Ebola czar.”

That this is a-made-for television drama is clear from the most impressive fact about Ron Klain, the new Ebola czar. He knows nothing about medicine or epidemiology — nothing more, that is, than you or I know.

What’s Wrong With Public Health?


shutterstock_99777395The Ebola infections in Texas have shown a bright light on fundamental flaws in our public health establishment. The Centers for Disease Control tells us that they have been fighting Ebola for 20 years, know what is needed to stop its spread, yet evidently never anticipated the entirely predictable crisis we now face. We are learning that hospital workers in Dallas were ill prepared, poorly trained and badly equipped to protect themselves when caring for a man sick with Ebola. Now a second first responder is threatened with a miserable death.

Public health, as a discipline, traces its roots to the famous London cholera outbreak of 1854 that John Snow interrupted by removing the handle from a community water pump that was the source of the bacteria. Snow was a physician, surgeon, and scientist. He didn’t hold much with the then popular “miasma” theory of disease. He looked for a germ.

Since those early days the scope of public health practice has expanded to the point of being almost unrecognizable. It has become a mind boggling array of — shall we kindly say — “miasmic” activities: funds given by taxpayers to treat AIDS patients are spent on gender empowerment initiative; stigma elimination programs and are channeled through politically controlled planning mechanisms that pit physicians against the “community” ensuring that medical science usually looses; etc.

And, Then, There Were Two . . .


You know that things are getting really serious when Barack Obama cancels a fundraiser for any reason — especially when he cancels two fundraisers and actually calls a cabinet meeting.

The fact that he did so today suggests that he is really worried about something of genuinely vital importance — that he thinks that the news that a second nurse working at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for Ebola might have an impact on the midterm elections three weeks from now. In his judgment, no doubt, It makes things even worse that, on the day before she tested positive, after her temperature rose well above normal, the lady in question contacted the CDC, and those who answered her call sanctioned her flying home on a commercial jet from Cleveland.

Mollie Hemingway Hits a Home Run


I readily admit it, folks. I miss Mollie. But she has not disappeared, and she has a piece on The Federalist website that you should all read.

To begin with she has discovered the woman in charge of the Ebola crisis. Her name is Dr. Nicole Lurie; and, some time ago, she was appointed Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for — drumroll, please — Preparedness and Response; and her job is to “lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters, ranging from hurricanes to bioterrorism.” Here is what Mollie reports:

Response to Dr. Rahe: We Need Cool Heads on Ebola


shutterstock_209207017I have just finished reading Paul Rahe’s post “The Centers for Disease Control Loses Its Grip.” His post — and others like it on Ricochet — and the World War III style headlines I have been seeing elsewhere, prompted me to reply.

For the last several years, we’ve been in the midst of an epidemic of zombie-related literature, films, and television. Much of it is terrible. Some of it is good.  Some of it is excellent.  Zombie outbreaks take the form of a disease epidemic. It’s slow burning at first, but then hits everyone like a tsunami and wipes out all of civilization.

This epidemic of zombie media taps into a fear that lingers in the back of our minds: that this level of material prosperity — never before seen in human history — must be a passing phenomenon. That the other shoe must drop at some point. It could be a war with the Russians. It might be global warming. It might be the Second Coming. It might be the zombie apocalypse. But at some point, this decadent, comfortable world of ours with its hot showers, selfies, and decadent boutique pet foods must come crashing down when everything hits the fan.

The Centers for Disease Control Loses Its Grip


I have lived long enough, now, to have seen it again and again. Something goes badly wrong involving a corporation, a university, a religious denomination, or a branch of government, and the executive in charge or a designated minion goes before the press to engage in what is euphemistically called “damage control.” The spokesman does not level with the public. He or she tries to be reassuring and — more often than not — by lying, succeeds in undermining confidence in the institution he or she represents.

This is what is now going on with the Centers for Disease Control. In recent years, this well-respected outfit has branched out, opining in a politically correct manner on one issue after another outside its proper remit. Now it is faced with a matter absolutely central to its responsibilities — actual disease control — and it flips and flops and flounders because the ultimate boss, the President of the United States, cannot bring himself to put limits on contacts between Americans and the citizens of the countries in Africa where there is an Ebola epidemic.