Viewpoints: Examining The U.S. Ebola Response, Possible Solutions, Facts Vs. Fear, And The Need For Candor
The New York Times: Keeping Ebola At Bay
The Ebola cases in the United States show that American hospitals and public health officials have much to learn about effective ways to protect health care workers and the public from possible infection. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the first hospital put to the test, failed to protect two nurses, who had cared for the Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, from becoming infected. Perhaps more alarming are the stumbles by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lead federal agency for fighting infectious diseases (10/16).
The Washington Post: Bipartisan Solutions, Not Blame, Can Help In Managing Ebola
The Ebola virus reached this country at the height of the 2014 campaign, so perhaps it was inevitable that the political parties would try to exploit it. To Republicans, the situation proves once again that President Obama has failed to protect Americans. In one of the milder versions of this allegation, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal published an op-ed faulting Mr. Obama for spending Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources on grants for exercise and healthy diets rather than fighting infectious disease. Some Democrats say, meanwhile, that we wouldn’t have to worry about Ebola if not for budget cuts to the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, for which the GOP alone is to blame. As one especially inflammatory TV ad puts it: “Republican cuts kill” (10/16).
Politico Magazine: How To Stop Ebola
Like so many of the challenges we face, ending this epidemic requires proactive leadership in the form of a comprehensive strategy and focused execution. Given the rapid spread of the virus, there’s no time to waste. Here are five simple steps that will go a long way to accomplishing that goal (Sen. Rob Portman, 10/16).
The Washington Post: Fight Fear Of Ebola With The Facts
When you work in public health, you become tuned in to fear. And the fear level in the United States just ticked up a notch. All our high-tech equipment, protective gear and disease management didn’t protect two Dallas nurses from Ebola. When government officials tell us we are safe and then caregivers get sick, what does this do to trust? (Richard E. Besser, 10/15).
The Washington Post: Nothing To Fear But Panic Itself
Richard Preston, whose 1994 book “The Hot Zone” brought the Ebola virus terrifyingly to life for readers, once described how, during his research, his biohazard suit had ripped open, exposing him to a potentially fatal toxin (David Ignatius, 10/16).
The Wall Street Journal: Who Do They Think We Are?
The administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis continues to be marked by double talk, runaround and gobbledygook. And its logic is worse than its language. In many of its actions, especially its public pronouncements, the government is functioning not as a soother of public anxiety but the cause of it. An example this week came in the dialogue between Megyn Kelly of Fox News and Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control (Peggy Noonan, 10/16).
The Washington Post: On Ebola, We Need A Dose Of Candor
Let’s make a deal: We’ll all promise not to panic about Ebola if the experts — especially those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — agree to get their stories straight. They should begin by giving a better explanation of why they have concluded it would be wrong to “stop the flights” arriving from the Ebola “hot zone,” beginning with the fact that there are no such flights: There is no direct commercial air service between the countries at the epicenter of the outbreak — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea — and the United States (Eugene Robinson, 10/16).
The Washington Post: Ebola Vs. Civil Liberties
Unnervingly, the U.S. public health services remain steps behind the Ebola virus. Contact tracing is what we do, Centers for Disease Control Director Tom Frieden assured the nation. It will stop the epidemic “in its tracks.” And yet nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who developed Ebola, were not even among the 48 contacts the CDC was initially following. Nor were any of the doctors and nurses who treated the “index patient,” Thomas Duncan. No one even had a full list of caregivers (Charles Krauthammer, 10/16).