Our worst fears may be coming true.
A man in Braintree, who reported a recent travel history to West Africa, was quarantined with possible symptoms of Ebola yesterday. And a Dallas nurse who cared for Thomas Duncan, the Ebola-stricken Liberian man who died last week, has tested positive for the deadly disease.
This is what happens when President Obama refuses to ban travel to America from Ebola- ravaged countries in West Africa, strictly for political and politically correct reasons.
The Dallas case suggests that the disease is more contagious than Americans are being told, given the fact that the nurse who was in contact with Duncan was wearing full protective gear. It certainly calls into question Obama’s statement that “you cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus.”
By not banning flights — or shutting the southern border — Obama is putting our national security at risk, to say nothing of the 3,000 U.S. troops whose lives are now in danger after he nonsensically deployed them to Africa to fight the disease.
Obama has done all this in the face of warnings by experts such as Bart Janssens, director of operations from Doctors Without Borders, who said, “This epidemic is without precedent. It’s absolutely not under control, and the situation keeps worsening. … There are many places where people are infected but we don’t know about it.”
The L.A. Times is already reporting that “some question the official assertion that Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air.” The report went on to say that in late 1989, virus researcher Charles L. Bailey studied Ebola among several dozen rhesus monkeys in Reston, Va. What Bailey learned then informs his suspicion now that the current strain of Ebola might be spread through tiny liquid droplets propelled into the air by coughing or sneezing.
“We know for a fact that the virus occurs in sputum and no one has ever done a study (disproving that) coughing or sneezing is a viable means of transmitting,” he said. Unqualified assurances that Ebola is not spread through the air, Bailey said, are “misleading.”
In the face of that danger, Obama ordered screening centers at five major airports that welcome 95 percent of the flights coming in from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. These airports are now taking the temperatures of travelers from those countries.
The problem is, Ebola has a 21-day incubation period, meaning that a carrier may not display symptoms for weeks. Which strongly suggests that a carrier can arrive at JFK Airport with no temperature, pass a screening test and be allowed into the U.S. What’s more, people who know they have the disease can hide a temperature spike by taking an aspirin or an Ibuprofen just before their plane lands.
How in the world can you call this a sound health care policy to keep us safe?
Bottom line: We need a leader on Pennsylvania Avenue who puts American safety before politics and political correctness.