The PJ Tatler

CNN Reporter 'Shocked and Horrified' at Lack of Ebola Screening on Return from Liberia

There is good news and bad news on the Ebola front today.

For the good news first — none of those other potential Ebola victims in the U.S. have tested positive so far. Not the one in DC or Hawaii or Utah or anywhere else.

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.