Monday, October 13, 2014

Barry - Bar the Door

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I woke yesterday morning to the news that a nurse caring for the "Index Patient" has tested positive for the Ebola Virus.  I guess when CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden, can't even call the "Index Patient" by name should have been a pretty good indication of elusive comments to follow in yesterday morning's Press Briefing in Atlanta.
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Excerpts from that briefing follow, along with a few questions I would have liked to ask if given the opportunity:
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Honest to Goodness Actual Press Briefing Excerpts:
.CDC update on Dallas Ebola Response, 10-12-2014
.TOM FRIEDEN: Good morning, everyone. And thank you for joining us. We're deeply concerned by the news that a health care worker in Texas has tested preliminarily positive for infection with Ebola virus. Confirmatory testing is under way at CDC and will be completed later today. 
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We don't know what occurred in the care of the index patient, the original patient in Dallas, but at some point there was a breach in protocol and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection.  [MoosNote:  My wife flew off the couch upon hearing this comment by Dr. Frieden - "So he's saying she was being unsafe because she 'WANTED' to get sick?!?!?"  By way of background, my wife is a Nurse Practitioner and has thirty-plus years of health care experience.  The uncomfortable thing banging around in the back of my head since hearing this comment is that maybe she DID everything she was told to do and she was still exposed and the Ebola virus is simply more aggressive and versatile than we are lead to believe by Dr. Frieden, President Obama, and others?"]


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[MoosNote:  I only wish there were a couple of things to do - oh look here they come now, courtesy of Dr. Frieden]
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There are four things that we're doing at this point. 
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  • First, to make sure we do everything possible to care safely and effectively for this individual. 
  • Second, assessing her possible contacts from the moment she developed symptoms. And the CDC team lead has investigated her. It appears at this time there's only one contact that may have had contact with her while she may have been infectious. That individual is under active monitoring. 
  • Third, we are evaluating other potential health care worker exposures because if this individual was exposed, which they were, it is possible that other individuals were exposed. We know that this individual did provide care to the index patient on multiple occasions and that care included extensive contact. 
  • Fourth, we will undertake a complete investigation of how this may have occurred. That's so important so we can understand it better and intervene to prevent this happening in the future.
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...
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I want to go into a little bit more detail first on what we are doing to promote safe and effective care and then on the investigation. In terms of safe and effective care, we had already begun several days ago [MoosNote:  So 'safe care' training BEGAN after the 'Index Patient' died?  That's like training the Fire Department how to use the pumper trucks after a building burns down and is already spreading to the local orphanage next door...] to ramp up the education and training of health care workers at this facility [MoosNote:  Um, how about all the OTHER facilities which will see Ebola patients coming in?].  
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  • The care of Ebola can be done safely, but it is hard to do it safely. It requires meticulous and scrupulous attention to infection control, and even a single inadvertent innocent slip can result in contamination.   [MoosNote:  But a week ago Dr. Frieden said you could sit on a bus next to someone with Ebola and be safe???  Yes, he actually DID say this]
  • Second, we are recommending to the facility that the number of workers who care for anyone with suspected Ebola be kept to an absolute minimum.   [MoosNote:  Later in this briefing he went on to say that they are now monitoring 48 OTHER health care providers who had access to this patient - 48 providers is the absolute MINIMUM required to keep one person alive???  Or not, in the case of the 'Index Patient'.]
  • Third, we recommend that the procedures that are undertaken to support the care of that individual be limited solely to essential procedures.  [MoosNote:  Would I be too cruel to whittle down the list of 'essential procedures' to a list of a single item? This being, of course, Taxpayer-funded transportation to the Crematorium.]
  • Fourth, we're looking at personal protective equipment, understanding that there is a balance and putting more on isn't always safer, it may make it harder to provide effective care. So all aspects of personal protective equipment.   [MoosNote:  Roughly translated, this means that the CDC needs more money from Congress to continue their 'Good Work' protecting all of us from deadly diseases before they get to the United States, um, never mind, they're already here...]
  • And fifth, we are recommending there be a full time individual who is responsible only for the oversight, supervision and monitoring of effective infection control while an Ebola patient is cared for. CDC has sent additional staff to Texas to assist with this response and we will continue to work closely with them.  [MoosNote:  Once again, the image a fully-involved orphanage in the midst of a fire should spring to mind here...]
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There were many, many other words inarticulately spoken by Dr. Frienden, but the bottom line is this:  Ebola is here and we are doing very little to prevent other 'Clusters of Infection' from occurring in Texas, or any other State of the Union.  One patient with Ebola shut down the Dallas health care system, what about other cases which will occur across the country?
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Why won't we try to prevent potentially-infected travelers from coming here?  I honestly don't know.  Maybe because he feels that cutting off travel from Africa is 'Racist'?  While Dr. Frieden was the head of the New York City DOHMH from 2002–2009 he had NO problem whatsoever for the elimination of trans-fats in food preparation, the limitations on the size of 'sugary' drinks you can buy, and he even introduced the "NYC Condom" (it's the official condom of the Big Apple!) - he has no problems with putting restrictions on anyone else's lifestyle, yet he has NOT called for the restriction of flights from infected areas originating in West Africa to the United States?  
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Yes, Dr. Frieden, will save you from Sugary Drinks in New York City but when it comes to potentially-fatal infectious diseases, you're pretty much on your own.  AND when asked why you can't shut down travel between 'infected places' and HERE, well, the folks at Politico.com covered it this way...

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"No.  No We Can't Keep it Out"

Politico.com, October 3, 2014:  CDC Chief On Ebola, We Can't Shut the Border
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Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Friday said restricting travel between the U.S. and West Africa would likely “backfire” and put Americans more at risk of contracting Ebola.
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.Appearing on MSNBC, Frieden was asked about potentially prohibiting air travel between the U.S. and West Africa, where the Ebola outbreak is most widespread. He said that such a restriction would likely be ineffective and would make it harder for health officials to root out the virus.
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Yup, you read this correctly, keeping Ebola out of the United States would put Americans at a greater risk of getting Ebola.  I'm sure a guy as smart as Tom Frieden COULD explain this given enough time and a squad of wordsmiths putting his thoughts together for him to repeat in public, but frankly I don't care.   If he sounds like a moron, he most likely is. 
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What I DO care about is that (once again) this Administration takes such great pains to NOT OFFEND ANYONE.  
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The do not want to tell ANYONE that they are not welcome here (except, of course, God-fearing heterosexual couples with kids - THOSE people must be punished).  
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The northern and southern borders are wide open, airports are open for business, and people just like me are going online to order pre-packaged food with a 25 year shelf life because, well, I'd like to be alive 25 years from now to eat the freeze-dried pasta and chicken a-la-trine (well, that's what we called it in Boy Scouts).  
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 I placed my order last night with Wise Food Company, as my wife helped me select the perfect 'stay-at-home-cause-the-stores-will-be-empty-except-for-zombies-with-Ebola-carriers' food storage options for our family!  If you get a moment, you might want to check it out yourself, you know, just in case I'm right and the Administration is wrong - come to think of it, this has happened a LOT in the past six years.  Maybe I should order more food?   

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Rahm Emanuel, working for the Obama Administration once said that, "You do not want to let a crisis go to waste."  Hey, maybe we can dodge just ONE crisis by avoiding it this time?  Puh-lease???  
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What do you say Dr. Frieden?  Any chance we can avoid 'screwing the pooch' just ONE TIME during this Administration?
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Oh.  No.  I didn't think so.  
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And for all you folks who want to leave the airports and borders as porous to Ebola contagion as my old gym socks - I only have one thing to say to you...
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     Oh yeah, I hate cats too, but I thought this was kind of funny.  It's the only thing I've seen funny in a long while.
 
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