So here’s the big symbolic “screw you, Chris Christie” press conference that I thought was going to happen yesterday. Christie wants mandatory precautionary quarantines of health-care workers returning from the hot zone, so Obama’s going to show him what a hysterical overreaction that is by appearing personally with some of those workers. Who, by the way, are currently still in the incubation period.
“What about science?” wondered Noah on Twitter.
— Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@drsanjaygupta) October 29, 2014
Explain this to me. Has the CDC now decided that transmission is impossible when someone is asymptomatic, regardless of how recent their contact with Ebola patients might be? If the answer is yes, then how come they’re urging people at “high risk” of contracting the disease (e.g., people who cared for someone with Ebola without wearing protective clothing) to stay away from public gatherings for 21 days? Presumably none of the doctors here are at high risk, but that’s not the point. The point is, if being asymptomatic means you absolutely, positively 100 percent cannot transmit the disease, then why do even high-risk people need to stay away from the public? Let ’em go bowling until the minute they start to feel weird or a little feverish or start vomiting blood.
I’m going to guess that each of these people was tested for Ebola verrrry recently before meeting The One, probably within the past few hours. There are pioneering new methods out there that can give you a result in as little as 30 minutes outside a lab. The White House must have its hands on one of those methods. Or maybe not: If there’s any lesson from the endless Secret Service scandals, it’s that O seems to be perennially in danger thanks to the gigantic incompetence of the security people around him. Either way, the man’s obviously willing to go the extra mile when it comes to winning a fight for power with the states in the court of public opinion, including posing for pics with people who might have Ebola.
Update: Oh, forgot to mention: Remember when Bob Goodlatte claimed there were plans afoot within the administration to bring non-citizens to the U.S. for Ebola care? Lefties laughed at that because of course wingnuts and their representatives hear crazy theories and pass them along uncritically all the time. Well, here’s the State Department memo:
The document goes on to discuss – and advocate for — devising such a plan. The memo recommends that “State and DHS devise a system for expeditious parole of Ebola-infected non-citizens into the United States as long as they are otherwise eligible for medical evacuation from the Ebola affected countries and for entry into the United States.”
Explaining that recommendation, the memo says the U.S., for instance, has an “obligation” to help non-citizen employees of U.S. agencies and U.S.-based private firms. It says the U.S. “needs to show leadership and act as we are asking others to act by admitting certain non-citizens into the country for medical treatment for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) during the Ebola crisis.”