Ah, Ebola. Seems like only yesterday we imported our first case of this terrible, headline-grabbing disease. Our very first. It’s so fresh in the mind I can still see and hear ol’ Rick Perry and the loud “SWOOSH” made by his running to the national TV cameras.
“We’re proud - (proud, I say) - that a Texas hospital has been chosen to treat the nation’s first Ebola patient,” he said through a big Texas good ol’ boy smile. “Texas is proud - (proud, I say) - of our best-in-the-country hospitals and the tremendous people we have giving such wonderful care.”
He turned from right to left. Then left to right so the cameras could catch that sculpted Texas chin. Then he departed - stage right. Of course.
Since then ol’ Rick’s been on the campaign trail in three states and off to France for . . . . . well, I don’t know what for. You can bet it’s something to do with running for president in 2016. Or at least HE thinks so.
So let’s recap what’s happened in that “state-of-the-art” Texas hospital since the old boy hopped a jet after his phony, office-chasing welcome mat for Ebola was broadcast worldwide.
First, the patient died. But there’s more. Seems the Dallas staff of one of the “best-in-the-country” hospitals sent the patient home with antibiotics when he showed up with all the symptoms of - wait for it - Ebola. The old “take two and call me in the morning” shuffle as I recall my own emergency room visits. Rick, of course, didn’t check out details or the history of how that Ebola patient got Ebola or what the hospital’s nonexisent software bridge between the doctor’s and nurses’s computers had caused before he rushed to center stage. As I said, detail.
Then a nurse there came down with Ebola. Then a second. Same place. Center for Disease Control folks got so mad they wouldn’t let new patients anywhere near Texas - pulling one out to ship to Atlanta and another to Emory Medical Center. Several C-D-C higher-ups even muttered publically something about “incompetence” at the Texas “best-in-America” hospital. Ricky, of course, was in France and didn’t pick up on that. OOPS.
Ebola is a terrible, dreaded disease with a near 70% death factor. Also deadly is the uncontrolled, lemming-like disease of running for president. Once infected, most “patients” seldom survive. In this case, France or no, a second nationally broadcast “OOPS” moment for Perry should be enough for permanent residence in the political graveyard. Oh, he may not realize he’s deceased for awhile. What with all the zombie phobia these days. But I have to think he’s among the “walking dead.” Again.
Perry’s is not the only voice politicizing what is really a terrible international health issue. John McCain and his hand puppet L. Graham blame the administration - read president - for not appointing an Ebola “czar.” McCain - who has previously loudly complained about the existence of “czars” in Washington - not only looks foolish but has omitted one serious fact. He and the puppet helped block the last Surgeon General nominee, keeping the job vacant for many months. They claimed 36-year-old Dr. Vivek Murthy was “much too young” for the job - despite an exemplary scholastic and medical record.
Putting the lie to that claim was the fact that the good doctor had once written of his belief that “gun violence is a public health issue.” Damned right! But the NRA pulled the string tight on some political “privates” and Murthy’s nomination died aborning. The jobs still vacant. Thanks, John.
Ebola must not be a political football. It’s a damned serious theat everywhere. Though it’s odd to note no Ebola cases in Germany, Japan, England, Russia, Canada, South America, Mexico et all. Wonder why.
The plain fact is McCain, Graham, Perry and other Republicans have joined other fear mongers scaring the hell out of millions of Americans. A few Democrats, too. Rather than use the power of their public offices to throw governmental clout and tools into the battle to control the disease, they daily fling outrageous charges of failure and danger in all directions.
Ebola is here. On our soil. It’s going to get worse. It’s not going away anytime soon. National Institutes of Health and CDC leaders need to stop with the soothing platitudes and the “we’re-in-control” falsities and give the public honest facts and evaluations based on medical knowledge rather than ass-covering or political fright. The White House needs to stop with the same tones of overconfidence and bring to bear the most qualified help from any source available in the nation. Or the world, for that matter. Now! (more…)