Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins ought to be far more careful than he has been to date. The Dallas Democrat entered the home of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan last week, before it had been sanitized, without any protective gear on. He also transported Duncan’s family to a new home while they wait out their quarantine, also while not wearing any protective gear.
Jenkins piled up another error when he wore the same clothing to a press conference, where was in close proximity to numerous reporters and others.
Judge Jenkins is no Ebola expert or health safety expert. His actions may have exposed himself, his family and others to the deadly Ebola virus.
Bottom line: He and others who come into contact with Duncan’s family must be extremely careful, not cavalier as he has been.
The Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola was careful. According to CNN, she observed every safety protocol while she was treating a priest who contracted the virus, and died of it.
In a phone conversation with Spanish newspaper El Mundo, she said she had followed all necessary protocols and had no idea how she got the deadly virus. “I can’t tell you, I haven’t the slightest idea,” she was quoted as saying.
The woman helped to care for a Spanish missionary who was infected with Ebola in West Africa and who died after being brought to the hospital where she worked.
Was she worried she might have contracted the disease after helping with his care? “Well, no, not at all,” she told El Mundo.
She speculates that she may have gotten the disease while she was taking her protective clothing off.
She and another westerner, American photojournalist Ashoka Mukpo, contracted the disease in mysterious circumstances. While the Spanish nurse did come into contact with an Ebola patient, Mukpo apparently did not. He may have come into contact with fluids left in a car by someone who died of Ebola. He participated in sanitizing the car while working in Libera, and may have been splashed.
He knew that he was sanitizing a car in which an Ebola patient had been transported. He was certainly being careful. Yet he and the nurse both contracted the disease. Mukpo is now being treated in one of just four American hospitals that are fully equipped to handle Ebola patients. He is reportedly going to receive a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantley, an American missionary who also contracted Ebola in Liberia but has beaten the virus.
Judge Jenkins has been far less careful, and far too flippant, about being in proximity to Ebola. He still seems to be prioritizing the family’s feelings over the public good and just being smart. He may also intend to project confidence to show that it is difficult to get the virus, which is true, but obviously some who have taken every precaution against getting Ebola still have gotten it.
Instead of projecting confidence, Judge Jenkins is projecting rank incompetence.