Doofus Of The Day #792

Today’s award goes to the Centers for Disease Control and their pathetically inadequate – not to mention incomprehensibly flawed – attempts to deal with the Ebola crisis.  The latest example of their crass stupidity was uncovered yesterday.

The CDC has announced that the second healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola … traveled by air Oct. 13, with a low-grade fever, a day before she showed up at the hospital reporting symptoms.

. . .

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. John LaPook reports that Vinson called the CDC several times before boarding the plane concerned about her fever.

“This nurse, Nurse Vinson,  did in fact call the CDC several times before taking that flight and said she has a temperature, a fever of 99.5, and the person at the CDC looked at a chart and because her temperature wasn’t 100.4 or higher she didn’t officially fall into the category of high risk,” said Dr. LaPook on the CBS Evening News.

. . .

“Those who have exposures to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline,” said Dr. Frieden. “The CDC guidance in this setting outlines the need for controlled movement. That can include a charter plane; that can include a car; but it does not include public transport. We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement.”

There’s more at the link.

Can’t blame the nurse for this – she did precisely and exactly what she’d been told to do, and asked the CDC for clearance.  Inexplicably, they gave it.  The plane she took had scores of other passengers aboard, all of whom must now be monitored;  and it was used for five flights after she disembarked before it was taken out of service to be decontaminated.  All of the passengers on those flights are now also at risk.  I’m sure they’re comforted to know it’s a low risk . . . and I’m sure they’d like to know why the CDC allowed them to be put at risk in the first place!

As the Los Angeles Times noted yesterday:  “The United States does not remotely have an Ebola crisis, but it is beginning to have a crisis of confidence in the Obama administration’s handling of the matter.”  Perhaps the administration needs to learn a few lessons from Firestone . . .



  1. Thomas Duncan should have been treated by a small group of volunteers who agreed to 3 weeks of isolation after his treatment ended – not 78 people with inadequate training and equipment.

  2. One might almost suspect that the near-term objective is to create a real crisis, so that the CDC can get emergency funding (which becomes part of next year's baseline, of course) to expand back into its original core mission.
    The culture of failing upward doesn't exactly encourage doing the job right the first time. Nor the second.

  3. They only started to take precautions after the tests came back positive for Ebola. And then it's alleged they didn't even have proper protective equipment.

    Furthermore, it seems to me you could pretty much close down every hospital if everyone coming in with flu symptoms had to be handled like a potential ebola victim.

    Some on reddit, who's from Dallas and successfully predicted what news would say has claimed 5 to 6 people are probably infected.

    No one's even mentioning that some % of people who get Ebola never develop symptoms. Or that Ebola survivors can infect someone through genital contact up to 50 days after their symptoms cleared up..

  4. Yeah..The old Reagan joke is coming back to haunt us.

    The liberals are running the joint and we are seeing just how clueless the experts really are.

    Hubris…It is sorely missing right now.

  5. Sooo… They won't ban people from flying in from overseas, but they'll ban Americans from flying… What's that telling us??? AND what is the CDC NOT telling us?

  6. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? All the CDC can do is recommend. The nurse chose to board that flight despite the knowledge that she may have been exposed. Regardless of any advice or "permission" she may have recieved, she, and she alone, made that decision.

  7. I started out not concerned at all about Ebola – quarantining people isn't that hard. Now I'm concerned, because the people managing the quarantine ARE that incompetent.

    My hospital's official plan is to do pretty much what the Texas hospital did – bare minimum of equipment, our training is a 30 minute online course, no additional precautions at triage. I'd walk out the door if they asked me to take care of an Ebola patient at this point. The administrators who put the moronic policy together can come down and treat the patient.

  8. It used to be a joke that "the government can't run anything successfully." Not a joke anymore. I can't name a single governmental agency at the federal level that hasn't screwed up big time in the last few years. It's as if the incompetent rather than the cream have risen to the top. We are in deep kimchi.

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