Ebola

This Is How Ebola and ISIS Could Kill Us All

Irrational fears encourage policies that are more dangerous than the threats they are supposed to defuse.

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Ebola
Public Library of Science / Wikimedia Commons

Americans are living under a dire threat that could quickly escalate into a national emergency. No, not Ebola or the Islamic State but the hugely overhyped fear of them. The public resembles one of those cartoon elephants perched on a chair in trembling terror of a mouse.

Ebola has killed one person in the United States, which is one more than the Islamic State has killed. But Americans spooked by horrific tales and ominous images are responding as though mass death looms before us.

A Washington Post poll found that 43 percent of Americans are "very worried" or "somewhat worried" that they or their immediate family members will contract Ebola. In a CNN poll, 45 percent described the Islamic State as a "very serious" threat. Humorist Andy Borowitz says CNN's new slogan is "Holy Crap, We're All Gonna Die."

From the panic, you might forget that Ebola is actually hard to get because it requires physical contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is not only infected but symptomatic. It's not a new pathogen, and the methods required to contain it are well-known—though not always easy to implement in poor countries.

The infection of two Dallas nurses who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola, indicates it can spread even when serious precautions are taken. That is worrisome news if you work in a hospital. But it doesn't magnify the microscopic risk to the rest of us.

The peril posed by the Islamic State is even more remote. Despite being at war with us for two decades and despite branches in several countries, al-Qaida has not been able to carry out an attack in the United States since 9/11, more than 13 years ago. Yet somehow this newer and smaller group, which is occupied fighting a war in the Middle East, is supposed to be poised to do something that has eluded Osama bin Laden and his confederates.

The most virulent fears attach to the southern border, where terrorists allegedly are streaming in with slaughter on their minds. Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California said that "at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across" and dozens more have gotten away—a claim dismissed by the Department of Homeland Security. Gary Painter, sheriff of Midland County, Texas, announced that Border Patrol agents have found "Quran books" and "Muslim clothing."

It's conceivable that the Islamic State would fly operatives to Mexico to make arduous hikes across the Chihuahuan Desert, but not particularly plausible. If that were such a swell option, al-Qaida would have made use of it long before now. Hunter and Painter have yet to produce Qurans or clothes or any other proof that violent Islamists have been lurking about.

John Wagner, an official of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, recently told Congress, "The number of known watch-listed persons we are encountering on the Southwest border is minimal compared to commercial aviation. We're talking tens versus thousands."

Deep anxieties often involve brown migrants sneaking over from Mexico. Last summer, alarmists feared that Central American kids were bringing in Ebola. But when Ebola arrived, it came via commercial airliner. If Islamic State plans to send jihadi, it probably would do likewise.

If these fears were merely irrational and misinformed, they might be reasonably harmless. But they encourage policies that are far more hazardous than the threats they are supposed to defuse.

Banning travel to and from African countries with Ebola outbreaks would impede medical professionals and supplies from getting there—while keeping out mostly people who are perfectly healthy. It would aggravate economic disruption in countries that are already short of resources to fight disease. World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan says 90 percent of the costs of Ebola "come from irrational and disorganized efforts of the public to avoid infection."

Similar problems arise with efforts to counter the Islamic State. The Obama administration vowed to avoid the use of ground troops, but Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey has said they may be necessary. House GOP leaders are demanding them.

A CBS News poll found that 44 percent of the public, including the majority of Republicans, favors ground forces. But if the most recent invasion of Iraq didn't work, it's a fantasy to think a new one would.

Americans have a way of letting their fears get the best of them. That's where things get truly scary.

NEXT: A Nation of Part-Time Workers, Thanks to Obamacare

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  1. Americans have a way of letting their fears get the best of them.

    Americans also have a way of noticing the incompetence and dishonesty of Top Men, which does not inspire confidence in a potentially dangerous situation.

    1. Come on. Only one person has died so far. I mean its just an outbreak of a deadly disease.

      I am shocked at how stupid Reason is acting over this.

      1. Well, it’s Chapman.

        1. This. He’s as big a Top Man fellating dipshit as Dalmia.

          If the two of them ever got together and reproduced the offspring would likely be the biggest dipshit in world history.

    2. “Americans also have a way of noticing the incompetence and dishonesty of Top Men, which does not inspire confidence in a potentially dangerous situation.”

      And so this is why Republicans want, in majority, to attack ISIS?

      Americans are coddled, spoiled and fearful people. We are. It’s been a couple generations of the Easy Life and we simply aren’t tough. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – but it does leave a soft underbelly for exploitation by media, pols, the military-industrial complex, etc.

      1. You have just perfectly explained why a child abuser like Martha Coakley is within striking distance of being governor.

        1. “You have just perfectly explained why a child abuser like Martha Coakley is within striking distance of being governor”

          And why thieves like the Kochs aren’t in jail….or do you pick and choose?

          One has to wonder how much of a mass murderer you think Bush I and Bush II are?

          1. And why thieves like the Kochs aren’t in jail….or do you pick and choose?
            Do you type this while you are busy fellating Soros? Or is it after you have wiped your chin?

          2. And why thieves like the Kochs aren’t in jail….or do you pick and choose?

            What did they steal, and who did they steal it from?

              1. Dave Weigel elaborates:

                That’s where I stopped reading.

                1. You shouldn’t. The purge of Rothbard from Cato is one of those momentous events that alter the course of history which are nonetheless obscured from all but the participants. Without it there would be no Mises institute, and Ron Paul (for example) would have had more influence. Most libertarians, OTOH, have no idea it happened at all.

            1. “What did they steal, and who did they steal it from?”

              Well, for starters, OIL from those who owned it….

              http://www.businessweek.com/st…..patch-pals

              “Nevertheless, after a yearlong investigation, the SENATE committee said in its final report, “Koch Oil, the largest purchaser of Indian oil in the country, is the most dramatic example of an oil company stealing by deliberate mismeasurement and fraudulent reporting.””

              Now…I know….you are gonna tell me that they outlasted the statute of limitations – which is why I said they SHOULD be in jail.

              Of course, they did get caught at many other things such as poisoning our air, land and water. What do you think the real punishment should be for that kind of stuff done purposely (Kochs admitted they just didn’t want to live by Gubment regs).

              1. “Nevertheless, after a yearlong investigation, the SENATE committee said in its final report, “Koch Oil, the largest purchaser of Indian oil in the country, is the most dramatic example of an oil company stealing by deliberate mismeasurement and fraudulent reporting.””

                have you heard of the Corbel Settlement? it was a result of the largest class action lawsuit in history, and was a result of a lawsuit against the Federal Government. The BIA was tasked with responsibly taking care of native land under the BIA control.
                I am not familiar with how the Koch Brothers enter in to this, but I know that oil companies of all sorts contributed campaign funds to members of both parties, over a hundred years, in order to realize the payoffs of joining the Cronyism State of America.
                Your heroes, the Federal Government, failed to protect these peoples land rights. But, you blame it on the Kochs?
                OT,
                I received a check for many thousands of dollars, in my wife’s name, and it was enough to solve my problems and get me home to Denver. I wanted to cash it so bad, but my lawyer advised me to turn it over to the probate court. Damn lawyers occasionally have their uses, in this case, keeping me honest.

      2. “but it does leave a soft underbelly for exploitation by media, pols, the military-industrial complex, etc.”

        So, pretty much everything that you support. Got it.

      3. Says the guy who wants a guaranteed “liveable” wage and universal, subsidized healthcare.

      4. Most of their elections were funded through superPacs…They are the MIC’s Monkeys…

    3. To be fair, it’s not an ‘American’ thing.

      It’s a human thing.

      Been so since we came into being.

      1. “To be fair, it’s not an ‘American’ thing.
        It’s a human thing”

        Actually, not. Most societies were very adapted to death, disease, suffering, poverty, etc….again, not saying that’s a good thing.

        Finishing up a book about the Korean war…details a lot of why American soldiers (and the public) didn’t want to fight. Most of it is quite simple. That is, they have it so good they don’t want die – or even work.

        It mentions how the officers couldn’t even get the average American soldier to dig a foxhole or do other physical work. That was 1950 – you can only imagine what it’s like today!

        Again, not saying it’s bad. It’s quite civilized, actually – but as the book says “momma didn’t tell her sons that there were tigers out there”.

        1. It mentions how the officers couldn’t even get the average American soldier to dig a foxhole or do other physical work. That was 1950 – you can only imagine what it’s like today!

          Books written by the officer corps deride the enlisted, news at 11.

          1. Up North the ground was so frozen that it was impossible to dig a foxhole.

            Many times the GIs just stacked up frozen Chinese bodies and used them for a fort.

            I can’t imagine that Korea was so different from other wars that soldiers wouldn’t bother to dig a hole to protect their lives.

            I would question the author’s motivation.

            1. “Books written by the officer corps deride the enlisted, news at 11”

              The author doesn’t spend a lot of time on the subject, but he’s not nice to officers either, describing how they couldn’t keep even a minimal chain of command once in the N. Korean prison camps and how some of them voluntarily died (just sat there and said….I’m gonna die…cause it was so hard).

              I don’t think he is lying. The book details stuff quite carefully and also shows how the American soldier got vastly better after he learned….

              Oh, they had to dig. By the end of the war, the enemy actually had more artillery and it was all zeroed in on the UN positions – small actions would see 100,000+ artillery rounds!

              Anyway, the book is somewhat dry but I wanted to learn more details.
              http://www.amazon.com/This-Kin…..00J3EU6IK/

              Book has 4.4 stars with 200 plus reviews including many military men. It’s required reading (orders) by many US troops stationed there.

              I’m going to believe them instead of you guys in this case.

    4. I don’t think this situation is like any other – ISIS + Ebola together has “Perfect Storm” potential if ISIS gets wise and starts infecting travelers headed into the US from foreign ports. All they need is access to infection, which seems to be readily available to anyone who wants to travel to Africa. Once they have it and infect “suicidal” carriers, they just need to plant them in foreign airports, gas stations, fast food joints in or near foreign airports or Mex/Cdn border crossings. They never detect foreign travelers w/valid travel docs infected the day of travel.
      They need to monitor travel into Western Africa as much as out.
      They need to be talking about to prevent THAT, not the minutia they’re discussing in congress today.

      I don’t think it would end well if this ever happened

      1. There were 1.4 million foreign pilgrims expected at the Hajj last week. How many from North America and Europe? 100k? 500K?

        1. And how do they infect these Ebola bombers without infecting themselves ?

          If trained nurses in the USA can’t keep from getting it how can semi literates in the desert of Iraq do so?

          1. Why would they try to prevent infections themselves – the point is they’re suicide carriers. They are the source that carries their infected bodily fluids to travelers. They send one or two to collect the infection, they use it to infect the group of suicide carriers (that don’t return to Syria or wherever), then they all just spread out to foreign portals to infect travelers.

          2. Or,They could point their guns at your Wife and Children and say “go put that dead body over there,into the trunk
            of that car and drive it to the airport…Mahmood is waiting in the terminal to give you instructions from there”….

  2. We’ve always been at war with Ebola.

    -the Ministry of Peace

    1. Is that EastEbola or WestEbola ?

  3. Banning travel to and from African countries with Ebola outbreaks would impede medical professionals and supplies from getting there

    Because apparently we could never restrict travel and allow exceptions for medical professional and aid people to do there. I mean we couldn’t do that or charter a few planes to get them there and then quarantine them for a few days when they return. Nope.

    Somehow I am surprised that Chapman has latched on to that utterly ridiculous and insulting idiotic talking point.

    1. ^ that it is not an all or nothing thing. We could also take everyone’s temp, got a fever (any fever)- no flight for you.

      1. Not a good choice. You can be infected without being symptomatic, and the fever check will eliminate travellers without ebola but with a flu.

        If you’re going to restrict, do it on a blood test.

    2. But we shut down travel to Israel if a Palestinian shots a rocket 30 miles away.

  4. Chapman goes two for two and gives this gem. Ebola has killed one person in the United States, which is one more than the Islamic State has killed. But Americans spooked by horrific tales and ominous images are responding as though mass death looms before us.

    Ebola is a contagious disease. The fact that it has only killed one person so far says nothing about the dangers of it killing more in the future. That is how disease outbreaks work. You know, that exponential growth thing as people infect more people who then infect more and so on.

    From the panic, you might forget that Ebola is actually hard to get because it requires physical contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is not only infected but symptomatic. It’s not a new pathogen, and the methods required to contain it are well-known?though not always easy to implement in poor countries.

    And those methods cost a half a million dollars a patient and apparently failed in Dallas. Beyond that, while Africa is poor, Africans are not stupid or suicidal. If Ebola were just a threat to health care workers, the WHO wouldn’t be predicting 10,000 new cases a week in Africa by the end of the month. It is apparently a hell of a lot easier to transmit than is being let on. Moreover, if it is so hard to transmit, why do the people treating Ebloa victims have to wear hazmat suits? You can treat someone with the flu and not get it without wearing a hazmat suit.

    1. Forget it, John – it’s Chapmantown…

    2. Just because thousands of people have already been killed by it and it has a 70% mortality rate give or take doesn’t mean any respect or humility is warranted on our part (sarc). Certainly there is no need to panic but it certainly has my attention.

      http://m.bbc.com/news/health-29628481

    3. “Moreover, if it is so hard to transmit, why do the people treating Ebloa victims have to wear hazmat suits? You can treat someone with the flu and not get it without wearing a hazmat suit.”

      Uh, we have flu shots and many people have had it and build up antibodies. Otherwise, it is quite infectious as the epidemics of flu have shown.

      50 MILLION dead and 675K in the USA when we had many less people is nothing to sneeze at.

      I suspect a vaccine will be the eventual solution to this one also.

      1. I can see why you’d think that. Flu shots work differently. They pick and choose which particular strains of flu to immunize against some years they predict well others not so much- regardless even in the good years it is only a fraction of the strains out there. Getting a vaccine does NOT mean you won’t get sick from the immunized strains… That is measured in the efficacy rates of the vaccines which since they are dealing with different new vaccines and diff strains every year vary wildly year to year. Long story short the vaccines def help with the over-all numbers of infections and I believe all health staff are required to get them, they still get sick, you just don’t hear about it bc it doesn’t kill them.

        1. Just an interesting (to me) side note: I have not been SICK in so long that I literally can not remember the last time that I had flue symptoms. I have had colds, I have broken bones, I have had surgery for a double hernia. But as far as a flu-like, fever-running, nauseous episode, I really can not remember the last time such an illness effected me. I would GUESS maybe 30 years, putting me at 15 years old at my last illness.
          Also, I am a carrier for strep: throat cultures will confirm that I have it, but it doesn’t affect my health at all. It makes me wonder if someone should sample my blood; perhaps a vaccine hides in my body somewhere.

    4. The more Aficans that contract the disease the greater chance of there being more cases here.

    5. “If Ebola were just a threat to health care workers, the WHO wouldn’t be predicting 10,000 new cases a week in Africa by the end of the month.”

      “In Africa” is, I believe, the operative term. Americans do not suffer from the superstition, fear and distrust of the medical community that many Africans do.

      http://news.nationalgeographic…..e-liberia/

      1. Considering how the dumbasses at the CDC and Texas Presbyterian have been acting, maybe a little distrust is warranted.

        1. Neither of which seem to be prepared to treat ebola.

          Not to mention appointing an ebola “czar” who has absolutely no training and no medica experience. WTF?

  5. I wouldn’t say I’m all that worried about Ebola but I’d be less concerned if the government wasn’t in charge of containing it. That almost ensures everyone will get it.

    1. everyone will get it

      Well, we do need to be fair about it.

      “Do you have a piece of gum for EVERYONE, Jimmy?”

      1. Redistribution of death?

        1. Less people, less global warming.

      2. Look at your life. You are healthy. How dare you. You didn’t build your immune system. You didn’t build that. You need to give up some of your health to the less fortunate.

        It is like this. It really is quite simple.

        We expect 10,000 African infections a week. It is our duty to infect at least 2,000 people here weekly so that only 8,000 Africans get infected. It is only fair. Because racism. Because slavery. Because global village. Because STOPARGUINGWITHME.

        1. I will have to look for it, but I swear there was a post on Democratic Underground recently that was very close to this. Something about Ebola being treated as a racist disease and it’s our duty to send Americans over there to help and it doesn’t matter if they get infected because it’s social justice. Seriously.

    2. “I wouldn’t say I’m all that worried about Ebola but I’d be less concerned if the government wasn’t in charge of containing it. That almost ensures everyone will get it.”

      I have more problem with a predatory health care system that counts the beans before it allows a patient to go in isolation or to treat them correctly (like in Texas).

      The Free Market would dictate not treating them at all and creating a fenced yard where we dump them….or an island.

      1. a predatory health care system that counts the beans before it allows a patient to go in isolation or to treat them correctly (like in Texas).

        You mean, like the VA?

        1. No he means like in England where they starve sick babies instead of treating them.

        2. I love how he uses “predatory health care system” as though that actually means something.

          1. “I love how he uses “predatory health care system” as though that actually means something.”

            It means often making from FROM suffering as opposed to making it by alleviating it in the best ways at the lowest costs.

            Any other questions?

            1. Yes, what the fuck are you talking about?

              1. This”

                “guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were sent to the emergency department at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in late July, there was no follow-up training ordered for the staff. Less than two months later, the hospital staff sent a man with Ebola home with a fever even though he was likely contagious at the time.”

                It’s not profitable to spend money training people….bean counters run hospitals, or didn’t you know that??

                1. It’s a non-profit hospital, or didn’t you know that?

                  Really, this is shreek-level stupidity.

                  1. “It’s a non-profit hospital, or didn’t you know that?”

                    WTF.

                    Next you are going to tell me a non-profit hospital means something…..???

                    You really can’t be that stupid…but, if you are, you probably approve of Blue Cross and other companies who are providing ObamaCare since they are also “non-profit”.

                    You do know the CEO’s of these “charity” hospitals can make 2-5 Million and more?

                    The only thing that makes these “non-profits” is that their corporations are structured that way. They simply give all the “profits” to the people who work there instead of stockholders.

                  2. “Non-profit” doesn’t mean the elimination of bean counters. In practice it means even more bean counters.

                2. So, your argument is that private companies don’t train people to do their jobs?

                  Maybe you’re just pissed because somebody made a decision you don’t like. TS. Think about it this way masshole, we live in a world with finite resources. Should the hospital a) spend those resources treating diseases that actually afflicted people in the community, or b) shift those resources to a disease that they were repeatedly told had almost no chance of being here?
                  Other than the fact that you don’t understand reality I don’t know what you’re bitch is. No matter how many people die on VA hospitals you’ll never take your lips off the government cock. But if one person dies from a disease with a 50% mortality rate at a private hospital its prima fascia evidence that the evil kkkochperashuns are killing people for shits and giggles.

                3. That’s just non-sense. Do you know how much work related accidents/illnesses cost a company? OSHA has a tool called safety pays on it’s website. You put in your company’s margin and select a type of injury and it tells you, on average, how much it will cost and how much you’d need to increase your sales to cover that cost. For example, where i work, if an employee cut off a finger because, say, they weren’t trained on how to safely use a band saw, we’d have to increase sales by over $1 Million to cover the costs of the accident. Safety Training is very profitable. Union propaganda is bullshit.

          2. I love how he pretends we have anything even close to resembling a free market in health medical care.

            But then, it’s craigtown and we all just live in it.

      2. You know what would happen if this disease hit the UK in any significant way?

        You’d get the same parade of errors we’ve seen in the US.

        And then people like craiginmass would shriek, “This only happened because the Tories cut public health!”

        Because whatever happens anywhere, the answer is always, “Socialism would have stopped this.”

        The Guardian has been running pieces demanding that the world somehow nationalize (worldenize?) US pharmaceutical companies because they did not previously produce an ebola vaccine, due to filthy filthy profit.

        Of course, this leads one to wonder why the magical absence of profit somehow did not lead the NHS to produce an ebola vaccine. (And a cure for cancer, and everything else evil profit keeps stopping.)

      3. “I have more problem with a predatory health care system that counts the beans before it allows a patient to go in isolation or to treat them correctly (like in Texas).”

        And you don’t think Obamacare “counts beans”

        How naive of you. Or dishonest.

        1. How naive of you. Or dishonest.

          It is the second one.

  6. The fucking Italians were smart enough to impose quarantines (even giving us the word) when the plague ravaged Europe. But a few centuries on, we’re sooooooo much smarter than shit they knew in the Middle Ages. Those primitives.

    How’re those two nurses doing, again?

    Yeah…

    1. You know what else the Italians gave us? Bunga bunga parties, that’s what.

      1. And front steps to get in our houses. Otherwise we would have to run and jump.

    2. “How’re those two nurses doing, again?”

      From that highly civilized and advanced Rick Perry Health Care Miracle system? I think they are doing well, although many of their peers have admitted the hospital fucked up royally so I expect more cases.

      1. Say it craiginmass. Say it. We all know you’re dying to say it.

        PRIVATE HOSPITAL FOR PROFIT FUCKED UP!

        1. I got news for you:

          Texas Health Resources (which owns the Ebola Hospital) is a non-profit.

          Wait until this bug gets loose in a VA hospital . . . .

        2. PRIVATE HOSPITAL FOR PROFIT FUCKED UP!

          No, he thinks Rick Perry runs the hospital. because EVUL RETHUGLICANS ARE TO BLAME!!!1!!!!1!

          1. Well, you decide…I’ll report:

            “guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were sent to the emergency department at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in late July, there was no follow-up training ordered for the staff. Less than two months later, the hospital staff sent a man with Ebola home with a fever even though he was likely contagious at the time.”

            Late JULY.

            1. derp de derpity derp

            2. “The protocols that should have been in place in Dallas were not in place, and that those protocols are not in place anywhere in the United States as far as we can tell,” National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro said Tuesday night. “We’re deeply alarmed.”

              Your attempt to distinguish between “private” and government ran hospitals is sort of opportunistic and pointless.

              Besides, private hospitals can have progressives and Obama donors as employees (gasp). And they’re not somehow exempt from federal mandates. The Dallas hospital probably didn’t offer abortion services or something. And the CDC actually allowed the infected nurse to fly.

              You cheapen yourself by exploiting a tragedy to score political points.

              1. “You cheapen yourself….. ”

                unpossible.

                he’s already as cheap as he can be

              2. “You cheapen yourself by exploiting a tragedy to score political points.”

                I can assure you this would have not happened at Mass General, our local institution. It just wouldn’t.

                That’s why Mass General is in the top hospitals in the USA in most every measurement.

                This TX hospital was sloppy. Read the transcript of the hearings today. THE HOSPITAL DIRECTOR ADMITS THEY WERE VERY SLOPPY……

                Heck, how you guys can keep blaming the CDC when the hospital admits they fucked up..that takes balls!

                1. Mass General = hospitals around the United States?

                  I live close to LA, which is blue as can be, and the hospitals around me are a mixed bag at best. They get 3 stars on Yelp. And if I had a high fever 2 weeks ago, I would have went to those places and not Cedar Sinai, which is like 40 minutes away.

                  Yeah, the Dallas Presbyterian hospital could have done a better job. But that has nothing to with the fact that they’re “private” or operate in Texas. Most hospitals (even now) didn’t have Ebola protocols down.

                  The CDC wasted a ton of money on things not related to diseases and recently allowed the second nurse travel – even though she told them that she treated Duncan. They ain’t off the hook.

      2. As others pointed out private hospital, being advised by public CDC ‘experts’ who seem to have been making a habit of lying… plenty of blame to go around I think, just not for who you are blaming.

        1. “As others pointed out private hospital, being advised by public CDC ‘experts’ who seem to have been making a habit of lying”

          Ah, so all of us knew long ago about Ebola coming on strong and this Hospital is NOT at fault because Big Gubment didn’t tell them that it’s spreading??

          1. Scumbags like you were telling us all a month ago that the disease would never ever find its way into America.

            So go fuck yourself right in your earhole.

            1. “Scumbags like you were telling us all a month ago that the disease would never ever find its way into America”

              Ah, so I was telling you while we had folks in the hospital here already (Aug) with Ebola that we were never going to have another one?

              Wow. Please show me where I told you that.

              It must be fun to fantasize about what others are saying.

              Truthfully, I paid no attention to Ebola and am still not. I’m also not paying attention to that guy who dived in a pool in S. Cal and broke his neck, or the motorcycle dude who fell off at 80 MPH in NY.

              Statistically, this is nothing. Nothing. I’m glad that Big Gubment is here to try to keep it that way. I feel sure that, even if we have 100 cases, it will be MANY less than we would have had with Kochsucking Kare Kompany or other privatizing.

              1. Turd.Burglar.

  7. It seems even relatively calm and cool libertarians aren’t immune to the panic virus.

    1. I think there is a big difference between panicking and having a healthy respect and a little humility.

    2. The only reason not to be pretty concerned about this is if you trust the CDC.

      Which hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory.

      Although, to be fair, infectious disease is very much a minor sideline at the CDC these days. Around 2.5 – 5% of its budget is for, you know, control of actual diseases.

      1. You don’t really have to fully trust the CDC but rather the dispassionate work of scientists for nearly 4 decades on the virus.

        It kills less than the flu, it’s not airborne, it’s less contagious than HIV and it’s largely a problem in Africa due to genuinely awful public sanitation and almost no isolation. Even other central African nations have gotten a hold on by instituting even a modicum of public health protocols. It’s been going on in west Africa since December of last year and just now 1 person died of it and 4 people have it. I’d say a bit of calm is in order.

        1. It kills less than the flu, it’s not airborne, it’s less contagious than HIV and it’s largely a problem in Africa due to genuinely awful public sanitation and almost no isolation.

          It’s also a virus that is constantly mutating and evolving, so all the above could cease being true tomorrow.

          1. Actually not true. While it is mutating, they’ve recorded all 300 mutations.

            Mutations that change transmission to airborne is not possible because it would have to start attacking the aveleor (sp?) cells. In 100 years no virus has changed transmission mode.

          2. Someone’s watched the movie, “Outbreak.”

        2. ” It’s been going on in west Africa since December of last year and just now 1 person died of it and 4 people have it. I’d say a bit of calm is in order.”

          Have you lost your fucking mind ?

          Do you think the AP just made this up ?

          NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Health officials battling the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa have managed to limit its spread on the continent to five countries …… Officials credit tighter border controls, good patient-tracking and other medical practices, and just plain luck…

          http://goo.gl/raQ0cj

          1. No but apparently the comment board on this site has.

            1 person died *in the US*

            The article was about fear of Ebola in the US. Take a deep breath there. Unless you plan on having sex with an Ebola victim, I’d relax.

  8. A Washington Post poll found that 43 percent of Americans are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” that they or their immediate family members will contract Ebola.

    WTF? This is beyond craziness. I feel like stockpiling food/water only because the panic-stricken will start doing it if/when we hit a handful of ebola cases. (How meta: panicking that their might be a panic.)

  9. Don’t mistake panic for healthy fear. What is wrong with preparing for the worst, and how can you do that without being aware of worst case scenarios? I would rather be accused of that, than of sticking my head in the sand and hoping our government takes care of us. Of course we hope for the best, but it is clear our current leaders are unprepared if not totally incompetent. Your opinion pieces have been pretty inconsistent lately, you’re really trying my patience.

    1. You don’t have to trust the government. But are you also preparing for an alien attack?

  10. Ebola and ISIS aren’t why Americans are freaking out.

    They’re freaking out because the Royals are going to the World Series and there is no surer sign that the end is nigh.

    Also, take that Welch!

    1. No one is worried that is going to happen.

      1. Hunter Pence is.

        Hunter Pence fired his housekeeper. Because Hunter Pence is afraid of getting swept.

  11. “the methods required to contain it are well-known?though not always easy to implement in poor countries.” ah Steve, hate to break it to yah, but apparently they are hard to implement in the USA too. And judging from the reports of constantly changing protocol for patient #1 they aren’t well known either. I would be less concerned except that the CDC seems to be making a habit of lying about this. At first any hospital could handle it, now they have walked that back. 1st it was a protocol that infected nurse 1, now we find out the protocol they had wasn’t the right protocol and they have no way of knowing how she was infected. And today reason has an article outlining how the CDC is lying about case number 2 *shouldn’t have been flying comment*, when she was told its all good. Unknowledgable ppl in power who are lying combined with messages of don’t panic is turning this into a dark comedy.

    1. The latest word from the CDC is that today’s protocol is:

      (1) Screen for flu-like symptoms.

      (2) Ask about travel to West Africa or contact with someone who has been to West Africa.

      If the answer to both is yes, isolate the patient and call the CDC, and they will come get the patient immediately.

      IOW, no hospital should be expected to hold and treat an Ebola patient. How much of that is clinical, and how much is PR/political, I couldn’t say.

      1. “If the answer to both is yes, isolate the patient and call the CDC, and they will come get the patient immediately”

        Ah, now people love Big Gubment because they are going to come get taxes at gunpoint to take care of this thing!

        Funny……if it wasn’t so sad. The same people who wanted Private Corps to take care of everything now are crying for Obama to save them!

        1. Did that strawman fuck your mom or something? You seem to be attacking it especially hard today.

        2. “Ah, now people love Big Gubment because they are going to come get taxes at gunpoint to take care of this thing!”

          Considering they’ve already taken the money is it too much to ask that they use it for what they said they were ?

          Are you this much of an idiot in your real life ?

          1. “Considering they’ve already taken the money is it too much to ask that they use it for what they said they were ?”

            So you want them auditing non-profits on a daily basis to make sure they read the news and follow the guidelines which were sent to them?

            Should they hire more people to do that? Or should the hospitals, who have KNOWN ABOUT THIS FOR MONTHS, actually prepare for the possibility?

            There were US cases in August (medical folks, etc. flown back here). Are you really saying you believe this hospital is not at fault? That’s fantastic!

            1. CDC allowed a borderline febrile patient who had been in direct and prolonged proximity to a fully expressing ebola patient to fly on a commercial airliner. What was that you were saying about government competence? Yeah, thought so.

        3. Man, craig’s really gone off the deep end. He’s doing the whole, “Your taxes pay for curbside garbage pickup and you’re mad that they left trash there. You want the government to clean your house with tax dollars!!!” What a maroon. If the CDC (that’s Centers for Disease Control, btw) would spend the ample funding it gets on, you know, research and education vis a vis…well…not to put too fine a point on it…DISEASE CONTROL, that would be a step in the right direction. Failing that, perhaps it could hand some of that money back, since it’s clearly not using it to fulfill its mission.

      2. (3) Do you own any firearms.

        If the answer to no. 3 is yes, isolate the patient and call BATFE, and they will come get the patient’s firearms immediately.

    2. Theres no excuse for any of these protocol errs – everything they do is based on protocols. CDC – no excuse for not having the latest and best info out there; no excuse for not CHECKING that the hospitals w/ebola pts had the latest. No ex. for the hospitals for not formally requesting, actualizing, and monitoring their staffs adherence to the protocols.

      Also their (Tx Presb. hosp) once a year training policy is insane. McDonalds gives their staff more training.

      1. According to a nurse friend of mine, hospitals get dinged for breach of sanitation protocols all the time. They are incredibly hard to comply with. So much so, that they need to have nurses who’s sole job it is to make sure staff don’t breach protocols by accidentally scratching their noses or rubbing their eyes before washing their hands thoroughly. That’s the case even though it is often and repeated drilled into them throughout nursing school.

  12. Chapman has the principal right, even if he has the application wrong. Governments always use crises (real or perceived) as an opportunity to increase power. Ebola is a scary disease, but it can be controlled as every outbreak over the past 40 years has been contained. However, when almost every government statement on the subject proves in very short order to be false, the confusion can turn a relatively small problem into a bigger crisis. The only way politicians can deal with that is to take some action that, because it is taken in the heat of the moment, almost always tends to be worse than if they just shut up and let people on the front lines deal with it. So rather than taking simple measures like quarantines on people coming in to this country from Ebola infected areas and distributing protocols from Medcins sans Frontiers who have been dealing with this over 40 years, we will end up with some new bureaucracy that will make it even more difficult to deal with the next outbreak.

    1. Governments always use crises (real or perceived) as an opportunity to increase power.

      How he gets there though sucks. He should delete his article, which is a meandering pile, and replace it with your comment.

  13. Hey Chapman do you have a clue how to do a risk analysis? It is not just “Will something happen?” but, “What is the impact of that event?

    Since you are a writer at Reason, I will take it on faith that you are not a dipshit socialist. Then again, seeing some of the other retarded crap you have written, I am having doubts. IF you are a Libertarian, the risk analysis should be based on the individual, not the society.

    Therefore, as an example, the flu which kills 1-2% of the infected population is a lower risk to the individual than Ebola which carries a 70% mortality rate for the infected. The probability of infection is far lower for Ebola, but the outcome is catastrophic 70% of the time, assuming no lasting debilitation for the survivors of Ebola.

    Your analysis is also deficient from the standpoint that infectious diseases can spread geometrically. Since Obumbles is not qualified to be the executive a fucking Dairy Queen, let alone the government of a nation of 330M, I am seeing lots of potential for an outbreak. The jihadists are a far smaller threat because they do not expand geometrically, and there are “cures” for those assholes that are available, off the gun rack, were they to come here.

  14. SOLUTION: Spread EBOLA into the ISIS regions. They die, we don’t. Problem solved.

    Now don’t make me come back here again.

    1. It amazes me how Ebola can be the most or least discriminating disease you’ve ever heard of, depending on what’s most convenient for the argument.

    2. This only works if you infect their slaves with it.

  15. A writer for one of the (arguably) preeminent libertarian publications extant channels Franklin Delano Roosevelt on two topics in one?

    Now there’s “…a dire threat that could quickly escalate into a national emergency”!

    [shuffles off, mumbling, McCainishly]

  16. “Banning travel to and from African countries with Ebola outbreaks would impede medical professionals and supplies from getting there?while keeping out mostly people who are perfectly healthy.”

    Controlling contagion by restricting mobility: In the face of an epidemic, even moderate travel restrictions would slow contagion
    Date:July 30, 2013
    Source:Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re…..193535.htm

    Africa stems Ebola via border closings, luck
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/s…..6-14-24-38

    Obviously the aforementioned are just a bunch of grade school biology students.

    1. Grade school bio students? Maybe not.

      But, the AP article does quote the health minister of South Africa as saying something to the effect of, “We don’t have Ebola, because we tested 14 asymptomatic people to placate you and found no Ebola.”

      Follow that up with a doctor from Kenya’s main medical union: “Not flying to West Africa helped, but it’s mostly luck.”

  17. Well, at least the Great Libertarian King is not actively schooling us on infectious disease. We should vote this guy as POTUS

    “CONCORD, N.H. ? U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told a group of college students Wednesday the deadly virus Ebola can spread from a person who has the disease to someone standing three feet away and said the White House should be honest about that.”

    He said you could get it being in the room at a cocktail party. But the infectious disease specialists say you need direct contact.

    Who is right?

    Or is Rand talking about if the guy at the cocktail party hacks a luggie and you catch it in your mouth?

    1. Have you ever heard about something called sneezing ?

  18. As a nurse( I know, the “spread is all or fault) one death is insignificant . The fact is any of use stands a greater chance of dying in a car accident driving to work than dying of ebola. The media seems to seek to bring out our inner coward, MAN UP!

  19. my co-worker’s step-sister makes $69 every hour on the laptop . She has been fired for eight months but last month her income was $20541 just working on the laptop for a few hours. why not try here…………

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

  20. Gotta say, I’m not particularly interested in any “government solutions” here. The best ways to avoid contracting ebola continue to be the same as those for most other diseases: avoid contact with obviously infected people, practice basic hygiene (wash your hands frequently, don’t lick doorknobs, etc.), and seek medical attention if you get sick. So far, I’ve just described how to get through flu season with a pretty good chance of staying healthy the whole time. I’m not sure I see what the government can do short of incarcerating or murdering possible ebola carriers that would in any way effect the spread (or non-spread) of the disease.

  21. Blame the media attitude of “if it bleeds, it leads”. That plus manipulative politicians and a gullible public equal a republic in peril.

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