October 18, presumably from Washington, D.C….in his weekly radio address President Obama vowed that travel to West Africa would not be “cut off”. His address continued relating that protocols are in place and work, etc. How would he know? Have his years in the healthcare field made him an expert on droplet precautions and personal protective equipment? Never mind the fact that he appointed a “Czar” over Ebola who has even less medical expertise than does the sitting US President. Hyperbole, panic, and politics aside…is this a joke?
Fact: healthcare workers know about PPE (personal protective equipment). Unfortunately, precautions are not always implemented when a patient is first admitted as no diagnosis can be made until an exam is performed. There is lag time between triage and treatment, even in the best hospitals. Therefore, healthcare workers and other patients are inadvertently put at risk. It is absurd to think government workers at airports, and other travelers, would fair better than trained professionals.
Fact: Obama is President of the United States, not West Africa. The U.S. boasts the most generous, compassionate citizenry in world history. In order for that to continue, however, wisdom and discretion must be exercised to first protect American Citizens before aid can be rendered to others.
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Fact: Ebola is not some random new disease. It was identified in 1976. U.S. Presidents over nearly 40 years, a generation, have been able to keep this deadly virus from spreading to the U.S. homeland. Until now.
Fact: Obama has utilized his authority to suspend travel to the U.S. from other parts of the world on previous occasions. Apparently, human rights violators are unwelcome on his watch, but potentially infectious folks are free to enter. He even placed some restrictions on travel from Israel as recently as July of 2014. He did not, however, take that measure toward Russia or Ukraine.
Fact: Geographical isolation is one of the “protocols” known to work in cases of highly contagious diseases. Whoever the President is quoting when he says, “Trying to seal off an entire region of the world–if that were even possible–could actually make the situation worse…It would make it harder to move health workers and supplies back and forth” clearly knows less about infectious disease than the POTUS or the Ebola Czar. Military flights and approved charters for aid are not impacted by general travel bans, either so….
Fact: The U.S. is one of the few Western Nations who has not yet imposed travel restrictions to and from this region. Even other African nations are taking this precaution.
The motives of President Obama are unknown, but his complete lack of a grasp on this situation is obvious. When the emergency is medical, perhaps an epidemiologist would be a good choice to oversee it. Contagious disease on another continent? It is in the best interest of people on this continent that it stay there.