Five Ways the White House Could Have Stopped Ebola from Reaching U.S. Soil

Five Ways the White House Could Have Stopped Ebola from Reaching U.S. Soil

With the diagnosis of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan as Ebola Patient Zero, one thing is clear: The TSA can stop Dasani water bottles from accompanying passengers on airlines, but the feds aren’t willing to impose similar restrictions on, say, a lethal hemorrhagic virus from Africa.

How has the Obama administration responded to the diagnosis? By announcing that travel from Ebola-ravaged countries will not be restricted.

“We’ve provided guidance to pilots, flight attendants and others who are responsible for staffing our transportation infrastructure to ensure that if they notice individuals who are exhibiting symptoms that the proper authorities are notified,” said White House press secretary John Earnest Tuesday, according to The Hill. “[T]he administration has taken the step of re-circulating our guidance to make sure people are aware there is an important protocol that should be implemented.”

Earnest added that the likelihood of an Ebola outbreak striking the U.S. was “incredibly low.”

Why did the Obama administration send 1,400 American troops to Liberia on Tuesday to help contain the Ebola virus — and fail to secure the U.S. border against its spread?

The United States is the only country besides Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia to have a diagnosed case of Ebola within its borders. Many African nations, including South Africa and Kenya, have banned travel to and from the infected countries. So has the United Kingdom.

The White House announcement opens up the possibility of many more Liberians traveling to the U.S. — but the Obama administration had the power to prevent Ebola from reaching its borders. Five different failures in U.S. immigration enforcement and general government incompetence made it possible for a disease from the Third World to land in our backyard.

1. Unemployed, unmarried vagrant Thomas Duncan should not have qualified for a U.S. visa, period, Ebola-carrier status aside. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, Duncan had six strikes against him. He was unemployed — therefore he had no pay stubs to provide to a consular officer for consideration, and no way to prove he would not become a burden to taxpayers. He held citizenship in Ghana — but chose to live in Liberia, which has the fifth-highest rate of visa overstay in the world, as Ebola ravaged the country. He had never before visited the U.S. and planned to see his sister — who is part of a settlement of Liberians in Texas, comprised of many illegals, and many others who won green cards in the “diversity lottery.”

2. Duncan should not have been permitted to set foot on an airliner. Duncan helped a pregnant woman deathly ill with Ebola to a Liberian hospital, and after they turned them away, he carried the woman into her family’s home. He knowingly came into direct contact with the disease — and yet took it upon himself to board an intercontinental flight to visit family across the Atlantic.

The Washington Post complains that travel restrictions are “redundant,” since passengers boarding planes in West Africa are being screened for signs of a fever — by the same officials in countries incapable of controlling the outbreak without Western aid.

WaPo further scolds its readers: “Despite the fact that an infected passenger flew from Liberia to Dallas this month, that passenger, Duncan, was not sick — and was therefore not contagious — while he was traveling. And once people become symptomatic, they become very sick, very quickly.

In this case, it is unlikely that a sick person could go 10 days without seeking medical care,  CDC Director Tom Frieden said on Tuesday.”

Well, as long as Duncan didn’t have a fever on the plane, it doesn’t matter that he was violently vomiting outside of his apartment as medical workers, unaware he was contagious, took him back to the hospital.

3. The feds fail to convey urgency or seriousness and pass the buck to local hospitals, where paper protocols can quickly break down. The hospital failed to follow CDC containment procedure. Yes, the ambulance took him back to the hospital, Reuters reports. Back on September 25, Duncan visited Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital with a fever. He told a nurse he had been in Liberia as few as seven days ago — but incredibly, she failed to notify other hospital personnel of his travel history, disobeying CDC procedures that required placing Duncan in isolation immediately. Who knows how many people with whom Duncan truly came into contact? One thing is clear: When hospital ambulance crews loaded the vomiting Duncan onto a stretcher, they unknowingly exposed themselves to Ebola, and depriving the hospital of much-needed manpower.

4. The Obama administration failed to enforce existing immigration law to protect American citizens from epidemics in foreign countries. The Immigration and Nationality Act grants them power to discriminate — yes, discriminate — against foreigners who could pose a threat to Americans, whether it be from contagion, criminal character, mental illness, drug abuse, and a bevy of other disqualifications. Section 212 [ 8 U.S.C. 1182 ]

“Classes of Aliens Ineligible for Visas or Admission,” classifies anyone “who is determined (in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services) to have a communicable disease of public health significance” to be ineligible to receive U.S. visas. Surely Ebola, which has claimed 3,338 lives and threatens at least 1.4 million more in West Africa, qualifies. Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration refuses to execute this law: It also makes hundreds of thousands of Central American illegals pouring across the southern border, carrying other undiagnosed exotic diseases, ineligible for entry, let alone carting around the country in commercial airliners.

5. The Department of Health and Human Services has transformed into a political outfit too busy covering for Obamacare’s failures to respond to other health crises. The last two announcements from the department are both titled, “The Affordable Care Act is working.” Rather than drafting a set of emergency procedures to determine self-protective measures concerning travel and immigration, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell is busy preaching to the choir at a D.C. think tank.

Now: Imagine it’s 2005. A deadly Ebola outbreak has ravaged a community of Liberians living in Dallas, Texas, after a Ghana national flew into the states and vomited before his nephews and sister. He died after a few weeks in quarantine — none of the newly developed Ebola vaccines were available in the U.S., having been sent to American troops stationed in Liberia aiding African governments. The George W. Bush administration announced that the U.S. will not impose any travel restrictions or additional screenings on passengers traveling from West African countries — but quietly imposed restrictions later, after airline stocks tanked and more Africans from Ebola-stricken countries, desperate for medical care and asylum, flew to the U.S. and carried the virus with them. Imagine the feverish tweets from reporters.

In 2014, they won’t ask President Obama one simple question: When did it become White House policy to import deadly diseases into the U.S.?  

Follow Katie on Twitter: @k_mcq.


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