Parents rushed to get their children from school Wednesday after learning five students may have had contact with the Ebola victim in a Dallas hospital, as Gov. Rick Perry and other leaders reassured the public there is no cause for alarm.
The patient, identified by The Associated Press as Thomas Eric Duncan of Liberia, arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 20 to visit family. Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson said county officials suspect 12 to 18 people may have come in contact with Duncan.
“Right now the base number is 18 people, and that could increase,” he said. Thompson said more details are expected by Thursday afternoon. The number includes five students at four different schools, Dallas school district Superintendent Mike Miles said.
“This case is serious,” Perry said at a press conference in Dallas at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Duncan is being treated. “Rest assured that our system is working as it should. Professionals on every level on the chain of command know what to do to minimize this potential risk to the people of Texas and of this country.”
Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, is resigning in the wake of several security breaches.
Ms. Pierson offered her resignation on Wednesday during a meeting with Jeh C. Johnson, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that oversees the Secret Service. The resignation came less than a day after lawmakers from both parties assailed Ms. Pierson’s leadership and said they feared for the lives of the president and others in the protection of the agency.
In a statement, Mr. Johnson said that he had appointed Joseph Clancy, a former agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, to become the Secret Service’s acting director. Mr. Clancy was in charge of the presidential detail the night in November 2009 when Michaele and Tareq Salahi, then a married couple, managed to get past Secret Service checkpoints for President Obama’s first state dinner without being on the guest list.
Mr. Obama called Ms. Pierson after her decision “to thank her for her service to the agency and the country,” said Josh Earnest, the president’s press secretary. “The president is deeply appreciative of her service.”
Mr. Johnson said that he was directing his deputy at the Department of Homeland Security to oversee an internal review of the Sept. 19 incident in which an intruder jumped over the fence around the White House and made it deep inside the mansion.
And bowing to growing demands for an outside inquiry by Democratic and Republican members of Congress, Mr. Johnson said that he would appoint a “distinguished panel of independent experts” to report recommendations to him by Dec. 15.
Yeah. Right. Distinguished panel…
Last Thursday morning as Colleen Hufford arose and readied for work, her thoughts very likely were on the day ahead, things needing to be done, realizing that tomorrow would be Friday and maybe even thinking up weekend plans with her grandchildren. Little did she know that she was en route to becoming another statistic, a sticking point in the manic affirmations of America’s leaders that her death, like so many before hers, “had nothing to do with Islam.”
But the truth is Ms Hufford’s grisly demise has everything to do with Islam, as does the death of the victims of Nidal Hasan in the Fort Hood rampage, the beheading of British Army drummer, Lee Rigby, in May of last year and countless other victims of this sick death cult we know as Islam.
Let’s not mince words here, the constant attempt at redefining reality by our leaders’ insistence that the Muslim violence we are witnessing on a daily basis has nothing to do with the Muslim religion, is frankly offensive and in the end encourages more and ever grislier acts of terror.
In “problem solving 101” we learned that location and formulation of the problem was the first step in finding a solution. However, covering one’s eyes and pretending there is no problem will not make the problem disappear. In point of fact, it will only make the problem bigger and much harder to solve.
So long as western leaders, like Barack Obama, David Cameron and others continue to insist that these acts of violence are mere “workplace violence” or “isolated instances” they will continue to provide cover to the insidious and duplicitous cancer growing in our midst.
I’m certain there are Muslims that do not agree with the violence, just as there were Germans that disagreed with the Nazis. We saw the results of the quiescence of the Germans who were too timid to speak out against the Nazis. We are beginning to see the results of the silence of so-called “moderate” Muslims.
President Barack Obama has spent more time golfing than he has spent listening to daily intelligence briefings.
The Daily Caller has calculated that he’s spent almost 700 hours in 875 “Presidential Daily Briefings” since 2009.
But he’s also spent roughly 800 hours on almost 200 golf trips since his first inauguration.
Obama’s golf trips typically last four and half hours, including one hour on the road. The longest trip took about six hours, according to regular reports from the media pool that follows the president on trips outside the White House.
In contrast, President George W. Bush largely gave up golfing during the Iraq campaign, from 2003 to 2008.
The daily briefing calculations are based on a new report by the Florida-based Government Accountability Institute, which reported Sept. 30 that Obama has attended 875 Presidential Daily Briefings over the course of his presidency.
Those briefings allow top intelligence officials to share their latest intelligence data on security threats, and also to focus the president’s attention on growing or novel problems.
The formal intelligence briefings usually last 45 minutes, according to the “daily guidance” schedules issued each evening by the White House. That time adds up to about 700 hours, so far.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning hospitals and doctors that “now is the time to prepare,” has issued a six-page Ebola “checklist” to help healthcare workers quickly determine if patients are infected.
While the CDC does not believe that there are new cases of Ebola in the United States, the assumption in the checklist is that it is only a matter of time before the virus hits home.
For example, one part reads: “Encourage healthcare personnel to use a ‘buddy system’ when caring for patients.” Another recommends a process to report cases to top officials:
Plan for regular situational briefs for decision-makers, including:
– Suspected and confirmed EVD patients who have been identified and reported to public health authorities.
– Isolation, quarantine and exposure reports.
– Supplies and logistical challenges.
– Personnel status, and policy decisions on contingency plans and staffing.
The checklist has been distributed to major hospitals and even little ones, including an urgent center in Leesburg, Va.
“Every hospital should ensure that it can detect a patient with Ebola, protect healthcare workers so they can safely care for the patient, and respond in a coordinated fashion,” warns the CDC.
According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, “The anti-vaccination movement is centered along California’s wealthy coastal and mountain communities; the highest numbers of personal-belief exemptions are among children who attend private schools.
“These aren’t parents who don’t have access to information — they’re true believers who can’t be convinced,” the article said.
The Atlantic says the sheer number of parents who have filed exceptions to having current vaccinations — as many as 60 to 70 percent in some schools — puts the local vaccination rate “as low as that of Chad or South Sudan. Unlike in Santa Monica, however, parents in South Sudan have trouble getting their children vaccinated because of an ongoing civil war.”
Dr. Paul A. Offitt, professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, summarizes the controversy surrounding vaccinations in a Wall Street Journal column. In the 1990s, he notes, media fanned worries that new vaccines could be damaging children, including thoughts that measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine might cause autism or that the preservative Thimerosal could trigger developmental delays.
“Then those stories disappeared. One reason was that study after study showed that these concerns were ill-founded. Another was that the famous 1998 report claiming to show a link between vaccinations and autism was retracted by The Lancet, the medical journal that had published it. The study was not only spectacularly wrong, as more than a dozen studies have shown, but also fraudulent. The author, British surgeon Andrew Wakefield, has since been stripped of his medical license. But the damage was done,” Offitt wrote.
There are some studies comparing the health of religious and nonreligious people. A 2010 study by Gallup showed that nonreligious people are more likely to smoke and less likely to eat healthy and exercise than the faithful. A 2004 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that religiously unaffiliated depressed inpatients are more likely to display suicidal behaviors than religiously affiliated patients. And a 2011 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that people in economically developed societies tend to have similar levels of subjective well-being regardless of religious affiliation. But studies rarely seem to single out people who have left religion. Even the Penn State study didn’t clarify how recently people had deconverted. Recent deconverts are, understandably, those most likely to see health effects, according to Dr. Darrel Ray.
Dr. Marlene Winell, a California psychologist and author of Leaving the Fold, compares leaving religion to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She even created a term for it: religious trauma syndrome (RTS), which she defines in an article for British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies as “struggling with leaving an authoritarian, dogmatic religion and coping with the damage of indoctrination.” Not every deconvert goes through RTS, but she writes that like PTSD, the impact of RTS is “long-lasting, with intrusive thoughts, negative emotional states, impaired social functioning, and other problems.” RTS is not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, though, and some critics say it is just PTSD, applied to religion.
Any negative experiences after leaving religion, from depression to social isolation, can take a toll on your physical health. Isolation, according to a six-year study out of the University of Chicago, can cause health problems such as disrupted sleep, elevated blood pressure, and a 14 percent greater risk of premature death. Depression can cause fatigue, trouble concentrating, headaches, and digestive disorders; and persistent anxiety can cause muscle tension and difficulty sleeping, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Anxiety is also sometimes linked to stomach ulcers, said Dr. Javier Campos.
Campos, a family practice doctor in Kerrville, Texas, says he will sometimes ask patients about their spiritual lives, if he thinks it’s affecting their health or if they’re going through the loss of a loved one. He’s observed a link between his patients’ thoughts on the afterlife and their physical health.
Since for many people, religion means being part of a community, and belief in an afterlife can make death less frightening, leaving that behind can lead to isolation and anxiety. The end of a positive religious experience can lead to a decrease in health, as was the case for Penfold. But leaving a negative religious experience may be a way to boost health, especially if someone has a nonreligious community to support them, as Erlandson did. But one way or another, a person’s faith, or lack thereof, is often so important that it affects physical, as well as spiritual, well-being.
So says this story from Montana. Because that state has one.
There are four places in the United States set up to handle a patient sickened by the Ebola virus, and Missoula is one of those.
It has been since 2007, in fact.
St. Patrick Hospital administrators have no notice about when or if they will be asked to care for someone stricken with the disease that’s killed more than 3,000 people in Africa in 2014. But the hospital has a special wing of its intensive care unit with three rooms modified to safely handle infectious diseases like Ebola.
The other U.S. sites cleared for Ebola treatment are in Bethesda, Maryland; Atlanta; and Omaha, Nebraska. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have deployed teams of health workers to numerous sites in West Africa to slow the epidemic’s progress. U.S. military personnel have also been sent there to build hospital clinics, although Risi said those people would not be performing any care or have contact with Ebola patients.
A North Texas hospital has a patient in isolation as they evaluate them for potential exposure to the Ebola virus.
Officials with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas released the following statement Monday night:
“Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has admitted a patient into strict isolation to be evaluated for potential Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) based on the patient’s symptoms and recent travel history. The hospital is following all Centers for Disease Control and Texas Department of Heath recommendations to ensure the safety of patients, hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and visitors. The CDC anticipates preliminary results tomorrow.”
The patient’s travel history and specific symptoms remain unclear, but it is said to involve a high fever and vomiting. The name of the patient has not been released.
CBS 11 News spoke with Dallas County Health and Human Services director Zachary Thompson, who confirmed that the patient had been in the West Africa area where the Ebola virus exists.
Update: I’ve just watched the CDC’s press conference on the Ebola patient. He is not a US citizen, though the CDC refused to confirm that outright. He entered the US from Liberia, and was staying with family in the Dallas area. He entered on September 20. On September 24 he entered the hospital with unspecified illness (which we now know is Ebola), but he was sent home. He re-entered the hospital on September 28. He showed no signs or symptoms when he left Liberia.
Ebola tends to take about 21 days to manifest, so the CDC is trying to track down every person this man came into contact with since his symptoms first appeared around September 24-25, as that is when Ebola becomes contagious.
It’s as if they WANT something to happen to Barry…
A security contractor with a gun and three convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident.
Obama was not told about the lapse in his security, these people said. The Secret Service director, Julia Pierson, asked a top agency manager to look into the matter but did not refer it to an investigative unit that was created to review violations of protocol and standards, according to two people familiar with the handling of the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The incident, which took place when Obama visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis, rattled Secret Service agents assigned to the president’s protective detail.
The private contractor first aroused the agents’ concerns when he acted oddly and did not comply with their orders to stop using a cellphone camera to record the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident.