Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ah. THAT'S Why.

Of course we have to have more gummit so we pay a big salary for a guy whose resume is one long string of FAIL and call him Ebola Czar.  He apparently isn't showing up for WH meetings on the subject since he was named Czar, either.  Not that he's actually anything but a waste of American taxpayer money.

Thing is, we already had someone in place whose job is to deal with just such things, Dr. Nicole Lurie, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS.  Her job is “to lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies.”



And on Sept. 11 she told the Washington Post that her office was prepared “to ensure that U.S. health care providers, hospitals, health clinics, emergency medical services … have the information they need to be prepared to identify and treat Ebola infections, in case anyone in the United States becomes sick after traveling from affected countries or from contact with infected individuals.” 

But Dr. Lurie has is not only MD but she's been MIA as well.  And now maybe we know why.  Whatever else she's good at, Dr. Lurie has also been good at steering huge contracts for vaccines nobody wants to big Obama donor companies.   So maybe appointing a NEW political hack rather than possibly stirring this pot again was deemed a better idea.

And remember I commented that the top heads of government agencies will do as they are told?  Did you know that there's been another person who was flown back from Africa under treatment for ebola in Atlanta that the press missed knowing about?  Fortunately, he has recovered and quietly gone home, but nobody knew he was there.  So you think the government will necessarily be up front with the public about what's going on?

h/t weaselzippers.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

Have You Noticed?

All those years of "Where's the WMDs?", generally thrown mockingly.   Now, some of us knew that WMDs had been found in Iraq - the general media just didn't report it.  We also knew that a lot of them got sent to Syria during the build up to the invasion - the head of the Iraqi program himself pointed us that way.    But all these years people of accused Bush of leading us into war over something that didn't exist.

Last week, pigs flew again.  I don't know what's gotten into the New York Times recently, but suddenly it's occasionally actually reporting and it published a piece about the thousands of WMDs found in Iraq after the invasion, about soldiers being injured by them, about how some of them got shipped to Syria.  They pointed out that satellite photos showed transports swarming weapons dumps and then heading for the border.  Yeah, I'd already seen those photos.  I also already knew about our soldiers being injured. The fact that I could find that just by spending time researching through Google kinda makes me wonder how much the NYT pays its reporters.


But, it's funny.  I haven't heard a peep from the usual bash-Bush, "Bush lied and soldiers died" crew.  You'd think that at least Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Harry Reid would point out that their YES vote to go to war has been vindicated.  And you'd think they'd step up and say, "See, Bush was right - Saddam had WMDs".


Yeah, I was only kidding about that.  That would require integrity. 



Friday, October 17, 2014

I Feel So Much Better ...

... now that a political hack lawyer with no medical background has been designated as Ebola Czar, reporting directly to Susan Rice.


Just when I think there is no way they can look more incompetent, they prove me wrong.

Oh, well, maybe at least I'll stop having anxiety dreams about my SUV stalling on railroad tracks now.  


After 10 years, even a base model vehicle is full of new bells and whistles. 



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lemme Help You Out Here

From CNS News:

Dr. Tom Frieden, director for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a telephone press briefing Wednesday that you cannot get Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus, but that infected or exposed persons should not ride public transportation because they could transmit the disease to someone else.
Let me help you out here, Tom.  I'll try to keep the words small for you.  If a sick person gives the disease to a fellow bus rider, that fellow bus rider has gotten ebola ON THE BUS.   If you can GIVE the disease on the bus, you can GET the disease on the bus.

Dude.  I'm not feeling your leadership here.  And wondering if you got your doctorate out of a Cracker Jack box.

And then there's this:



Transferring the latest victim to Georgia.  Some people just deserve Darwin.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

You Have to Understand Priorities

It didn't take long:  ebola is Bush's fault, ebola is a result of budget cuts, ebola is a result of sequestration.

Twaddle.

To begin with, Republicans gave the CDC more money this year than Obama had put in the budget.  And CDC and NIH have had plenty of money to do studies on such things as why lesbians are fat.  So Democrats can stuff it.

And we didn't have a vaccine available because we've never needed it. It's something that a western country is going to be reactive to, not proactive to, because it's a relatively recent disease and has been restricted to Africa, particularly where bush meat is eaten.  I can't blame them - drug development is an incredibly expensive business and who ever expected Americans to get so stupid that they'd put people in charge who would fling open the doors to something like ebola?

It's frightening people so badly that they are forgetting that another disease is paralyzing and killing our children.  Enterovirus D68 is much more widespread than ebola and it's playing at being a polio relative. Tuberculosis and whooping cough are on the upswing.  Know how you die with tuberculosis?  You basically slowly drown in your own blood.   And, by the way, did anybody notice that the Africans that scared the heck out of a flight recently WERE sick with things like typhoid?  Typhoid.  We're flying typhoid into the country.

Ebola is a horrible disease and people are rightly frightened by it.  It's right up there with smallpox and bubonic plague on my list of ways I don't want to die.  When monkey ebola broke out at a lab in Reston, VA, repeated efforts to de-contaminate the building failed.  I believe that they finally just closed the building and eventually tore it down. 

None of these would be able to ramp up if we had done exactly what we did until generations were born who didn't know what it was like to lose family members to scourges like polio and tuberculosis, who don't understand that that our freedom from horrific disease isn't shared by third would countries.  And they decided that it was hunky dory to just throw the doors wide open and let those diseases flood back in, now into a country with 300,000,000 citizens with lessened resistance to them. 

And yes, the CDC will lie to us about it if they get orders to do so.  High up agency heads are political appointees.  They'll do what they are told.

A little over 100 years ago a well-traveled rat took shore leave from a ship docked in San Francisco. He brought yersinia pestis, plague, with him.  San Francisco's China Town was a warren of rickety buildings and rats loved it.  Soon pneumonic plague was breaking out.  A major part of the Chinese neighborhood of Honolulu had been burned in 1900 in an attempt to kill off an outbreak of bubonic plague and the San Franciscan Chinese did not want to take the chance of the same happening to them, so they tried to hide it, even going so far as propping dead victims up at the family table to make it look as if they were still alive.  Once it was clear that there was an outbreak, the city fathers fought the medical specialist sent to deal with it tooth and nail.  They feared that if word got out that plague was in the city it would adversely affect the city's booming business.  Then came the great earthquake of 1906.  The city was filled with crowded, unsanitary tent camps and oh how the rats loved that.  Their populations boomed.  Anyone who has been on the west coast of California is probably familiar with the cute little ground squirrels that are common there.  Plague happily hopped from rats to the ground squirrels.  And it didn't take long for it to spread east, where it is now endemic in the American southwest.  All because politicians didn't want to impact city business.

So, CDC, NIH, and priorities.  People need to understand that the first, the very FIRST priority of any government agency is to exist.  NOT to do a particular job - to EXIST.  If the job gets done, good.  But that's not the agency's PRIMARY task, no matter what it says in its founding legislation.  So agency heads work to keep the agency relevant and that means looking for projects that will catch the eye of the people in control of their budgets.  Which is how mission creep happens. 

Which is how millions of our tax dollars are used on nonsense studies and then those that waste the money scream that they don't have enough money.