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Happy Talking CDC Director Refuses Straight Answer On Ebola Transmission

Happy Talking CDC Director Refuses Straight Answer On Ebola Transmission

CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden either refused or is incapable of giving CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta a straightforward answer to a very simple question: Can Ebola be transmitted through a cough, sneeze, or handshake. The CNN clip, first snagged by Twitchy, is equal parts staggering and terrifying — like something you see from an arrogant government official in a zombie movie before the plague explodes:

Courtesy of Twitchy, here’s a partial transcript:

Dr. Thomas Frieden: Well actually, Sanjay and I, if one of us had Ebola, the other would not be a contact right now. Because we’re not in contact. Just talking to someone is not a way to get infected. It’s not like the flu, not like the common cold. It requires direct physical contact.

CNN host Michaela Pereira: But if he sneezes on you, it’s a different story.

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta:  I am within 3 feet of you. Wouldn’t I be considered a higher risk? My understanding reading your guidelines, sir, is that within 3 feet or direct contact — if I were to shake your hand, for example — would both qualify as being contact.

Dr. Frieden: We look at each situation individually and we assess it based on how sick the individual is and what the nature of the contact is. And certainly if you’re within 3 feet, that’s a situation we’d want to be concerned about. But in this case, where we haven’t hugged — we haven’t shaken hands — we have not had any contact that would allow either of our body fluids to be in contact with the other person.

Gupta: So, to Michaela’s point, the reason we talk about coughing and sneezing not being a concern — if you were to have coughed on me — you’re saying that would not be of concern?

Dr. Frieden: We would look at that situation very closely…

The CDC itself — the very entity Frieden runs — warns that saliva, sweat, and mucus can transmit Ebola. That can include a lot of handshakes and almost all coughs and sneezes.

I understand that the government doesn’t want panic. But the best way to engender panic is to shatter the confidence the American people have in the CDC with non-answers like this.

Ebola’s best friend is government arrogance and stupidity.

Watching Frieden happy talk his way out of a simple, straightforward question is chilling. 

P.S. Naturally the federal government’s toadies at Vox.com are part of the dissembling campaign. 

John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC              

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