The Washington Post reports that
President Obama on Tuesday forcefully rejected the idea of a quarantine for medical workers returning from Ebola-affected countries, arguing that such an approach would undermine the broader effort to eliminate the epidemic .
Politicians in the United States, including the president, have come under increasing pressure to curtail the movements of medical personnel returning from Ebola-affected regions after Craig Spencer — a doctor who had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea — was diagnosed with the virus 10 days after he returned home to New York City.
While the president did not directly criticize New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) for imposing mandatory quarantines on health workers coming back from West Africa, he made clear that he thought those moves were a bad idea and were not based on the best medical information.
“We don’t just react based on our fears. We react based on facts and judgment and making smart decisions,” Obama said, just after placing a call to members of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which has been in West Africa since the first week of August.
The notably assertive presidential response came as the country enters the final campaign stretch before next week’s midterm elections. While the president has sometimes refrained from taking on his critics, he took the unusual step of addressing the Ebola issue with reporters just before boarding Air Force One to depart for a campaign event in Wisconsin.
No quarantine, huh, Scooter? Nobody told your Secretary of Defense. Per thehill.com,
Defense Secretary Hagel is considering a 21-day “quarantine-like” policy for all troops returning from West Africa, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
The proposal was recommended to Hagel on Tuesday by the Joint Chiefs of Staff — which consists of its chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and the chiefs of staff of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Earlier this week, the Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno ordered all soldiers returning from West Africa to undergo a 21-day isolation and enhanced monitoring period.
Odierno “has done this out of caution to ensure soldiers, family members and their surrounding communities are confident that we are taking all steps necessary to protect their health,” the Army said Monday.
The Pentagon said Hagel supports that “initial decision” but would take his time deciding whether or not to expand that policy department-wide.
Currently, a dozen soldiers from U.S. Army Africa are being isolated and monitored at Vicenza, Italy, including its commander Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams. The Pentagon has said there was no event to trigger the policy.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby acknowledged that implementing a department-wide quarantine-like policy goes farther than what President Obama and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions have recommended, but said Hagel would not stand in the way of the Army’s decision, or any other service if they should implement that policy.On Monday, Air Force officials at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany also implemented stricter measures for airmen coming back from West Africa, including possibly quarantining troops on a case-by-case basis.
There are currently about 880 troops in West Africa, training healthcare workers, building Ebola treatment units and mobile labs, and airlifting medical supplies and providing other logistical help.
Meanwhile, the State Department has decided that America does not have enough Ebola cases in our country already.
According to the Washington Times,
The State Department has quietly made plans to bring Ebola-infected doctors and medical aides to the U.S. for treatment, according to an internal department document that argued the only way to get other countries to send medical teams to West Africa is to promise that the U.S. will be the world’s medical backstop.
Some countries “are implicitly or explicitly waiting for medevac assurances” before they will agree to send their own medical teams to join U.S. and U.N. aid workers on the ground, the State Department argues in the undated four-page memo, which was reviewed by The Washington Times.
“The United States needs to show leadership and act as we are asking others to act by admitting certain non-citizens into the country for medical treatment for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) during the Ebola crisis,” says the four-page memo, which lists as its author Robert Sorenson, deputy director of the office of international health and biodefense.
More than 10,000 people have become infected with Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and the U.S. has taken a lead role in arguing that the outbreak must be stopped in West Africa. President Obama has committed thousands of U.S. troops and has deployed American medical personnel, but other countries have been slow to follow.
In the memo, officials say their preference is for patients go to Europe, but there are some cases in which the U.S. is “the logical treatment destination for non-citizens.”
The document has been shared with Congress, where lawmakers already are nervous about the administration’s handling of the Ebola outbreak. The memo even details the expected price per patient, with transportation costs at $200,000 and treatment at $300,000.
A State Department official signaled Tuesday evening that the discussions had been shelved.
“There is no policy of the U.S. government to allow entry of non-U.S. citizen Ebola-infected to the United States. There is no consideration in the State Department of changing that policy,” the official said.
Another official said the department is considering using American aircraft equipped to handle Ebola cases to transport noncitizens to other countries.
“We have discussed allowing other countries to use our medevac capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability,” the second department official said.
The internal State Department memo is described as “sensitive but unclassified.” A tracking sheet attached to it says it was cleared by offices of the deputy secretary, the deputy secretary for management, the office of Central African affairs and the medical services office.
Remember the chase scene at the end of the Benny Hill Shows we used to watch as children? Well, Obama’s Ebola containment policy is like that, except without the accompaniment of Boots Randolph playing “Yakety Sax” in the background.
Allow me to try to explain this.
Obama does not want to quarantine individuals who return after treating Ebola Victims in disease-riddled Africa. However, Secretary of Defense Hagel is considering a 21 day quarantine for American troops returning from “combating” Ebola in Africa. At the same time, the State Department has quietly made prepared a proposal to bring Ebola-infected doctors and medical aides to the U.S. for treatment.
To quote the late Strother Martin in “Cool Hand Luke”, starring Paul Newman,
What we have heah is failure to communicate.
…and, a failure of leadership, to say the least.
The former Community Organizer turned “Leader of the Free World” has really shown his hindquarters through his mishandling of the Ebola Outbreak.
Not only has his “community organizing” skill not helped him one bit in this situation, but his didactic nature as a former Guest lecturer at the University of Chicago has com out, through his divisive lectures to the governors of American States, who are trying to do their job and keep their citizenry safe, even if Obama refuses to.
On top of that, Obama’s hand-picked pin-headed bureaucrats, academicians, and political hacks in the State Department want to place all of us in greater danger from this fatal disease, by bringing Ebola Patients from Africa to America to treat.
My head hurts.
Perhaps I was wrong to compare this situation to an ending chase scene in an episode of The Benny Hill Show.
Those chase scenes were hilarious.
The out-of-control incompetency of Obama and his Administration is not funny at all.
Until He Comes,