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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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July 30, 2014 - 5:53 pm

The White House maintained today that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa “is not a risk to the United States at this time.”

Two American aid workers in Liberia have tested positive for the virus, and a Minnesota man who had been working for the Liberian government died after taking a flight to Nigeria 10 days ago. The wife of 40-year-old Patrick Sawyer said he had planned to come visit Minnesota next month to see their three young children.

“We are aware of the reports that U.S. citizens have been diagnosed with the virus. We have no higher priority than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas. But again, as the CDC has stated, there’s no significant risk to the United States,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters today aboard Air Force One.

African leaders are converging upon the White House next week for a summit. “We’re working closely with regional governments to stem the spread of the virus. We have no plans to change any elements of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, as we believe all air travel continues to be safe here,” Schultz said. “…I’m responsible for a lot of things; the travel of African leaders is not one of them.  So I’d encourage you to check in with them.”

Schultz said they would “continue to monitor the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea, in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria closely.”

“The president is indeed receiving regular updates, including speaking with his Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Lisa Monaco as early as yesterday before departing Washington,” he said. “The U.S. government, including the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, USAID and the Department of Defense, continue to provide a range of support and assistance to those countries and multinational organizations responding to the outbreak.”

“This includes the provision of personal protective equipment and other essential supplies, public health messaging and technical expertise. We’ve actually been engaged in this outbreak since March. Obviously, our response has been ratcheted up in the past few weeks.”

The CDC last issued an update on the outbreak Monday.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at the daily press briefing that “the U.S. missions in the affected areas have distributed messages to U.S. citizens regarding the Ebola attack and those missions are closely monitoring the situation, continue to keep American citizens informed of what’s happening.”

“In terms of the CDC, who we’ve been working very closely with, we the State Department, the CDC has stated there’s no significant risk in the United States from the current Ebola outbreak. Obviously they’ve put out some information to travelers about how they could possibly come in contact with Ebola. Healthcare providers are – who have come in contact with patients or were in close contact with ill people are at the highest risk for this. But they have put out some sort of things to watch out for as well,” Harf said.

“According to the CDC, travelers become infected – could become infected if they come into contact with blood or other body fluids from someone who is sick or has died,” she added. “It’s not – you can’t just be in the room with someone and contract Ebola.”

“Yeah, but a plane is like a festering cesspool of germs,” shot back a reporter.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
Considering the Obama regime's track record, having the CDC, The DHS, and the State Department "closely monitoring the outbreak" really doesn't make me very comfortable, despite their pronouncements that there is nothing to worry about.

If the Obama regime can screw something up, they will.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"African leaders are converging upon the White House next week for a summit."

Ground Zero for ebola in U.S.?

Doubtful it would happen, but it would be ironic.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
you can’t just be in the room with someone and contract Ebola.”

Unless, of course, they sneeze. Or spit on you. Lick their palm then shake hands. A new best seller;
"The Ebola handbook: 101 ways to exchange body fluids in public"
I wonder if the stock market crash will be blamed on Ebola. Us country folks ain't worried about Ebola. You city folks should be scared. Very very scared.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
The federal government can't protect you. In the end, individuals have to take reasonable precautions to avoid infection. Blood and bodily fluids have to be treated as potential sources of infection. Practice good hygiene and sanitation at all times. Air travel is especially difficult because a passenger with air sickness can vomit all over you despite your best efforts.

It would be good if airlines used thermal cameras to identify travelers with a fever. That's a reasonably non-intrusive way to detect people who are likely infected with something.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am surprised the people here believe Ebola exists and is not a government conspiracy. That is an ongoing theory by some of the population in Liberia. You people seem so distrustful of science, I figured you would jump on that bandwagon. I mean the are calling a state of emergency in Sierra Leone, and deploying troops. Could be something created by big epidemiology to keep their jobs. Someone here should look into it.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you, a perfect example of what Alex Jones-style conspiracy thinking has brought us. Ebola isn't real, its to keep epidemiologists in their jobs Good grief. Maybe you should look into it and let us know what you conclude.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
We have no higher priority than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas

Tell that to the late Ambassador Stevens and the other Benghazi dead.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"African leaders are converging upon the White House next week for a summit."

Will they be screened for ebola?

"the reality is that the Ebola virus can’t be detected soon after infection"
http://time.com/3048692/heres-what-you-need-to-know-now-about-the-ebola-crisis/

"Inside sources believe that Iranian scientists have already developed some “gems,” and are in the planning stages of possible ways to institute their use. Bio-warfare is definitely a part of Iran’s future plans."
http://guardianlv.com/2013/06/bio-warfare-in-iranian-plans/#SlFw6eTA6qvITvfW.99
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course "Dear Leader" is safely cocooned in AF 1. The rest of us, not so much.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Considering the Obama regime's track record, having the CDC, The DHS, and the State Department "closely monitoring the outbreak" really doesn't make me very comfortable, despite their pronouncements that there is nothing to worry about.

If the Obama regime can screw something up, they will.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Aha!

Now maybe we can quarantine the occupants of the White House for the estimated incubation time for that Ebola virus?

That would of course include all of the area and all office personnel inside its perimeter iron fence.

Food supply baskets could be dragged in from one of the entry Guard Posts by ropes. Or, air dropped from helicopters hovering over the South Lawn. No pick ups of any sort permitted from inside the boundary perimeter.

Then, periodically test all occupants' blood for antibodies/virus evidence.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
We're doomed.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"African leaders are converging upon the White House next week for a summit."

Ground Zero for ebola in U.S.?

Doubtful it would happen, but it would be ironic.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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