Sunday, October 19, 2014

Nothing But The Best For Our Troops

Hey, this Ebola Czar idea is already paying dividends, huh?

US troops deploying to W. Africa given just 4 hours of Ebola training:
Soldiers preparing for deployment to West Africa are given just four hours of Ebola-related training before leaving to combat the epidemic. And the first 500 soldiers to arrive have been holing up in Liberian hotels and government facilities while the military builds longer-term infrastructure on the ground.
For soldiers at Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg preparing for their deployments to West Africa, Mobile Training Teams from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), based out of Fort Detrick, have been tasked with instructing them on Ebola protocols.
A team of two can train as many as 50 personnel over that four-hour time frame, USAMRIID told The Daily Beast. The training includes hands-on instruction on how to put on, remove, and decontaminate personal protective equipment, followed by a practical test to ensure that soldiers understand the procedures.

But it's all okay, because we won't be giving them any of the equipment they'd need to deal with Ebola anyways. We're just going to send them there with gloves and masks.

No hazmat suits for troops going to Africa:
Troops from the 101st Airborne Division leading the military response to Ebola in West Africa will only need gloves and masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus, so said Gen. David Rodriguez at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday.
“They don’t need the whole suit – as such – because they’re not going to be in contact with any of the people,” the commander of U.S. troops in Africa said.
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne will primarily be building hospitals, ultimately leading what could be a contingent of 4,000 American service members. They’ll be housed either in tent cities at military airfields or in Liberian Ministry of Defense facilities, Rodriguez said.
Soldiers’ health will be monitored through surveys and taking their temperature on their way in and out of camps. If a service member does get sick, Rodriguez said they will be flown home immediately for treatment.
Perfect. Because the one thing that's worked out so well here already, is treating Ebola victims at home.

And those 23 BL4 Ebola isolation beds I told you about?

Well, it turns out there are really only about 11-13, if they have enough staffing:
Altogether, those four hospitals can accommodate just 8-13 patients, said Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which has treated a U.S. missionary and is treating a television news cameraman, both of whom contracted the virus in West Africa. He said Nebraska has 1-2 Ebola beds, Emory 2 beds, St. Patrick Hospital in Montana 1-2 beds and the National Institutes of Health in Maryland 4-7 beds. "But I don't know if they (NIH) have the staffing," he said.
Smith said the U.S. State Department decides which patients get beds at the four biocontainment units.
And currently, four of them are filled:
Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, the two infected THP-Dallas nurses;
Ashoka Mukpo, the NBC cameraman;
and Name Unknown WHO employee.
So what happens when there's no more room at those facilities?
Once those spots run out, Ebola patients will be treated where they are, and officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be dispatched to help care for them and make sure precautions are taken to ensure that no one else contracts the deadly virus, said CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds.
Perfect! Once those spots are filled, this all lands back at local hospitals, so well-trained and fully prepared the first time around, and under the full supervision of the same people that got us where we are right now: the ace professionals running the CDC.

But don't worry; the military will be forming a 30-person "Ebola Strike Team":
The U.S. military is forming a 30-person "quick strike team" equipped to provide direct treatment to Ebola patients inside the United States, a Defense Department official told CNN's Barbara Starr on Sunday. The team -- made up of doctors, nurses and specialized trainers -- will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month, the official said.
No word yet on whether those good folks will get the full four hours of Ebola training.


Six Reasons To Panic

Article From the Weekly Standard - Read The Whole Thing

A couple of highlights:
In other words, rather than catching up with Ebola, we’re falling further behind. And we’re likely to continue falling behind, because physical and human resources do not scale virally. In order to stop the spread of Ebola, the reproduction number needs to be more than halved from its current rate. Yet reducing the reproduction number only gets harder as the total number of cases increases, because each case requires resources—facilities, beds, doctors, nurses, decontamination, and secure burials—which are already lagging well behind need. The latest WHO projections suggest that by December 1 we are likely to see 10,000 new cases in West Africa per week, at which point the virus could begin spreading geographically within the continent as it nears the border with Ivory Coast.
And just to keep you up at night:

In September, the CDC ran a series of models on the spread of the virus and came up with a best-case scenario in which, by January 2015, Liberia alone would have a cumulative 11,000 to 27,000 cases. That’s in a world where all of the aid and personnel gets where it needs to be, the resident population behaves rationally, and everything breaks their way. The worst-case scenario envisioned by the model is anywhere from 537,000 to 1,367,000 cases by January. Just in Liberia. With the fever still raging out of control.
By which point, all might well be lost. Anthony Banbury is coordinating the response from the United Nations, which, whatever its many shortcomings, is probably the ideal organization to take the lead on Ebola. Banbury’s view is chilling: “The WHO advises within 60 days we must ensure 70 percent of infected people are in a care facility and 70 percent of burials are done without causing further infection. .  .  . We either stop Ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan [emphasis added]”.
What’s terrifying about the worst-case scenario isn’t just the scale of human devastation and misery. It’s that the various state actors and the official health establishment have already been overwhelmed with infections in only the four-digit range. And if the four pillars—contact tracing, case isolation, safe burial, and effective public information—fail, no one seems to have even a theoretical plan for what to do.

h/t to WRSA!

You're Gonna Need A Bigger Shovel

The most obvious step to stop the spread of any disease is to quarantine those who potentially have it outside your own country.

But we're not doing it here, because "It wouldn't work and could actually make things worse," health officials say.

When someone has Ebola here, we put them in isolation.
When someone is suspected of Ebola infection, we now (after screwing up by the numbers for three weeks on epic clown antics) put them in isolation.
When someone has Ebola over there, the first thing Medecins Sans Frontieres does is put them in isolation.
When a health healthcare worker needs to treat someone with Ebola, they put themselves behind multiple impermeable layers of isolation.
That's what "barrier nursing" is all about. That's why we call those "isolation precautions".

Yet somehow, health officials, (and let's be clear here, only the ones carrying this administration's political water with both hands), are suddenly willing to throw all that common sense and prudence under the bus, and tell us, from their vast fund of knowledge of the intricacies of international air travel, customs and immigration procedures, travel screening protocols, and US and international law, that they have decided that this won't work?
How it blazes are they suddenly the go-to guys on this, despite getting it wrong about:

* Ebola never getting here
* Ebola being hard to catch
* "Any" hospital being able to care for Ebola patients
* Knowing how to treat the disease safely
* Having protocols in place that work
* Spending priorities for $10B since 2001, specifically to prepare for biohazard emergencies like this
* Being able to keep tabs on the contacts of just one infected Ebola patient
Those guys are the "experts" we're listening to on why this won't work?!?

This step is such easily workable common sense a growing list of other countries have figured it out:
Other countries — most recently including Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, and St.Lucia — have already taken steps to ban travelers from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone or restrict entry until after a 21-day quarantine. Nigeria, Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo are also on some of the banned lists.

So actual banana republic have got this, and we get the gang who can't shoot straight.
The administration has even admitted that we're only talking about a maximum of 150 persons a day, 94 percent of whom all arrive through five airports already adding the (worthless kabuki theatre) "enhanced" screenings anyways.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday made clear the president is not considering a travel ban. "Currently, when individuals do travel from West Africa to the United States they are screened prior to departure in West Africa. They are screened again once they enter this country, and they are subjected to heightened screening if they have traveled in these three West African countries in the last three weeks or so," Earnest said.
Except those screenings are the exact ones that didn't stop Thomas Duncan from entering the country and travelling to Dallas, and won't stop the next Duncan from coming here either. Or the next ten after that.
Officials ask questions; Duncan lied about his exposure.
They check temperatures; a handful of Tylenol or ibuprofen thwarts that genius plan.

But if we drive that travel underground, we won't be able to track those people.

Right, geniuses, I forgot that everyone from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone will be a brilliant master of disguise, with multiple passports, multiple backstopped cover stories, and vast sums money and of technical and logistical support to make waltzing past immigration and customs agents in three different countries looking for world-class terrorists a total piece of cake.

All they have to do is get out of the three most-locked-down countries on the planet, travel overland hundreds of miles on a continent where that's difficult at the best of times, pull out their secret identity undercover passport, buy a plane ticket there, fool the immigration and customs authorities from their "cover" country, including speaking a different language or dialect flawlessly, then travel to a third country, say in Europe, withstand the screenings there without a slip, and then finally proceed here, and get past our immigration and customs authorities, all without a single hitch, on falsified papers, lying their way from stop to stop to stop, breaking about 20 international security and espionage laws, and most importantly, while potentially incubating Ebola in their bodies.

Yes, Dr. Frieden, I can see where that would be child's play for anyone, especially the products of the most backward and unsophisticated nations on the planet. Perhaps someone should tip off the recruiting departments at the CIA and MI6 to what clever fellows those people are.

If we've fallen so far that we can't spot 6000 a month people from Africa trying to sneak in here by pretending to be from somewhere else, we should just fire the FBI, CIA, Customs, Border Patrol, Immigration, the whole lot, tell the Pentagon to stand down, pull our collective national pants down, and tell Al Qaeda to come here now and have their way with us.

The reality, contrary to all the idiot savant naysayers, is that a travel ban and quarantine are ridiculously easy. ICE already has 20 designated quarantine stations throughout the country, including at the 5 most likely airports. We have quarantined infected people before, going back to forever. And uninfected people sneaking in are even easier: we arrest them, and ship them back (after helpfully photographing, fingerprinting, and DNA-swabbing them).
(Oh wait, I forgot, we'd have to actually enforce our borders and immigration law!) 

Overnight we would stop the unemployed package shufflers like Duncan and hordes more, to a metaphysical totality, and the legitimate ones who'd follow the procedures would be properly quarantined, eliminating any number of subsequent false alarms daily every time someone who once saw a map of Africa sneezes, coughs, or pukes in a public place. Total number of "medical experts" talking about that problem lately: zero. Hey, thanks for not being on those cases, Dick.

The reality is there is nothing coming or going to those three nations right now that needs to, which couldn't go on military mercy flights, and I'm pretty sure the US Air Force and Air Mobility Command have a pretty good handle on getting aid workers and relief supplies into and out of any third-world shithole on the planet at the speed of heat, only having done so, by my recollection, pretty much non-stop since 1942.

If they, in conjunction with their own medical officers, the CDC, the FBI, and the CIA can't figure out how to tell the sheep from the goats, we have far more serious national security problems than this one paltry virus.

So please, you bunch of braying "medical expert" jackasses, stop peeing on our heads and telling us it's raining, just to cover for a sad incompetent little president who couldn't find his own ass even with your help, and that of entire cabinet departments, plus the sum total of the national press corps.

ABC shovel-ready story on this.
CNN shovel-ready story on this.
NBC shovel-ready story on this.
CBS shovel-ready story on this.
Obviously, if ABCNNBCBS agree on this, it must be true, right?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

EBOLA PPE Resources

Courtesy of one of the contributors at WRSA, here are two links to some great info on PPE for dealing with Ebola:

1. Medecins Sans Frontieres Ebola/FHF Handbook
This is their entire .pdf Filovirus Hemorhaggic Fever (FHF) guidebook.
The PPE donning procedures are in Annex 11.

2. The UNMC PPE Doning/Doffing Handouts
UNMC runs the Biocontainment Unit, the largest of the 4 BL4 isolation wards in the US. Both handouts are clickable posters that can be downloaded, in .pdf form.

If you work in healthcare in the U.S., you should get familiar with this stuff NOW, and not wait for your own facility to get off the dime. Learn it, love it, live it, and live.

And if they come out with something less than these protocols, you need to be ready to educate THEM, and raise hell if they try palming off some lesser protocol than this on you, because they won't be in the patients' rooms with you, and they won't be the ones sick in the ICU with Ebola if their lesser Magical mystery Plan goes sideways.

If you're not in healthcare, but you know someone who is, send 'em a link to it.
You might save a life.

Big shout out of thanks to WRSA, and the person who sent them the linked info.
They could do more good with this than the CDC has managed to do after we spent $10B on them.

Risk Assessment

1) As you resume your place in the pack of surfers, you notice the guy next to you has a large gash on his leg, oozing blood into the surrounding ocean. Simultaneously, you notice a number of large grey dorsal fins indicative of Great White Sharks, on a beeline for the group of wet-suited wave warriors among whom you're sitting. Do you
a) reach down for the razor sharp dive knife on your calf, worn there since your days at BUD/S, and think about the story you're going to tell that master chief who thought you'd never finish SEAL training
b) point your board to the sweet spot of the incoming wave, and paddle like a madman to catch it
c) turn your board down-current, and begin short, smooth arm strokes angling away from the group, keeping your feet out of the water, or
d) lie back, enjoy the sun on your face, and remember that the worst day surfing is still better than the best day working?

2) As you and your family are enjoying a day at the zoo, an adult Bengal tiger leaps out of his exhibit pen, and lands next to the child-filled petting zoo about 50 yards away. Do you
a) make a break for your truck, happy in the knowledge that your 12 gauge shotgun and bandoleer of slugs will be in your hands in moments, and hope the zookeeper and the fish and game folks will let you keep the trophy
b) grab your kids, and tell your wife to get in front of you and run like hell
c) push your clan into the handy nearby janitorial closet and bolt the sturdy door, happy in the knowledge that tigers don't have opposable thumbs, or
d) make sure you get all this on your phonecam, counting on the fact that by the time the tiger eats all the kids between itself and yours, he'll be too full to take another bite?

3) As the theatre goes dark, a guy in a trenchcoat in the front seats starts unloading multiple rounds into the nearby moviegoers. Do you
a) whisper a prayer to Odin, pull out your everyday carry .44 Magnum, take aim, and blow his head clean off
b) sprint for the exit, bobbing and weaving until you hit the parking lot
c) hit the floor, and hope he runs out of ammo before he gets to your row, or
d) yell at the guy to sit down and STFU, because you waited two months for this movie and you paid your $12, dammit?

4) Ebola hits your country. Do you
a) Sign up to work with Medicins Sans Frontieres, suit up, and start taking care of people to wipe out this disease ASAP
b) Move to your well-stocked cabin in the Yukon, two days by dogsled through the sub-arctic wilderness
c) Head home, stopping at Costco and Sam's Club to pick up a few things, then park your car, lock the front door, and watch the societal meltdown on TV, while calling your congressman daily to tell the useless SOB that you want the flights coming here from Africa cancelled right away, or
d) console yourself with the knowledge that this Ebola thing isn't that big a deal, and continue about your everyday life as if you'd never heard of it?

If you picked mostly A, you should go sign up for the SEALs, Special Forces, or Open Night at the MMA Challenge tournament.
If you picked mostly B, you'll probably never win any medals for bravery, but you'll also probably die at a ripe old age, at home in your own bed, of natural causes.
If you picked mostly C, maybe you'll live a long and happy life, or maybe not so much, but the odds are definitely on your side for more days on top of the ground rather than under it until you're at least 70.
If you picked mostly D, you should look for work at the White House, the CDC, or CNN. And update your will.

With nearly any problem, there are three decent ways to face it, and one jackassical one:
You can confront it head on;
you can take to your heels;
you can minimize your exposure and vulnerability;
or you can stick your head firmly up your own back end, and pretend you're now invisible.

The way to look at Ebola isn't "Hey, it's only killed XXXX people so far, so my odds are one-in-a-million (which right now, worldwide, is exactly what they are).
Because in six months, your new odds may be more like one-in-four-thousand.
In six more months after that, they could be one in sixteen.
And three months after that, 9 out of 10 you're dead.
Numbers and time aren't on your side.

We can't breed people fast enough to get numbers on your side. If the earth's population doubled, we'd only buy three more weeks at the back end. That's the power of an R-naught of 2 and logarithmic growth. It's why Albert Einstein once replied that the greatest power on earth was "compound interest". Ebola is compounding at a return of 100% for just about every 3 weeks so far.

Just like with fire, you can't choke it by giving it more fuel. But you can suffocate it, or take the heat away.

Cooling Ebola off requires taking people away from the heat of the virus. And what works for that, since forever, is keeping people away from the virus. Contain it where it is, and keep infected people away from uninfected people. That means absolute isolation, travel bans, and quarantines. It's the only thing we have right now that works, and it's also the only thing thing the idiots in charge refuse to consider, with the thoughtless stubbornness of the offspring of horses and donkeys.

We do it because that buys time, so that the current outbreak runs out of fuel (people), and multiplies slower. We desperately need that time, because at the present rate of spread, we're headed for a world-changing pandemic. If you jump out of a plane without a parachute, telling us "So far, so good" at 10,000 feet isn't the behavior of a rational person. Neither is pointing out how beautiful the view is, or marveling at the approaching scenery. The critical components are your velocity downward, the distance to the ground, along with a basic grasp of math and the physics of falling bodies.

And hopefully, we cool Ebola off enough for it to burn out, or if we're very, very lucky, someone comes up with a vaccine to prevent getting it, and more effective treatments for it, and we can then suffocate it.

But we aren't anywhere close to there yet, and therefore anyone suggesting you blithely go about your business is a moron. Anyone that's saying "Hey, it's tough to catch, look, Duncan only gave it to two people" has the brain of a stegosaurus. The thing to note is that Duncan infected two people who had on every possible piece of protection, knew all the techniques, and yet STILL caught it.
That more people, including those exposed to him early on and more casually, do not show symptoms and may not have been infected is nothing but fate among the random happenstance of a neutral universe, or the tender mercies of a benevolent deity.
What it's not is cause for relief nor celebration.

We've merely been fortunate, like the guy who hits the Powerball on the one time he buys a ticket.

And only a jackass expects that to happen every time, or jumps off a cliff a second time because the first didn't happen to kill him.

The media are, by and large, jackasses.
The CDC is run by a monumental jackass.
And the president is the Grand Panjandrum of the Jackass Party.
And not just by coincidence.

As my namesake noted some millennia earlier, ants thrive, and grasshoppers die.
Assess the risks, and choose wisely. And quit fiddling around.

CNN: Back To Spreading BS

After days of the increasing realities about Ebola pushing them to actually, y'know, do news, CNN has gone back to pimping utter horsefeathers about Ebola. Apparently, Dear Leader is pissed about the coverage, and the party line must be toed, and this crap isn't going to shovel itself:

(CNN) -- The U.S. experience with Ebola is generating commentary that is both prudent and outrageous.
There have been only three cases of Ebola occurring on U.S. soil, one ending fatally and the other two now under treatment.
While health officials provide sober guidance on the deadly disease, several public figures, from high-level politicians to cultural icons, haven't been so even-tempered in their remarks, adding to the public hype that has become associated with the virus.
Here is a sampling of those provocative comments, plus a little myth busting, clarifying and reality checking from Ebola experts from around the world.
"If you bring two doctors who happen to have that specialty (Ebola) into a room, one will say, 'No, it will never become airborne, but it could mutate so it would be harder to discover.' Another doctor will say, 'If it continues to mutate at the rate it's mutating, and we go from 20,000 infected to 100,000, the population might allow it to mutate and become airborne, and then it will be a serious problem.' I don't know who is right." -- Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN.

Ebola isn't transmitted through the air. It is transmitted through direct contact by bodily fluids with an Ebola-infected person showing symptoms of the disease.
A mutation such as the kind Dempsey describes "would be exceedingly rare" in one epidemic, said Edward C. Holmes of Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity at the University of Sydney.
"It happens over evolutionary time, millions of years," Holmes said. "This idea that it takes one or two of those mutations and 'Wham!' you pick up airborne transmission, that is way too simplistic."

Yeah, and Ebola coming to the US would be "highly unlikely" too.
There are more Ebola patients right now than the total that have existed in world history prior to now. Every one of them is multiplying viruses by the millions per hour, each one of those replications is another roll of the genetic dice to a mutation. Times the 9000-20000 cases there are. So "exceedingly rare" is cold comfort if we happen to win that jackpot, and right now, the virus is pulling on slot-machine handles like a monkey on crack with a bucket of nickels in every one of those patients, EXACTLY AS THE JCS CHAIRMAN WAS TOLD, AND REPORTED.

"If someone has Ebola at a cocktail party, they're contagious and you can catch it from them. -- Sen. Rand Paul, a physician and potential 2016 presidential candidate

Again, experts say the contact with an infectious person must be tactile, or direct touching, and involve bodily fluids -- blood, sweat, feces, vomit, semen or spit.
People in West Africa are avoiding hugs and handshakes because the virus can be spread through the sweat on someone's hand.
The uninfected person would have to have a break in the skin of their hand that would allow entry of the virus, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta said. But "we all have minor breaks in our skin. And there is a possibility that some of the virus can be transmitted that way."
Paul also made other remarks regarding direct contact: "They say all it takes is direct contact to get this. If you listen carefully, they say being three feet from someone is direct contact. That's not what most Americans think is direct contact."
Without directly addressing Paul's claims about contact over three feet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden indicated that's not a possible mode of transmission for the virus.
"Should you be worried you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone?" Frieden said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "The answer to that is no."

Rather than note yet again what a bullshit-spewing assclown Frieden is, let's just look directly at the CDC's own guideline regarding exposure:
Close contactClose contact is defined as
  1. being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) of an EVD patient or within the patient’s room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., health care personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., standard, droplet, and contact precautions; see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations); or
  2. having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD patient while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.
Brief interactions, such as walking by a person or moving through a hospital, do not constitute close contact.
So CNN takes Paul to task for telling the exact truth, and gives Frieden a megaphone for disseminating more rose fertilizer (because he can't help himself). Bravo, idiots.
Dr. Rand Paul 1
Dr. Assclown Frieden 0

"The most comforting thing that I heard from (Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health) was that water kills the Ebola virus. I've never heard that before. I thought it was something that was so contagious there wasn't much you could do to prevent it or anything else, so her advice was 'wash your hands.' " -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal told the Marietta Daily Journal.
In fact, water alone does not kill Ebola. Soap and water does. So does chlorine and bleach, experts added."As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren't available," the Mayo Clinic said about the prevention and spread of Ebola infection.
Wrong, jackholes. Neither water, nor even soap and water, kills fuck-all in Ebola. At least not anywhere near fast enough to matter. They mainly wash them off of YOU, and send them DOWN THE DRAIN.
What kills Ebola?:
Viricidal options:"Ebolavirus is susceptible to 3% acetic acid, 1% glutaraldehyde, alcohol-based products, and dilutions (1:10-1:100 for ≥10 minutes) of 5.25% household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), and calcium hypochlorite (bleach powder) "
We don't wash our hands to kill germs, we wash our hands to get the germs off of them. If such regular burial-at-sea manages to kill them in the process, well and good, but the main point of soap is to make things on your skin come loose, and the water washes the loosened cooties off. But hey CNN, thanks for sleeping through middle school science class.
Basic Hygiene 1
Basic Hogwash 0

"The U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our 'borders.' Act fast!" -- Real estate mogul Donald Trump said on Twitter.
Most public health experts oppose such a ban.
"Many nations have banned flights from other countries in recent years in hopes of blocking the entry of viruses, including SARS and H1N1 'swine flu,' " wrote Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. "None of the bans were effective, and the viruses gained entry to populations regardless of what radical measures governments took to keep them out."
No ban will completely stop people moving about the world, experts said.
"It gives us the false assurance that we can ignore the problems that are happening in Africa," Wendy Parmet, director of the Program on Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University School of Law, told National Geographic. "At the end of the day, we can't. And our own safety depends on our getting it right there, not on building the walls."
President Obama this week said he opposes a travel ban.
Well played. Laurie Garrett is nothing but a science writer with a B.A., and currently shilling for the biggest globalist concern on the planet, which doesn't have the U.S.'s (nor anyone's but their own) best interests at heart.
Banning flights isn't a radical measure, it's a prudent one. No one can walk from Africa to the US. And no one can enter legally without a visa. (We'll set aside for a minute why this is Reason #11,000,001 for SECURING THE BORDERS.) So anyone coming here, from there, would have their point of origin checked, and if we're going to do this intelligently, they would then go into quarantine until they were presumptively disease free. That works with 100% efficacy, going back to the plagues of the Middle Ages. That's where the word "quarantine" came from: 40 days in strict isolation.
So bringing in gainsaying fuckwits to try and contradict common sense won't work any better than trying to do magic tricks with no clothes on. We see the bunny.
Thanks for playing.

"Reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning." -- Georgia Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey, a medical doctor, wrote to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gingrey and other Republicans have claimed that Latino immigrants are carriers for Ebola, particularly via the U.S.-Mexico border.
"One of the reasons why I've been so adamant about closing our border, because if people are coming through normal channels -- can you imagine what they can do through our porous borders?" former Massachusetts senator and now New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown said in a radio interview.
Marine Gen. John Kelly, chief of the U.S. Southern Command said, "If Ebola breaks out, in Haiti or in Central America. I think it is literally, 'Katie bar the door,' in terms of the mass migration of Central Americans into the United States."
Health experts said those fears are grossly exaggerated.
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden dismissed the possibility of Ebola reaching the United States via the southern border. "That is not happening," he said.
Hello, McFly? Is your head out of your ass yet?? No one said "it's happening", they said "IT COULD HAPPEN". Which is not only true, it's also far from "highly unlikely". It's certainly not "grossly exaggerated", and if you had actual experts to say that, you'd have conjured them by name, instead of holding a séance to summon your Imaginary Friends. So get off of buffing Frieden's knob, and wake the hell up.

Common sense  1
CNN news-hackery  0

"I don't know ... But I think this Ebola epidemic is a form of population control. S*** is getting crazy bruh," R and B star Chris Brown tweeted.

Brown and a number of other public figures, including radio show hosts Rick Wiles and Michael Savage have advanced perhaps the most provocative statements.

Let's take this one by one.

The numbers don't support Brown's comment.

There are more than 7 billion people living on Earth. Worldwide, there have been a total of 8,997 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in seven affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States), according to the latest World Health Organization figures.

There have been 4,493 deaths, the WHO says.

Then there's Christian radio broadcaster Wiles, who said Ebola "may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming," according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Ebola "could solve America's problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion," Wiles said on his Trunews program, according to the Colorado Independent.
A prominent Christian evangelical group, Focus on the Family, denounced those remarks.
"Our first response as Christians to tragedies such as Ebola ought to be one of concern and compassion," Ron Reno, the group's vice president of orthodoxy, said, according to the Independent. "[P]ublicly speculating on God's motives in allowing specific outbreaks of disease is both unwise and unhelpful."
Finally, talk radio host Michael Savage said President Barack Obama wants to infect America with Ebola.
"There is not a sane reason to take three- or four-thousand troops and send them into a hot Ebola zone without expecting at least one of them to come back with Ebola, unless you want to infect the nation with Ebola," Savage said.
Obama sent those U.S. troops to West African nations with Ebola as part of an international effort to help eradicate -- not spread -- the disease.
"The most important thing in addition to treating and monitoring anybody who even has a hint of potential exposure here in this country, the most important thing that I can do for keeping the American people safe, is for us to be able to deal with Ebola at the source, where you have a huge outbreak in West Africa," Obama said Thursday.

Let's take this one by one.
1) Thanks for scouring the babblesphere for the craziest dipshits you could find, so you could roll out Ad Hominem, Scapegoating, Guilt By Association, Red Herring, and Strawman Fallacies by the dozen.
Unfortunately for you, they covered Logical Fallacies for most people in high school, and even the Greeks figured it out as pure BS some 2500 years ago. Apparently it's still not well-known in J-school, huh guys?
Unfortunately for your article, dragging them in is not the same as proving your points. It's just shoveling horsesh*t with a wider shovel, and flinging it harder.

2) Ten months ago, there was 1 Ebola case.
To get to the nearly 9000 cases you note (which both WHO and the CDC acknowledge is far likelier to actually be 22,000 cases), the virus has had to double 13 to 14 times its original infection size of 1.
It's currently doubling in Africa about every 3 weeks on average. Sometimes, even faster than that.
And if it doubles 19-20 more times, Ebola will be everywhere, and 70-90% of the planet will die from it, in a manner most hideous and unpleasant.


Just a thought.

Reality 8,997
CNN   0

By Michael Martinez. CNN's Stephanie Smith, Zachary Wolf, Belle Reynoso and Sarah Aarthun contributed to this report.

UPDATE: Apparently the new media marching orders are simple:

NBC's version of the story above
ABC's slightly milder version of the above
CBS joins the parade a day late and a dollar short.
So far, CBS and only Fox seems content to continue reporting, instead of telling people what to think.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Special Assclown Award!

It's fun to be interviewed by the media for your expertise, but when you pull your pants down and spank yourself in front of God and everyone, on the biggest news topic of the day, probably not so much:

From Canada's National Post
In Akron, Ohio, officials dismissed students at the Resnik Community Learning Center at midday and said it would remain closed until Monday. In a letter to parents, the schools superintendent, David James, said that “a parent at the school had spent time with Ebola patient Amber Vinson when she visited the area this past weekend.”
Health care specialists expressed skepticism about the closings.
Dr. Paul Offit, the chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, likened the response to the early days of the AIDS epidemic “when people were afraid to walk into a grocery store and pick up a piece of fruit because they didn’t know who’d touched it.”
“This isn’t flu or smallpox,” Dr. Offit said. “It's not spread by droplet transmission. As long as nobody kissed the person on the plane, they’re safe.”
 Apparently Chief of Infectious Diseases is more of an honorary title.

(CDC Info): When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.
Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients.
During outbreaks of Ebola, the disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to Ebola can occur in healthcare settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, including masks, gowns, and gloves and eye protection.
In case the recommendation for masks and eye protection wasn't obvious enough, let's go to the CDC's current recommendation for Healthcare Providers, (which a normally intelligent person could be forgiven for thinking might actually apply to the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia):

CDC FAQ: If a patient in a U.S. hospital is identified to have suspected or confirmed EVD, what infection control precautions should be put into place?

If a patient in a U.S. hospital is suspected or known to have Ebola virus disease, healthcare teams should follow standard, contact, and droplet!!! precautions, including the following recommendations:
  • Isolate the patient: Patients should be isolated in a single patient room (containing a private bathroom) with the door closed.
  • Wear appropriate PPE: Healthcare providers entering the patients room should wear: gloves, gown (fluid resistant or impermeable), eye protection (goggles or face shield), and a facemask. Additional protective equipment might be required in certain situations (e.g., copious amounts of blood, other body fluids, vomit, or feces present in the environment), including but not limited to double gloving, disposable shoe covers, and leg coverings.
  • Restrict visitors: Avoid entry of visitors into the patient's room. Exceptions may be considered on a case by case basis for those who are essential for the patient's wellbeing. A logbook should be kept to document all persons entering the patient's room. See CDC's infection control guidance( on procedures for monitoring, managing, and training of visitors.
  • Avoid aerosol-generating procedures: Avoid aerosol-generating procedures. If performing these procedures, PPE should include respiratory protection (N95 or higher filtering facepiece respirator) and the procedure should be performed in an airborne infection isolation room.
  • Implement environmental infection control measures: Diligent environmental cleaning and disinfection and safe handling of potentially contaminated materials is of paramount importance, as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine and other body secretions represent potentially infectious materials should be done following hospital protocols.
Dr. Offitt, you're evidently an ignorant, uninformed, unprofessional assclown, who should resign your position immediately for the good of humanity, before your errant jackassery gets people under your care or supervision killed from your total lack of knowledge on this critical topic, supossedly your very area of clinical expertise. Especially for someone who took journalism to task and advocated "Journalism Jail" for bad medical reporting. Consider yourself busted, and go spend a year or two in self-imposed exile for criminal medical stupidity.

Only consideration for your years of good work before you evidently lost your mind restrains me from suggesting you change your specialty to cats and dogs, or go home for some quiet time with a gun and a single bullet.

But you're still a dangerous assclown, and a threat to the safety of every child within 500 miles as long as you practice medicine without your brains, or open your mouth on the topic.

Bravo. The Cocobongo School Of Witchdoctory would be proud of you.

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.

Another Funny CDC Story

                                          "And guess what happened at work today...!"

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 may 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, had 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. A physician aboard the cruise ship had said the employee was in good health.
News reports quoting an official statement from the government of Belize said the ship was still in that country’s waters, but the authorities there refused to allow American officials to evacuate the passengers through their territory.

So the CDC is so all over this, and the worker is a thousand miles away, after potentially
exposing hundreds of cruise ship passengers and crew to the virus, the CDC "just learned" this, due to their crack efforts at monitoring the 70+ contacts from one whole case, and the only people without their heads shoved up their back ends on how to proceed with handling this is the government of Belize!

Walk tall, genius.

Apparently, in his job description for Director of the CDC, the President forgot to specify "Able to find own ass with both hands, without a map, mirror, and compass."
Meanwhile, back in Texas:
Texas officials moved for the first time Thursday to force health care workers who had contact with a dying Ebola patient to stay home, reversing course after a nurse later diagnosed with the disease flew across the Midwest and deepened anxiety about whether the virus would spread in the U.S.
Seventy-five Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas employees who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan were asked to sign legal documents in which they agreed not go to public places or use mass transit, according to Judge Clay Jenkins, top administrator for Dallas County.
The agreements are legally binding and can be enforced with a variety of remedies, Jenkins said, though he repeatedly declined to elaborate on specific punishments and expressed confidence that everyone would comply.
"From 21 days after their last exposure, we are agreeing that they are not going to go on any form of public conveyance - any sort of public transportation," Jenkins said. "We are agreeing that they won't go where people congregate - public spaces - and we are agreeing that they will self-monitor and allow us to monitor them twice a day."

Do your job, go to home-jail.
But this is good news for the economy in Dallas: There are now 75 short-term job openings in local healthcare.

This will virtually guarantee then when future Ebola patients walk in the door for treatment anywhere else, the staff will be running out the back door, like a scene from Looney Tunes when Pepe LePew comes in, rather than face nearly a month off without pay because their hospital officials and the CDC don't know what the hell they're doing, and also incidentally because they don't want to get Ebola.


Bonus: Another great write up: Ebola - A Nurse's Perspective

We Have to What?!?

We're knowingly and happily letting 100-150 potential Duncans come here every day, from the three most Ebola-stricken countries on earth.
We've deployed 500 out of a planned contingent of 3000 troops to build 17 100-bed Ebola treatment centers there.
Because, according to the President, we have to fight Ebola there to make it safe for us here.

So howzat going to work, exactly?

There are, according to WHO numbers from 12 October, 8997 Ebola cases, and 4485 deaths, so far, from this outbreak of Ebola. (For reference, the largest prior Ebola outbreak was 425 cases in Uganda in 2000.) When Thomas Duncan got here on 20 September, there were then about 6200 cases, and 2900 total deaths. So in the intervening period, nearly 2800 new cases sprung up, and over 1500 of those previously infected died. And Ebola came to two additional countries, including ours, bringing that number to seven, up from five.

(Nota bene that those are the "official" numbers, representing only those cases that have been confirmed as Ebola by laboratory diagnosis. WHO and CDC have both long-acknowledged that those numbers are dreadfully lower than the actual tally, because those governments are incompetent, officials lie about numbers to downplay how far out of control it's gotten there, those counting cases are exhausted and overwhelmed, patients die at home undiagnosed in droves, don't come forward out of shame, fear, and disbelief even as they're dying, and frequently wander off into the jungle to meet death, or die in the street unseen, undiagnosed, and get buried or cremated before any testing or official diagnosis can be made. Thus the best estimates from outside agencies is that the real numbers are 2 to 2.5 times greater that those "official" statistics, at any point in time going back to early summer of this year.)

The three countries have filled every available treatment bed for Ebola patients they have, and it averages less than 30% of the number of beds needed to remove those patients from the general population, and do what they can to treat those infected.
As of 12 October, there are 1216 existing treatment beds, for over 3000 official infectees.
By mid-November, when the US contingent has built the planned 1700 additional beds, there will be an additional 6000 cases. Even if we were to double down, stay longer, and build 1700 more beds in another 6 weeks after that, there will then be 15,000-20,000 additional cases. The more we do, over the longer we spend there, the further behind our efforts fall, and fail.

That ignores the utter lack of Ebola workers. There are no people to work in even the first
17 centers. To care for 100 patients, it probably demands at least 20, and likely more like 50 people per makeshift Ebola hospital. That's 340-850 healthcare workers. International NGOs working this epidemic there struggle to find so many as 10. So when those centers are filled the minute they open, there'll be no one to care for the patients whatsoever.

Supposedly, part of our mission is to train the soldiers of the armies in question to fill some of those roles. Liberia's army, for example, has a total of only 2000 enlisted soldiers. Most of whom enforce border quarantine and public order. Pulling a sizable chunk of that force into Ebola treatment will weaken border restrictions, and allow Ebola to spread to Mali and Cote d'Ivoire. Further, these are soldiers who were used to enforce quarantine before, and were routinely bribed by people to get out and break the quarantine. These are not professional troops, they're nothing but minimally skilled illiterate thugs with weapons; their diligence at either the quarantine or the treatment role is highly suspect, and leads to the likelihood that they have already let Ebola spread to bordering countries, who themselves have done what such countries do: lie and deny to avoid the stigma of "Ebola-infected" being applied to to their lands. They control the press and the official reports, and the NGOs who might report otherwise are already buried in work in the original three afflicted countries, and have neither the time nor the inclination to go looking for troubles next door.

Thus, Ebola probably already is there now, gaining a foothold unreported, quietly festering and spreading until the truth comes out, and will thus be far too advanced and entrenched to affect when the truth finally bursts forth. And with no one left to go there to help anyway.

Even within the acknowledged Ebola-stricken countries, supplies for care are critically short. The average worker can only work in the protective gear for an hour or so before the boots are full of water from sweat, the masks are too fogged up to see through, and the worker is too dehydrated from fluid loss to work safely or effectively. Which necessitates another 25 minutes to carefully strip the gear off, and go rehydrate and recuperate. Then back into a mostly fresh ensemble, and repeat the process. So the average worker goes through up to 7 suits a day, each costing an average of $75 in real-world money, in countries where the average income is a few bucks a day, when there's any work.

Additional supplies sit in containers in the harbors, because the government officials won't pay the freight for free supplies, haven't received their customary bribes, and so additional supplies sit in harbors overseas unshipped because the first shipments haven't even cleared customs yet. Clinic workers get exposed and die for want of the stuff sitting a few miles away, because someone's palm hasn't been greased, as has been the standard procedure in Africa since forever. And Ebola just keeps rolling along.

Even if the gear gets cleared, it has to be delivered in the most inhospitable places, over the most unimproved road and transportation systems on earth, by the most inefficient workers anywhere, to the most overwhelmed caregivers known to man.

And all the while, those thousands of infected but untreated and unhospitalized Ebola carriers wander the streets, ride taxis, lay around the house, and die in the public thoroughfares, spreading more Ebola to more people every minute of every day, infecting a widening population with a Malthusian relentlessness. Ebola is a savings bond that yields about 25-30% interest per week. Every three to four weeks (going by those woefully inaccurate official numbers) it doubles.

The affected nations can't even keep up with burials, because people are simply dropping too fast to collect. And as they train more body collectors, the disease doubles again.

And as all this goes on, outside trade is non-existent, thus no employment, and therefore no hard currency for governments to buy and do with, no money to pay anyone, not even the soldiers, clinic staff, burial details, or customs workers, no food to eat, no paycheck to buy it with, and all that amidst a backdrop of endemic problems that have slain those populations in droves since long before Ebola's arrival, like malaria, yellow fever, and AIDS. And now, hunger and starvation, which further weakens immune systems, at a time when healthcare for anything other than Ebola there is non-existent, because the hospitals are closed, and the staffs have fled to parts unknown indefinitely.

Thus, at some unknown but inevitable point, the pitifully incompetent, bankrupt, and thoroughly overwhelmed shell of a government in each and every country, simply collapses. They don't accomplish much at the best of times, and this is certainly anything but that. And when the last shreds of civilization fail, and chaos, panic, suspicion, and anger meet ignorance and superstition, mobs form, riots break out, and there'll be no one to stop them. The current facilities will be swept away, the staffs beaten, kidnapped, or killed outright, and the entire region will descend into unimaginable chaos from coastlines to borders, in true African fashion. Then there'll just be Ebola, and lots of people, and no one to get between the two, as both are carried in a symbiotic tango of death over the next set of borders, where the entire process will repeat all over again, with the inevitability of the sun coming up in the morning.

And fixing all that, while cheerfully ignoring the certain end-state for those three countries, and the new realities for three more that will spring up in hours to days, is what we're supposed to jump in and fix with a handful of do-gooders, LGOPs, a contingent of techs, clerks, and jerks, and a few Marines.

On a continent that eats outsiders up metaphorically and literally in a thousand ways, and for a thousand years and more, going back to time out of mind.

To which my thoughtfully considered response can only be:
"Pull the other one, it's got bells on it."