With the announcement last week that a second nurse had contracted the Ebola virus – and then flown with the Ebola virus already manifesting as a “low-grade” fever – it has become clear that the government is not in control of the situation. Already, the Centers for Disease Control have announced that they will be adopting stricter protocols in the future, which would make perfect sense given that any common sense standard would include travel bans on those who treat Ebola patients.
According to the nurse’s union, “the hospital supplied safety suits with exposed necks, forcing nurses to use medical tape to cover their skin, and played down the need for more-protective face masks.” The current CDC standards still are not sufficient according to medical sources. Meanwhile, some sources speculate that Ebola could go airborne in the near future, and the president has responded by appointing a czar whose best-known credentials involve serving as an aide to Joe Biden.
This means that many of those who have downplayed the risks of Ebola look particularly foolish today. Here are six prominent voices who downplayed or underestimated the risk of Ebola spreading:
President Barack Obama. Just weeks ago, President Obama said that the government had done everything necessary to ensure “that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States.” Obviously, that wasn’t true. And now Obama has shifted the goalposts – he says that the odds of an outbreak in the United States are “extremely low.” This seems less than reassuring.
CDC Director Tom Frieden. In July, Frieden said there was no “potential of Ebola spreading widely in the US. That is not in the cards.” In September, Frieden explained, after the arrival of the first Ebola patient in Dallas, “I have no doubt we will stop this in its tracks in the US.” He even said that officials had trained to stop the spread of disease: “This kind of contract tracing is core public health, it’s what we do day in and day out.” After a nurse contracted Ebola, Frieden then blamed her for supposedly violating protocols – after which the CDC rewrote its protocols.
Lisa Monaco, Homeland Security Assistant to the President. On October 3, Monaco held a press briefing in which she stated, “We know how to do this, and we will do it again” in terms of containing Ebola, she said. “It’s very important to remind the American people that US has the most capable healthcare system and the most capable doctors in the world, bar none,” she explained. A few days later, the two nurses in Dallas were diagnosed with Ebola.
Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. On October 3, Fauci explained that the US healthcare system is “very, very, very well-established.” He then said an outbreak was extremely unlikely. He admitted that while Dallas had screwed up with regard to Thomas Eric Duncan, the federal government was handling things well: “There are things that did not go the way they should have in Dallas. Although there were missteps there, there were good things that happened also.” Again, just days later, two nurses were diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas.
Stephen Monroe, Deputy Director of the National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at CDC. In July, Monroe explained, “the likelihood of this outbreak spreading outside of West Africa is very low.” By September, Monroe had changed his tune. “It’s gone beyond an Ebola crisis to a humanitarian crisis,” he stated. “It does require more of a US government-wide response, more than just CDC.”
Ben Shapiro, Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large. Oh yeah. Sorry about that. I wrote back in August, “Despite the media furor surrounding the outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa – and despite the repeated testing throughout the United States and Europe of travelers arriving from Africa – worries about an Ebola outbreak in America are wildly overblown….We’ll be okay. Just remember to keep flushing the toilet.” So far, this isn’t exactly wrong. But I broke my own cardinal rule: don’t trust the government, because they will invariably screw things up.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.