Views On Ebola: America Needs To ‘Calm Down’; Political Criticism Is Off Base
Los Angeles Times: Calm Down, America, Ebola Isn't About To Kill Us All
A Texas university refuses to accept students from Nigeria, where there were a couple dozen Ebola cases before the disease was quickly stopped. Louisiana refuses to allow incinerated trash from the treatment of Texas' first Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan, into its landfills, as though the virus would survive immolation. A passenger on a cruise ship to Mexico who may have been exposed to lab samples from Duncan, but who appears to be healthy, is given a blood screening for Ebola even though the test isn't reliable in people without symptoms (10/20).
The Wall Street Journal: Reasons To Calm Down About Ebola
The Ebola epidemic ravaging Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea is unlikely to become a global pandemic, though an international response is critical. The isolated cases in the U.S., Spain and elsewhere are to be expected, but as long as public-health systems act with alacrity, this should not lead to new outbreaks (F. Landis MacKellar and Jose G. Siri, 10/20).
The Washington Post: A Public Dispute Between NIH Officials Over Ebola
Foes of medical research spending by the National Institutes of Health got a boost Sunday from an unlikely source: Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci, a media-friendly scientist, was asked on "Meet the Press" on Sunday about remarks on the Ebola outbreak made by Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health. ... I spoke Sunday night with Fauci, a longtime advocate for higher levels of medical research funding, to see why he had opened this public dispute with Collins. He said he agrees that "budget cuts have a lot to do with the slowing down of research" on Ebola and most everything else, but it’s possible that even with full funding, NIH might have encountered difficulty with the vaccine and couldn't persuade a corporate partner to make it (Dana Milbank, 10/20).
The Washington Post: Beating Ebola Through A National Plan
The appointment of Ebola czar Ron Klain is an important initial step in mobilizing a coordinated national effort to confront this deadly virus. As the first U.S. hospital to successfully treat Ebola patients, Emory University Hospital has a unique perspective on the scope of the effort and skill required to care for such patients while also protecting the staff and public. One key lesson learned has been that training and strictly following protocol are paramount. Although that may sound simple, it takes an enormous amount of dedication, resources and planning (John T. Fox, 10/20).
USA Today: Obama Critics Off-Base On Ebola
Sen. Ted Cruz, the Tea Party Republican who has little experience running anything bigger than his mouth, showed up Sunday on national television to hawk his call for President Obama to ban people in Ebola-plagued African countries from traveling to the United States. "For over two weeks, I've been calling on the (Obama) administration to take the common-sense stand of suspending commercial air travel" out of the three West African countries that are hard hit by the Ebola virus, the Texas senator said on CNN. When asked why the president should ignore the advice against the travel ban he received from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts, Cruz's responded by, in essence, calling them political hacks (DeWayne Wickham, 10/20).
Politico: No, A Surgeon General Couldn't Stop Ebola
I appreciate the question "where is the surgeon general on this?" And I understand the public desire for a more neutral medical voice to talk to them about Ebola—one who is also appointed by the president but not as directly involved in the government’s response as [CDC Director Thomas] Frieden, Fauci or the politicos giving them orders. But what we’re talking about here is a wish, not a reasonable expectation. What commentators have failed to acknowledge is the surgeon general is crippled—permanently, in my estimation—and in no position to rescue us from either Ebola or the hysteria that has accompanied it. It didn’t used to be that way, but that's how it is today (Mike Stobbe, 10/20).
Bloomberg: Will Ebola Be Good For The CDC?
Don't get me wrong: Fighting infection is still one of the things that the public health infrastructure does, and though I hope it doesn’t come to that, I expect that our system will do a much better job next time. But the CDC did not botch the job because there’s something wrong with Barack Obama, or government, or the state of Texas, or private hospitals. They dropped the ball because the public health system no longer needs to work so many miracles, and consequently hasn’t had much practice. We shouldn’t have let public health give us such an inflated belief in the power of government. But we also shouldn't forget that with the right task and the right tools, government is still capable of doing some wondrous things (Megan McArdle, 10/20).
The Wall Street Journal: Poll: Most Americans Positive About Ebola Response
For days now marathon media coverage of Ebola has been turning even the tiniest developments into "breaking news." ... But the American people have remained levelheaded. And with just a small number of cases reported in one city, the public seems far calmer about Ebola in the U.S. than either cable news or the debate inside the Beltway suggests (Drew Altman, 10/21).
The Washington Post: Ebola Caregivers Deserve A Parade
A man my age grows up wondering: Could I have hit the beach at Normandy? How would I have handled being trapped near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, thousands of Chinese pouring over the border and a bitter winter coming on fast? What about Vietnam, or later Iraq and then Afghanistan and Iraq again? I come not from the Greatest Generation but the Wondering One — lucky, a reaper of what others have sown, and now, jaw agape, I wonder about health workers who leave the comforts and certainties of the United States and go to Africa to treat Ebola patients. Who are these people? (Richard Cohen, 10/20).
Journal of the American Medical Association: Ebola In The United States: EHRs As A Public Health Tool At The Point Of Care
The readiness of the health care system for Ebola was challenged by the very first case. When Thomas E. Duncan went to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas in September, health care workers reportedly obtained and recorded his travel history, but the patient was nonetheless discharged home without being diagnosed as having Ebola. The press in part focused on whether the electronic health record (EHR) contributed to the missed diagnosis, but the right question to be asking is how a modern computer system should perform in this circumstance. The EHR appears to have performed exactly as expected. ... For many patients, travel history is not especially relevant. However, for Duncan, it was the single most important aspect of the case (Dr. Kenneth D. Mandl, 10/20).