There is good news and bad news on the Ebola front today.
That’s not stopping Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas — which is the largest event of its kind in the world, and is now getting underway — from encouraging fairgoers to wash their hands before eating any of the fair’s turkey legs, hot dogs, etc.
Authorities also caught up with that homeless man who had come into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who has Ebola. Duncan’s health has taken a turn for the worse, by the way.
Now for the bad news. Screening at airports has not improved. CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen went to Liberia in September to report on the outbreak there, and returned to the U.S. last week. What she says about her return should have everyone concerned.
Cohen says “I expected that they were going to take my temperature. They’re going to ask me lots of questions. They didn’t. I said ‘I’m a journalist. I was covering Ebola.
“The gentleman who was helping me, the officer, he started to hand my passport back. Instead, he said, ‘I got an e-mail about passengers like you. Hold on.’ He conferred with someone. In the end he said ‘You need to watch yourself for signs of Ebola.’”
“As if that western bad enough, Robin, I was traveling with two colleagues. They weren’t told anything. They said they were journalists. We were all shocked and horrified at the lack of screaming.”
So…great. It’s obviously possible for reporters to get Ebola while covering it. A photog for NBC has, and he has been taken to Nebraska under quarantine for treatment.
Meanwhile the Obama administration is keeping all flights from the outbreak zone to the United States going as scheduled, and insists that securing the border would do no good.
Obamacare, President Obama’s landmark unpopular legislation, puts Democrats in a tough spot. They all voted for it, at least in the Senate, and they have all continued to justify that vote.
That nearly none of them bothered to read the 2000-plus page bill before voting on it isn’t brought up enough. That the pathway to force it through Congress included a detour through “demon pass” isn’t brought up enough anymore either. The Democrats were so hell-bent on passing that law that they were prepared to do an end run around normal congressional procedure. And they did end up passing the bill against the wishes of the majority of the American people.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is one of those Democrats who voted for Obamacare. Because of that, he is now in a tough spot. He has a credible Republican opponent in Rep. Cory Gardner. Gardner has been hammering Udall for supporting Obamacare, and the best that Udall has managed to come up with in response is to attack Gardner’s conservative voting record in the House. Gardner hits back effectively, charging Udall with voting in support of the unpopular Barack Obama 99% of the time.
One thing Udall refuses to run on, is that vote of his to pass Obamacare. It is not showing up in his ads. He barely mentions it in his campaign speeches.
Denver reporter Eli Stokols asked Udall about that over the weekend.
Stokols notes that Obamacare is “the biggest legislative accomplishment” of Udall’s time in the Senate. Udall voted for it, but is “reluctant” to talk about it.
Udall hauls out the Democrat talking points on health care before and after Obamacare — that previous system “discriminated against women” and that Americans “could be thrown off your policy at a moment’s notice.” We still can, and millions have been, directly because of Obamacare, as Udall surely knows.
Udall also touts, without specifically naming, Obamacare success stories and says that the law is “far from perfect” but improves things.
If it’s so great, why isn’t he running on it then? Because “there’s a lot of issues on the campaign trail,” or something.
The Dallas district attorney is considering whether to bring charges against Ebola patient zero Thomas Eric Duncan, a citizen of Liberia, according to KDFW-TV in Dallas.
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins says his office is considering whether to charge Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.
“We are actively having discussions as to whether or not we need to look into this as relates to a criminal matter,“ Watkins said during a recording of NBC 5’s Lone Star Politics Friday. “If it warrants a Dallas County prosecution then we will pursue it. But it may be more of a federal issue.”
After the recording, Watkins admitted he does not know exactly what the DA’s office could charge Duncan with.
Duncan traveled to Dallas knowing that he carried the virus, and he left the hospital after his first visit without telling personnel there that he had been exposed to it.
Numerous other people have been charged in infection cases, mostly with infecting others with the AIDS virus. In 2013, David Magnum was charged in Missouri with recklessly infecting as many as 300 people after he knew that he had contracted the AIDS virus. He could face life in prison.
The Islamic State had threatened to behead British captive Alan Hennings. They have carried out that threat, with U.S.-led airstrikes supposedly hitting them in Iraq and Syria.
Islamic State militants have published a video that is said to depict the murder of a British aid convoy volunteer Alan Henning three weeks after warning that he would be the next to die.
If the video is found to be authentic, Henning will be the fourth western hostage to have been killed by the group, following the video-taped beheadings of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and Scottish aid worker David Haines.
The latest crime comes after the UK launched air strikes against Isis, joining the US and its Arab allies – Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – which had been targeting the group for several days.
He leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.
Henning’s is the first ISIS beheading of a western hostage to be done while the U.S. and its allies are conducting airstrikes against the group. So far, though, the U.S.-led alliance has conducted just over 300 strikes across several days. ISIS’ capabilities have apparently not been degraded at all. The group entered Kobani, Syria today and are approaching the Syria-Turkey border.
The Islamic State is now threatening to behead another American hostage.
Before the United States is included in the Ebola outbreak zone. Politico reports:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday called on the Obama administration to impose a travel ban on flights to the U.S. from countries with Ebola outbreaks.
“We should stop accepting flights from countries that are Ebola stricken,” the Republican governor said in a statement.
“President Obama said it was ‘unlikely’ that Ebola would reach the U.S. Well, it has, and we need to protect our people,” he said. “But the Obama administration keeps saying they won’t shut down flights. They instead say we should listen to ‘the experts.’ In fact, they said it would be counterproductive to stop these flights. That statement defies logic. How exactly would stopping the entry of people potentially carrying the Ebola virus be counterproductive? This seems to be an obvious step to protect public health in the United States.”
President Obama has the authority to ban such flights right now. He doesn’t even need Congress for this one.
A new Rasmussen poll has just come out. Its top line is big, though not surprising: The Texas governor’s race is not close.
Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) has an 11-point lead over challenger state Sen. Wendy Davis (D). Abbott leads 51-40. Texans trust Abbott more on all of the key issues — government spending, taxes, social issues and government ethics/corruption.
Abbott’s lead increases among likely voters.
Among the 82% of voters who say they will definitely vote in this election, Abbott leads 53% to 41%.
Abbott and Davis each hold the support of 82% of their party’s supporters. But Abbott leads independents by 15 points.
Other news in the poll is just as good for Abbott, and bad for Davis.
Both candidates are well known in the state, but Abbott is the better liked of the two. He is viewed favorably by 57% and unfavorably by 35%. This includes 28% with a Very Favorable opinion and 18% with a Very Unfavorable one.
For Davis, favorables are 44% and unfavorables 46%. This includes 23% with a Very Favorable view of her and 33% with a Very Unfavorable one.
For a challenger to be underwater on favorability a month out from the election is fatal. Davis has little time to make that up, and the swarm of news stories that are currently flooding the zone leave little air for her to get any traction or any effective earned media. Besides that, she is already a known quantity. Her unfavorables explain why she has used her debate opportunities to trash Abbott. With little time to build herself up, her sole remaining opportunity is to destroy him.
The coup de grace:
The GOP candidate [Abbott] has double-digit leads among both men and women in Texas.
To finally stick a fork in this, Rasmussen has reclassified Texas from “Leans Republican” to “Safe Republican.”
Thomas Eric Duncan aka Patient Zero traveled to the United States out of desperation. He knew that he had been exposed to Ebola, and knew that he could not get treatment where he lived in Liberia. He had seen a friend turned away from three hospitals, and then die of the disease.
So according to his former boss, he made the trip to the United States to obtain treatment. Monrovia (Liberia) Daily Observer reports.
About Duncan being aware of his medical condition before he left Liberia, his former boss, Mr. Henry Brunson, 60, manager of SafeWay Cargo, a licensed agent of FedEx, agreed that Duncan knew that he was infected with the virus, having directly participated in efforts to help save the life of his landlord’s daughter, who was pregnant. Mr. Brunson said Duncan was his “personal chauffeur” before he (Duncan) just “walked out” on September 4, and never saw nor heard from him again until it was reported that he had been diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the US. He stated that while he is sorry that Duncan might have passed the virus to others over the last few days, he, however, said he is glad that Duncan is in the US where he would get the best treatment to survive. “If he were in Liberia, he was going to surely die,” Mr. Brunson added sadly.
Having come to the United States, lying about and concealing his condition along the way, Duncan has exposed his own family, residents in their apartment complex, kids in several Dallas schools, and who knows how many other people to the deadly Ebola virus.
How many other carriers are going to make the same choice — if not to come to the U.S., to go to Europe, to Canada, Japan, or somewhere else where they believe that they will get treatment? As long as flights are running, it remains a possibility — or probability.
They will be traveling without symptoms, and will therefore be undetectable at airports, but they will know that they have been exposed, as Duncan knew. They will be able to use credit cards, if they have them, to pay for the flights whether they actually have the cash on hand or not. Desperation will drive the calculation that it’s worth running up some debt if it means the difference between life and death. Duncan has already shown that for some, the possibility of exposing others — even family members, but mostly total strangers — is not their first or even second concern.
The blog Enjoyment and Contemplation has a transcript of an NPR broadcast from earlier today. NPR almost connects the Ebola case in Dallas to an Obamacare mandate — they just don’t do the math. The speakers here are NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep and NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfield.
INSKEEP: Geoff, I want to ask about one other thing. Of course there have been many questions about why it was that the man with Ebola at one point checked into a hospital and was sent away again. Is it better understood how that happened?
BRUMFIEL: Yeah, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has released more details about how this was overlooked. What happened was, last week Duncan showed up sick at the ER. Now, he told the nurse he had come from Africa. The nurse reported that, but the electronic system was set up so that doctors never saw that. Duncan went home and came back a few days later in an ambulance. In between that time, he may have infected other family members; so this little misstep could have had big implications.
INSKEEP: A problem of communication. Geoff, thanks very much.
The math that they fail to do is why electronic records have largely replaced other forms of communication in today’s medical system.
The federal government keeps pressuring doctors to switch to exclusively electronic medical records. The 2009 Obama“stimulus” bill spent $20 billion dollars trying to give doctors “incentives” to adopt electronic medical records. Apparently that wasn’t enough; Obamacare is now trying to force doctors, threatening to cut their Medicare reimbursements if they fail to implement electronic medical records to the government’s satisfaction.
Many doctors hate being forced into the government’s electronic record-keeping system.
If the electronic records system doesn’t mandate a question such as “Have you been exposed to Ebola?” personnel may not ask it, either because there’s no place in the system to check it, or out of fear of violating HIPAA law.
The particular hospital where this is taking place, Texas Presbyterian Health Hospital in Dallas, has seen the problems that come with being forced to do everything electronically. It can limit the amount of information that doctors and nurses can gather, and it limits interaction and facetime as medical professionals have to spend more and more time on data entry than talking directly with patients.
This New York Times story from January 2014 reports that they came up with a partial solution. Some doctors have “scribes” follow them around to do all the data entry while the doctor actually practices medicine.
DALLAS — Amid the controlled chaos that defines an average afternoon in an urban emergency department, Dr. Marian Bednar, an emergency room physician at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, entered the exam room of an older woman who had fallen while walking her dog. Like any doctor, she asked questions, conducted an exam and gave a diagnosis — in this case, a fractured hand — while also doing something many physicians in today’s computerized world are no longer free to do: She gave the patient her full attention.
Standing a few feet away, tapping quickly and quietly at a laptop computer cradled in the crook of her left arm, was Amanda Nieto, 27, Dr. Bednar’s scribe and constant shadow. While Ms. Nieto updated the patient’s electronic chart, Dr. Bednar spoke to the woman, losing eye contact only to focus on the injured hand.
“With a scribe, I can think medically instead of clerically,” said Dr. Bednar, 40.
Without much fanfare or planning, scribes have entered the scene in hundreds of clinics and emergency rooms. Physicians who use them say they feel liberated from the constant note-taking that modern electronic health records systems demand. Indeed, many of those doctors say that scribes have helped restore joy in the practice of medicine, which has been transformed — for good and for bad — by digital record-keeping.
Chances are, the nurse in question here had no “scribe.” And the electronic system mandated by Obamacare lacks any place to have medical personnel directly ask a patient if they have been exposed to Ebola.
So, an Obamacare mandate connection to the Ebola case.
A patient with Ebola-like symptoms is being treated at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., a hospital spokesperson confirmed late Friday morning.
The patient had traveled to Nigeria recently.
That person has been admitted to the hospital in stable condition, and is being isolated and tested. The medical team is working with the CDC to determine whether the patient has Ebola.
And we haven’t suspended flights from the outbreak zone and secured the borders, why?
Alrighty then… Surely political correctness and President Obama’s open borders policies aren’t influencing that. Right?
Update: A prison inmate in Georgia is being tested for Ebola.
COBB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — An inmate at the Cobb County Jail is reportedly being test for Ebola.
WSB-TV reports that the man told jail officials he recently traveled to Africa after developing a fever while in custody.
He was arrested overnight and charged with DUI.
Residents in the Dallas Ivy Apartments complex are angry today because it took authorities several days to notify them that a fellow resident, Thomas Eric Duncan, had lived there for days while suffering from Ebola. Duncan also threw up on the ground outside the apartment buildings. That apparently was not even cleaned up for several days.
According to WBAP radio in Dallas/Fort Worth, residents of the apartment complex were notified by letter, but the letter “fell from the door,” and many residents missed it.
Additionally, “the apartment manager said that the reason for any delay was the fact that the residents speak multiple languages and the information had to be translated.”
But…the border is secure. Don’t worry. There is no cause for alarm, despite this ValleyCentral report.
According to United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Agent Roberto Cantu Rodriguez was charged in a two-count indictment for harboring and assisting immigrants.
The 35-year-old agent was in Laredo federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Guillermo Garcia Wednesday.
The Laredo area Border Patrol agent is charged with smuggling undocumented immigrants around the time of June 2013 to June 2014.
Rodriguez is also charged with misprision since he allegedly knew the immigrants were illegally in the U.S.
So if the charges are correct, we had a coyote working in the Border Patrol.
He faces 10 years in prison if convicted. The obvious question to be asked next is, was he the only one?
President Obama recently blamed the intelligence community for “underestimating” ISIS. Piers Morgan, recently ejected from CNN and now at the Daily Mail, isn’t buying that. At all.
‘James Clapper (Director of National Intelligence) has acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,’ he said, when asked how ISIS’ influence could have spread so fast.
As Governor Chris Christie pointed out, by saying ‘they’ rather than ‘we’, Obama tried to distance himself from any personal responsibility or accountability for what has been a catastrophic failure to act over the greatest terror threat facing the world since Osama Bin Laden.
A more shameless, reprehensible display of buck-passing it would be hard to find from a sitting President.
Indeed. And Morgan is only getting warmed up.
All that will happen now is that those maligned intelligence agencies will exact cold-blooded revenge on Obama by drip-feeding negative stories about him until he’s gone.
It’s what they do.
The truth is that Obama is the one who underestimated ISIS, plunging his head ostrich-like into the sand and hoping they would go away without having to do anything to actually make them go away.
There were clear, unambiguous public warnings made nearly a year ago in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee that ISIS was on the march in Syria and Iraq.
But perhaps Obama missed them.
Hardly surprising when we discover yesterday that he has only attended 42.1 percent of his Presidential Daily intelligence briefings.
Morgan even went after Obama’s golf obsession.
Imagine how emboldened they must have felt when Obama made his ‘heartfelt’ speech about journalist James Foley’s execution, and was then seen laughing and joking on the golf course SEVEN MINUTES later.
Obama has so far played golf 192 times since becoming President.
Even Rory McIlroy would struggle to match such enthusiasm for the game.
A rapid Arsenal soccer fan, Morgan knows all about sports obsessions. Yet, unlike President Obama, Piers Morgan knows when to set that aside and work. Morgan’s editorial doesn’t make up for his fraud and his anti-gun hysteria, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
How did this happen?
An American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment.
The freelancer, Ashoka Mukpo, 33, was hired Tuesday to be a second cameraman for NBC News Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Snyderman is with three other NBC News employees on assignment in Monrovia, reporting on the Ebola outbreak.
Mukpo came down with symptoms on Wednesday, feeling tired and achy. As part of a routine temperature check, he discovered he was running a slight fever. He immediately quarantined himself and sought medical advice. On Thursday morning, Mukpo went to a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) treatment center to be tested for the virus. The positive result came back just under 12 hours later.
Good for him for not doing what Thomas Duncan did, and quarantining himself. His prognosis is good. The rest of Snyderman’s crew are not showing any Ebola symptoms at this point and say that they are going beyond CDC protocols to ensure that they do not get the virus.
But how did this happen? The NBC story doesn’t say, which suggests that they don’t know, which is…unsettling.
According to current epidemiology, Ebola is difficult to contract. It takes direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is showing symptoms of the disease. How does a photographer, then, contract it?
Mukpo said her son’s virus is in the “early stages” and she is optimistic he will be cured.
Ashoka told his mother he has an idea of how he may have contracted Ebola.
“At one point he was trying to help decontaminate a car. He had most of the protective gear on, but he thinks something might have splashed on his body at that point. That’s one possibility, but really, one doesn’t know fully,” Diana said.
If that’s the only lead they have…
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) appeared on Fox today to note that for all the hype coming out of the Obama White House following the president’s economic speech, no Democrat really wants to be seen in the same state with him.
Sen. Rubio said, “None of these candidates are campaigning with him. If his policies were working out so well, they would all want him to come into their states and campaign with them.”
But that’s not happening. “In fact, they either don’t want him to come or when he comes to their state, they all avoid him. Why aren’t they campaigning on these things? Why aren’t they bragging about Obamacare in their ads? Instead they want their campaigns to be about all sorts of other issues. here is the bottom line, this country is not doing as well as it should be doing. This new century, an American century. This is a country right now that should be creating millions of jobs. We shouldn’t have to be forcing companies to stay here in this country and a lot of them are now leaving because of our tax code and so forth. We’re in a position where we are not fulfilling our potential as a nation or as a people. this should also be an american century. This is an exciting time. We are not taking full advantage of all of the opportunities of this new era and a lot of that is because of broad policies of big government that this president and his allies in the Senate have pursued.”
“My sympathy goes to the military members in this country,” Cowherd said toward the end of Tuesday’s show. “Socio-economically, no choices, paid almost nothing, lose a limb, lose a life. That, I feel sympathy for.”
“We know most people that go into the military in this country — they need the military often to pay bills. That is is almost a federal safety net financially, and by the way you’ll take shots. You’ll be sent two or three times to a raging inferno in the Middle East. That stuff scares me. That stuff I’m worried about. There’s loss of life there.”
Cowherd is using a liberal stererotype to describe Americans who volunteer to serve in the armed forces.
The fact is, Cowherd doesn’t know the facts at all.
George Washington University conducted a study of education in the military in 2013. Based on 2010 data, GWU found that military members are significantly more likely to have high school diplomas and at least some college experience than the general population.
According to GWU, while 59.5% of the US general population have a high school diploma or some college, 93.6% of US enlisted military personnel had the same. And while just 29.9% of the US general population have a bachelor’s degree or more, 82.8% of US military officers have at least one college degree. That’s because it’s very difficult to even become a US military officer without a degree. It can be done, by enlisted personnel making the jump to the officer corps, but it’s difficult. The vast majority of US military officer enter the military with a degree, and often from either ROTC programs or the military academies.
Cowherd also said that US military personnel get “paid nothing.” He is wrong about that too. While it is true that there remain some compensation issues at the lower end of the military pay scale, that covers a tiny percentage of the military force, and the US military officer corps is very well compensated. GWU finds that compensation is 88% higher than their civilian counterparts with a bachelor’s degree. Pay for military officers with advanced degrees is 47% higher on average than civilians with advanced degrees.
The Heritage Foundation also studied military enlistees, their socio-economic origins, education levels, and demographics. Cowherd is wrong on every single count.
- U.S. military service disproportionately attracts enlisted personnel and officers who do not come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Previous Heritage Foundation research demonstrated that the quality of enlisted troops has increased since the start of the Iraq war. This report demonstrates that the same is true of the officer corps.
- Members of the all-volunteer military are significantly more likely to come from high-income neighborhoods than from low-income neighborhoods. Only 11 percent of enlisted recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth (quintile) of neighborhoods, while 25 percent came from the wealthiest quintile. These trends are even more pronounced in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, in which 40 percent of enrollees come from the wealthiest neighborhoods-a number that has increased substantially over the past four years.
- American soldiers are more educated than their peers. A little more than 1 percent of enlisted personnel lack a high school degree, compared to 21 percent of men 18-24 years old, and 95 percent of officer accessions have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Contrary to conventional wisdom, minorities are not overrepresented in military service. Enlisted troops are somewhat more likely to be white or black than their non-military peers. Whites are proportionately represented in the officer corps, and blacks are overrepresented, but their rate of overrepresentation has declined each year from 2004 to 2007. New recruits are also disproportionately likely to come from the South, which is in line with the history of Southern military tradition.
The fact is, the present US military is the most educated fighting force in human history. Our all-volunteer force comes more from the middle and upper income brackets than from the lower income brackets. The global war on terrorism has been underway for a little over 13 years now, so a majority of the US military have volunteered not just for a “federal safety net” program, as Cowherd believes, but to defend America from the threat of terrorism. They have joined knowing that we are engaged in war overseas, and they are serving with unprecedented professionalism, skill and bravery. Rather than cluelessly insulting them, Cowherd should be honoring and thanking them.
Al Sharpton’s war with his own mouth continues, and he continues to lose. Today he did a segment on “National Breast Awareness Month.”
It wasn’t what it sounds like. He evidently intended to talk about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But he left out an important word.
Likely no one needs a month to be reminded of breasts. I mean, we still have Kate Upton just a Google image search away.
This story just keeps getting worse. Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins “requested” that the family of Thomas Eric Duncan not leave their apartment — the same one he stayed with them in — to avoid exposing anyone else to the Ebola virus.
They left anyway.
Judge Jenkins has now ordered them to stay home or face prosecution.
The family of the Texas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan have been ordered to stay in their home after violating official’s initial request not to leave.
“There were violations of the request to not leave their premises,” Dallas judge Clay Jenkins said of the breach that prompted the Texas Department of State Health Services to order the quarantine.
Duncan was staying with family members in Dallas when he became ill and is now confined to an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. His family members, including five school age children, were told to remain at home.
The order came as authorities track all the people who Duncan is believed to have come in contact with since his arrival in the U.S. The circle of people who have come into contact with him has grown rapidly from 18 Wednesday night to 100 today, according to Texas health officials.
At what point are officials going to figure out that the selfish gene is governing behavior? The family have an understandable desire to live, but that desire is placing many many others at risk. Democrat Judge Clay Jenkins should have quarantined them from the moment that the Ebola diagnosis was official, and not waited until after they jumped his “request” to stay.
Now Jenkins is working on “relocating” the family, according to CNN. To where?
(CNN) – The quarantined partner of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan should be moved with her family out of the Texas apartment where Duncan became sick with the virus and where his sweat-stained sheets were still on the bed, the Dallas County director of homeland security said.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, also director of the county’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said officials are working on that relocation after Duncan’s girlfriend told CNN of being forced to live with distressing living conditions.
Jenkins acknowleged “some hygiene issues” in the apartment.
“I would like to see those people moved to better living conditions,” Jenkins told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday afternoon. “We are working on that. I would like to move them five minutes ago.”
“We have some hygiene issues that we are addressing in that apartment,” Jenkins said earlier in the day. “Those people in the apartment are part of Dallas County, and they’re going to be treated with utmost respect and dignity in this unusual situation.”
WFAA is Dallas’ largest news station. The tweet below speaks for itself.
— WFAA TV (@wfaachannel8) October 2, 2014
The crew are spraying the Ebola-infected vomit with a power washer. Notice the lack of hazmat suits, the lack of any containment gear, and the woman with sandals just standing near the runoff of the vomit from Thomas Eric Duncan aka Patient Zero.
NPR reports that should Thomas Eric Duncan survive his Ebola infection, he faces prosecution back home in Liberia.
Liberian officials say they will prosecute Thomas Eric Duncan, the man who was diagnosed in Dallas with Ebola, for allegedly lying on a health questionnaire before boarding a flight out of the country, The Associated Press reports.
Binyah Kesselly, chairman of the board of directors of the Liberia Airport Authority, said Duncan had answered “no” to a question asking whether he had cared for an Ebola patient or touched the body of anyone who had died in an Ebola-affected area.
“We expect people to do the honorable thing,” Kesselly said, according to the AP.
The honor system is not going to cut it. Duncan knew that he had been exposed to Ebola when he boarded the flight to Brussels, to Washington, and to Dallas. He also knew that he had been exposed when he went to the hospital on September 26, when he went home, when he stayed around his family, and when he went back to the hospital.
Odds are, few to none of these people were actually infect with Ebola. But the prudent thing to do is find them.
Dallas (CNN) – Health officials are reaching out to as many as 100 people who may have had contact with the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., a federal official told CNN Thursday. These are people who are still being questioned, who may have crossed paths with the patient either at the hospital, at his apartment complex or in the community.
The number of direct contacts who have been identified right now is still closer to 12, the official said.
“By the end of the day we should have a pretty good idea of how many contacts there are,” the official said.
And as reported earlier, there may be a totally separate case in Hawaii. Obviously if that one goes hot, then we’ll have another round of hunting for people who came into contact with that person.
All of this, from one confirmed case and one possible case.
Ebola Patient Zero, Thomas Eric Duncan, traveled from the hot zone in Liberia to the United States four days after he knew that he had been exposed to the deadly Ebola virus. Not only did he know that he had been exposed, he knew that the person who exposed him had died of the virus. There was no doubt about that.
Duncan did a brave and noble thing, actually, when he carried her to a hospital as she was convulsing with the disease. When the hospital turned her away, because its Ebola facility was full and had no place for her, he helped her get back home, where she died.
Having done a noble thing, Duncan then did a terrible thing. He traveled from Liberia to Brussels to Washington, DC to Dallas, Texas. He was asymptomatic at that point, and the science on Ebola says that it cannot yet spread when a carrier doesn’t show any symptoms. But he surely knew that he very probably was a carrier, yet he told no one. Even when he went to Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas nearly a week after his exposure, he did not tell anyone about his exposure. He did tell a nurse that he had recently traveled from Liberia, but did not reveal his exposure to Ebola.
He is sent home, and two days go by, and then he has to go back to the hospital. At this point, he has symptoms and therefore he is contagious. Duncan is seen vomiting on the ground outside, as he is getting into the ambulance to go back to the hospital.
Vomit is a known means of spreading Ebola.
DALLAS — Two days after he was sent home from a Dallas hospital, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. was seen vomiting on the ground outside an apartment complex as he was bundled into an ambulance. “His whole family was screaming. He got outside and he was throwing up all over the place,” resident Mesud Osmanovic, 21, said on Wednesday, describing the chaotic scene before Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday.
If that account is true, then Duncan exposed a number of people to Ebola, including children during the two days he stayed with family. Four Dallas schools are impacted, and families are justifiably concerned about that. In fact, he exposed North America to Ebola by flying here when he knew that he had been exposed to it. The only previous cases in the current outbreak had been flown here from the outbreak zone specifically for treatment, and they were transported in special aircraft outfitted for containing contagious disease. There was no risk that those two, American medical missionaries, would infect anyone else. Both have recovered fully.
Air France has suspended flights from the Ebola outbreak zone, in order to protect its own employees. British Airways has already suspended flights similarly, but what about US air carriers? The Obama administration is keeping all flights going at this point, which means more Thomas Eric Duncans can get exposed to Ebola and still fly here, while showing no symptoms until after they arrive. Duncan himself flew here on United Airlines. The CDC says there is zero chance that anyone on those planes with Duncan were exposed, because Duncan was asymptomatic at that point.
But as others have pointed out, even if the FAA suspends all flights from the outbreak zone, we will have to rely on other countries including Mexico and Canada, and countries across Asia and the Pacific, or our ban may achieve nothing. Why? Because of the porous border, first. Even with Ebola raging, President Obama intends to keep the border as porous as it is now. Or at least, he has shown absolutely no interest in securing it. As long as it is insecure, someone could fly or take a ship from the outbreak zone to either Canada or Mexico and then just walk across the border into the United States. And there are incentives to do so. The United States has the best quality healthcare in the world, and showing up at an emergency room guarantees access. Our hospitals are not overrun with Ebola patients as hospitals in the outbreak zone are.
Not only does Obama intend to keep the border as it is, he intends to grant a sweeping amnesty to illegal aliens by executive order, after the mid-term elections. That promise and that action will prompt more people to cross illegally, on the understanding that once they’re here, the current government will be extremely unlikely to send them home.
The problem is by no means limited to the continental United States or the US-Mexico border.
There’s nothing wrong with a little gallows humor when it comes to Ebola or any other scare/tragedy. When the story broke that an Ebola case had been confirmed in Texas, I popped off a few jokes myself on Twitter and on Facebook. Such as…
Does Obamacare cover bathing in Purell for three weeks? Asking for an entire state…
@Ebola has retweeted me twice today. It’s been nice knowing y’all.
In other news, full body hazmat suits become the new fashion “must have” this fall! #Ebola.
Harmless, non-hateful stuff, just making light of the serious situation that is unfolding three hours north of me, not too far from where I grew up.
But let’s get something straight here. Texas is a victim in the Ebola story. Our federal government continues to allow people to enter our country from areas where the outbreak is still ongoing and is not under control.
That is not Texas’ fault. We get no say in the matter, just as we get no say in the Obama administration’s ongoing negligence on the Texas-Mexico border.
We’re the victims here, of the leftwing, partisan Obama administration and its choices. The Obama government refuses to listen to us on any issue, and refuses to give us any say in anything. Obama’s attitude, six years into a failed presidency, remains “I won.”
Leave it to leftwinger David Corn to kick the victims for the sake of politics.
If Ebola spreads in Texas maybe the rest of the nation will join the secession movement.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) October 2, 2014
Mr. Corn should be careful what he wishes for. Texas supplies much of the nation’s energy. Texas supplies an outsized portion of the U.S. military. If it weren’t for the vibrant Texas economy, the US economy would have lost jobs the entire time that President Obama has been in office. So Texas makes your president, Corn, look better than he actually is.
Sift through the facts presented in this New York Times story about Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who has a confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas.
He came into direct contact with a friend who had Ebola. He rode with her in a taxi and carried her from the taxi to a hospital on September 15, four days before he flew to the United States. She was turned away from the hospital because the Ebola ward was full.
She died of Ebola early the following morning. Her brother also got sick and shows Ebola symptoms. That was at the same time that Duncan started getting sick. He left Liberia and arrived in Texas on September 20. Six days later he sought treatment at Texas Presbyterian Hospital, and was sent home. He returned two days later, and has been confirmed to be infected with Ebola.
Duncan also abruptly quit his job on September 4, so he might have already planned the trip to see his family in the U.S.
But he certainly knew that he had been exposed to Ebola by the time he boarded that plane and came to Texas, four days after his friend died of it. He must surely have known it when he first visited the Texas Presbyterian Hospital, and he must have known it when the doctors sent him home.
And yet he went home, and exposed others, including children. Did he come to the U.S., knowing that he could get treatment here — but also aware that he was transporting the disease without alerting any authorities?
Update: This appears to be his Facebook page. This Thomas Eric Duncan is from Liberia, as is the Dallas Ebola patient, and he has a sister named Mai Wureh. The Facebook page links to a “friend” with the same unusual name.
This would be Thomas Eric Duncan, then.
What the H-E-Double Hockeysticks does Barack Obama do all day?
He obviously wasn’t on the ball as ISIS was rising to power. He says he learns about everything from the news, not his staff.
That’s how he learned that he’d been in potential danger because a security guard with a gun — and convictions — was with him in an elevator, unscreened by the Secret Service.
WOW @pressSec on elevator: "The WH first learned of that incident yesterday afternoon shortly before it was reported by a news organization"
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 1, 2014
We know that the president watches a lot of sports. Someone needs to take his remote away for a while.
The Centers for Disease Control edited its Ebola prevention fact page on September 19. A note at the bottom of the page says as much.
So what was changed?
Here is the top of the page as it reads now, after the edit.
As you can see, the CDC edited out the following text on Sept 19:
Because we still do not know exactly how people are infected with Ebola, few primary prevention measures have been established and no vaccine exists.
When cases of the disease do appear, risk of transmission is increased within healthcare settings. Therefore, healthcare workers must be able to recognize a case of Ebola and be ready to use practical viral hemorrhagic fever isolation precautions or barrier nursing techniques. They should also have the capability to request diagnostic tests or prepare samples for shipping and testing elsewhere.
Why did the CDC edit all of that information out? Did the science change, or did the government make the edit for some other reason(s)?
The Ebola story is almost moving too fast to keep up with. The latest is that a second person is now being monitored for symptoms of Ebola infection, according to USA Today.
DALLAS — Health officials are closely monitoring a possible second Ebola patient who had close contact with the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S., the director of Dallas County’s health department said Wednesday.
All who have been in close contact with the man officially diagnosed are being monitored as a precaution, Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, said in a morning interview with WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth.
Additionally, at least five schoolchildren who attend public schools in the Dallas Independent School District were likely exposed to the first patient.
Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles also revealed that five children from four of the district’s schools were possibly exposed to the virus.
Miles identified the schools as:
- Conrad High School
- Tasby Middle School
- Hotchkiss Elementary School
- Dan D. Rogers Elementary
The superintendent says the students didn’t exhibit any symptoms.
“So, the odds of them passing on any sort of virus is very low,” Miles said.
The schools have had their health staff beefed up, and the district is urging those kids to stay home.
The ambulance that the original patient, who has been identified as Thomas Eric Duncan, rode to the hospital in was used for a couple of days after his ride to enter the hospital. He was later confirmed with Ebola. That ambulance has been isolated from others and is not being used now. The EMS crew who drove Duncan to the hospital have tested negative for Ebola. They are currently restricted to their homes and are under observation.
Update: Politico reports that 18 people are being monitored for Ebola now.
America is abuzz with Major League Baseball playoff fever today. Beltway reporters had a chummy little chat about the national pastime with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today.
The Democrats including Pelosi cast themselves as fighters for the little guy — just folks. And Pelosi’s a big baseball fan. Evidence? Her father brought the Orioles to Baltimore, dontcha know, and her neighbor owns the Washington Nationals.
But really, Nancy is just one of the little folks.
Well, this is unsettling.
Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Tom Frieden appeared on CNN today alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Frieden intended to reassure CNN and the American people by explaining how difficult it is to contract Ebola. The first case of that deadly virus has been confirmed in a patient in Dallas.
Gupta and Frieden get into a little debate over what “contact” means. Take a look.
Frieden says that though he is standing just three feet from Gupta, for Ebola purposes they are not in “direct contact” because they have not touched. But anchor Michaela Pereira notes that a sneeze would change everything. And Frieden agrees and says “We would take a close look at that.”
US Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has spent the last six months in a Mexican prison. He is there because he made a wrong turn while transporting legally owned firearms in his car, and Mexico has chosen to throw the full weight of its legal system at him.
This is the same country that regularly berates the United States if we happen to enforce our own border laws.
The Obama administration has chosen to leave him there to languish in horrible conditions, even though he may have post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in combat. Tahmooressi has been beaten and threatened while he has languished in Mexican prison.
In hearings in Washington today, Navy veteran and talk show host Montel Williams tearfully laid into the Obama administration for failing to secure Tahmooressi’s release. “Make the call today,” Williams angrily begged the president.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) noted that President Obama, an avid sports fan, always makes sure to call sports teams when they win championships. But he has failed to call Mexico’s president to get Tahmooressi released.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) suggested that Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill, invite President Obama to play golf. Then, perhaps, the president would pay attention to the plight of her son.
That might get the president’s attention.
But we need to be sure that we have his ear. So here’s a suggestion.
Obama is a sports fan, as everyone knows, and he makes gay rights a top priority.
President Obama hasn’t made the call to Mexico’s president but he called NBA player Jason Collins and congratulated him when he announced that he is gay.
Obama also congratulated football player Michael Sam when he became the first openly gay player to be drafted for the NFL. Sam is currently on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.
Isn’t the solution here obvious?
To get President Obama’s attention and get him to make the call that Montel Williams begged him to make, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi just has to announce that he is gay.
If he does that, President Obama and Eric Holder will be on Air Force One within the hour bound for Mexico City, and Sgt. Tahmooressi will be out of Mexican prison by the weekend.
As the Islamic State rose to become the terrorist mass that it is today, President Barack Obama ignored warnings and reportedly skipped about half of his presidential daily briefings. He downplayed the threat, calling ISIS “jayvee.”
Those briefings that the president reportedly skipped included “specific” intelligence about ISIS and its capabilities even before the 2012 election.
At that time, Obama was publicly campaigning on having “decimated” “core al Qaeda” and sent it “on the run.”
So was Obama reading his briefings or not? It’s an important question that aims directly at how the president is performing his duties. Obama tossed the intelligence community and his own Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, under the bus on 60 Minutes when he blamed them for “underestimating” ISIS. That comment has sparked a sort of cold war between the president and his intelligence agencies, as the nation grapples with the Islamic State’s rise and threat, and what to do about it.
But if you are concerned about this, former Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean thinks that you’re a kook.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked Dean about the skipped briefings on his show this morning. “Howard Dean, you get 42% of the briefings face-to-face, 42% in the second term, missed the rest. Is that a big deal? Are there sometimes you’d rather read something than have people talk?”
Dean wasn’t subtle in dismissing the question: “This rises to the level of Obama was born in Kenya and is a right wing Muslim. I saw Crossroads did this, he has no credibility whatsoever. The presidents, leaders, governors do things differently, I just think this is ridiculous. I can’t even believe we are talking about this. This is silly.”
DeLay was indicted by the Travis County District Attorney on criminal money laundering charges in 2005, and a Travis County jury convicted him in 2010. At the time, Rep. DeLay was the Republicans’ most effective campaign strategist and fundraiser in Congress. He resigned his seat in Congress in 2006 to allow a special election to replace him. Democrats would take control of the US House from the Republicans in 2006.
DeLay appealed, and his conviction was overturned in 2013 by a three-judge panel of the Texas 3rd District Court of Criminal Appeals.
The Travis County DA’s office appealed that decision. Today’s ruling upholds the 2013 ruling, and Tom DeLay remains a free man. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest appellate court in Texas.
The lone dissenting vote in today’s ruling was cast Judge Larry Meyers. Meyers switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party in 2013 and is currently the Democratic nominee for Texas Supreme Court. Meyers ran into a little legal trouble of his own in 2012 for failing to pay a 2008 speeding ticket.
The same office that indicted and tried DeLay, the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, also indicted Gov. Rick Perry (R) this year. It is currently headed by District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, Democrat, who was caught and admitted to drunk driving in 2013. Lehmberg remains in office.
…it has a lot of screwy results within.
The eighth annual Texas Lyceum poll is out, and at first blush it appears to hold some good news for Democrat governor challenger Wendy Davis. According to the poll, Republican Greg Abbott leads Davis by just nine points, 49 to 40.
The same poll finds that the race for lieutenant governor is much wider, with Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick leading Democrat state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte by a whopping 14 points, 47% to 33%.
Elsewhere on the ballot, Sen. John Cornyn leads his Democratic challenger by 18 points. But Republicans only lead Democrats on the generic congressional ballot by 11 points, 46 to 35 percent.
In the guts of the poll, though, things get a little bit weird.
In the governor’s race, Abbot (R) leads Davis (D) among both genders. He leads among women by 2 points, and by men by 17 points. Yet his total lead is only 9 points?
Nationally, President Barack Obama’s approval rating is in the low 40s or high 30s. The RealClearPolitics average has him right around 41.6%.
Obama has never been popular in Texas. He lost here to John McCain in 2008, 55-43%, and to Mitt Romney in 2012, 57-41%. The president’s popularity is not increasing now, either in Texas or nationally.
Yet the Lyceum poll has Obama at 48% overall approval — in Texas. That’s on page four of the Lyceum poll results. It suggests that Democrats are being oversampled. Obama has never reached that level of popularity when Texans actually vote. He even lost the Democratic primary here to Hillary Clinton in 2008. He took away more delegates than Clinton because the Texas Democrats employ their screwy two-step primary-caucus system, and Obama’s organization overcame Clinton’s in the caucus portion of the show.
It wouldn’t be the first time that the Lyceum poll has published results that skewed a little bit left of reality.
In 2011, a Lyceum poll held that President Obama’s approval rating, in Texas, was at 51%. Go ahead and laugh.
But we’ve already mentioned how the votes went for Obama in both 2008 and 2012. Add to that, a month before that 2011 Lyceum poll, a Texas Tribune poll put the president’s approval rating in Texas at just 35%.
Could Obama really have lost by 12 points in 2008, hit 35% in 2011 according to one poll, suddenly jumped to 51% in 2011 in another poll, and then lose Texas by 16 points in 2012? Sure, it’s possible, but how likely is it?
There have been two governor debates in Texas. Davis trails in a red state and had to use those moments to elevate herself as a candidate and do significant damage to Abbott. She failed to do that in both debates, offering instead attacks that have fallen flat and outbursts that have been preserved on YouTube. Watch them on the next page.
Davis has admitted that she would impose Obamacare, which has never been popular in Texas, by fiat if she was governor. Davis has admitted that she supports the entire Obama agenda, which is not popular in Texas. During Tuesday night’s debate, Davis had the opportunity to tell Texans how much her education plan would cost, and she refused to answer that simple question all three times she was asked, as Mike Hashimoto noted at the Dallas Morning News.
The above facts suggest that Davis has done nothing to build up any momentum or put this race within striking distance.
VIDEOS – White House Spokesman Questions Kansas City Royals Manager’s Leadership, but Not the Head of the Secret Service
Tuesday night, the Kansas City Royals almost blew their post-season when manager Ned Yost pulled his starting pitcher and replaced him with Yordano Ventura, a starter who had just pitched on Sunday.
Ventura coughed up a three-run shot, the Royals fell behind to the A’s in the one-game playoff and had to claw their way back to a win.
Ok, fine. It was a terrible call.
But the United States Secret Service has made a series of worse blunders lately. They let a guy jump the White House fence and run deep into the presidential family’s residence. They missed a shooting, in which bullets struck the White House, for days. The Secret Service allowed a man with convictions on his record to get near the president, with a firearm.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest is far more interested in questioning Ned Yost’s leadership than that of Secret Service Director Pierson. Take a look at this pair of clips from MSNBC today.
In the first, Earnest says Pierson is “more than qualified” to continue leading the Secret Service. Even Mika Brzezinski has a hard time buying it.
In this clip, Thomas Roberts notes that Earnest is happy to question Ned Yost’s leadership of the Royals, but will not question Julia Pierson’s leadership of the Secret Service. Brzezinski delivers a little coup de grace at the end.
This whole thing…last night on my colleague Rick Moran’s radio show, my other colleague, Bridget Johnson, described how early in the Syrian civil war, she spoke with a general who defected and wanted to get the defectors’ story into Washington publications so that the Obama administration would see it and act. I joked that the general’s heart was in the right place, but his strategy was wrong. He should have gotten his story placed on the sports page, because that’s one of the few things that the Obama administration really pays attention to.
Too bad that’s not a joke.
So says this story from Montana. Because that state has one.
There are four places in the United States set up to handle a patient sickened by the Ebola virus, and Missoula is one of those.
It has been since 2007, in fact.
St. Patrick Hospital administrators have no notice about when or if they will be asked to care for someone stricken with the disease that’s killed more than 3,000 people in Africa in 2014. But the hospital has a special wing of its intensive care unit with three rooms modified to safely handle infectious diseases like Ebola.
The other U.S. sites cleared for Ebola treatment are in Bethesda, Maryland; Atlanta; and Omaha, Nebraska. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have deployed teams of health workers to numerous sites in West Africa to slow the epidemic’s progress. U.S. military personnel have also been sent there to build hospital clinics, although Risi said those people would not be performing any care or have contact with Ebola patients.
So, not the hospital in Dallas that actually has an Ebola patient.
Can things get worse for the Secret Service after that guy leaped the White House fence and got deep inside the building? Probably. In fact, they just did, according to the Washington Post.
And it has an Ebola connection.
A security contractor with a gun and three prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident.
The incident occurred as Obama appeared at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis.
The contractor did not comply when Secret Service agents asked him to stop using a phone camera to videotape the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident.
Agents questioned him, and used a database check to learn of his criminal history.
When a supervisor from the private security firm approached and learned of the agents’ concern, the contractor was fired on the spot and agreed to turn over his gun — surprising agents, who had not realized he was armed during his encounter with Obama.
Good to know that they have top men on the job…