Centers for Dysfunction & Confusion

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The story of the fight against Ebola now playing out in Dallas, Atlanta and Bethesda, Maryland captures our attention for very obvious reasons. But it also deserves our attention for another, much more cynical reason.

Amber Vinson is a nurse at Dallas’s Presbyterian Hospital who had “extensive contact,” according to hospital spokesmen, with Thomas Duncan, who died of the Ebola virus. Because of that exposure, Ms. Vinson was told to self-monitor her temperature and to report any increase to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. She was not warned, however, to avoid commercial air travel.

Vinson traveled on Frontier Airlines to Cleveland on the day that Thomas Duncan died and she returned to Dallas on Monday of this week (Oct. 13, 2014).

Prior to her return flight on Monday, she called the CDC and advised them that she had a slightly elevated temperature of 99.5 degrees. The CDC told her that it was OK for her to fly.

On Wednesday, Amber Vinson became the second health care worker to be diagnosed with Ebola. Everyone on board that flight must now be tracked and monitored.

If you want to understand why Americans have so little faith in government this story might shed some light.

If you have been deeply immersed in an environment contaminated by Ebola and if you know that fever is an early symptom of the disease, common sense should tell you, ‘Don’t get on an airplane with a fever.’

I submit that Amber Vinson should have reached that conclusion on her own but let’s don’t pick on her right now.

The CDC, however, is another matter. They deserve no quarter.

In the 1950s, the virus that everyone feared was polio. It was epidemic, it was highly communicable and it had devastating consequences.

Following Jonas Salk’s success in creating a polio vaccine, the agency that now calls itself the Centers for Disease Control put together a campaign to vaccinate the entire U.S. population. That effort was textbook in its efficiency and effectiveness. No one fears polio anymore.

Jump ahead 60 years and that same agency that saved an entire continent from a terrible disease is now a bloated, sclerotic bureaucracy with 15,000 employees and a budget of $7 billion.

It is now so bureaucratically laden that when presented with straightforward facts and asked to render a simple (and obvious) decision, it gets lost in the arcane language of impenetrable “protocols” rather than simply applying common sense. “She [Amber Vinson] did not fall into a clear category,” said a CDC spokesman.

Yet another example of a government that is so big and tries to do so much that it almost literally can no longer do anything.

Aside from our immediate concerns regarding Ebola, we must also be concerned that as this Leviathan government expands its role in our health care, this won’t be the last time that a lack of common sense will have life or death ramifications.

Does anyone remember the VA scandals?

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. L Miles says:

    Big, bloated, pregnant, protectionist, patrician, putrid, petty, PERMANENT, and incompetent political bureaucracies are the product of our corrupt government with little or no accountability to us the people for whom they were created to serve (so they claim). The truth is that most of the federal government bureaucracies, today, are filled with poltroons that operate to protect their positions and parasitic growth to carry out administrative (official sounding) tyranny on the population.

    They are the fourth branch of government, unelected, and beyond reform by any political party but instead force Leftist and PC correct dogma on their victims, the peasants, us. Billions are wastefully spent on foolishness and no one in elected positions has the energy, power or conscience to slay these dragons. The Republicans had EIGHT years to poison these vile and noxious weeds and did little to stop it.

    Now, innocent citizens are going to die because of this anonymous, dis-attached, uncaring and incompetent bag of empty suits. Now, the VA-like Obama Care bureaucracy (newly created in secret by this incompetent so-called President) is going to protect us from Ebola by sending troops to Africa and not the border? How stupid does he think we are?

    There is plenty of recent evidence that other African countries STOPPED the Ebola virus in their own countries by blocking travel from other infected countries that are NOT succeeding in halting the virus. Why doesn’t our conceited and omnipotent government do the same? Because it would be discriminatory to the rest of the world because we owe them for our past sins and don’t want to discourage any illegal alien violation of and flow across our southern borders which will become the new Democrat voters of the future.

  2. pk says:

    Ah yes.
    Then you add the incessant lying that occurs & its amazing that ANY info gets to the USA public.

    Harry Truman signed the bill into law ( or was it an oral idea?); that said any gov’t entity could LIE to us if ‘they thought ” the info was going to cause too much of a situation that the PUBLIC couldn’t handle it”

    Wow, that brought forth a burst of words that has not ever stopped to this day.

    Since then the public has been regularly lied to, hornswaggled & demeaned to our face.( Remember Obama ” you will able to keep your Doctor/insurance/taxes not ‘one dime higher'” Clinton” I never had sew with that woman”.etc)

    No one calls it LYING anymore; just euphemisms galore.

    Does anyone remember the 10 Commandments??
    Isn’t not lying one of them??

    Or it that just ‘old fashioned’ & not of value anymore.??
    Maybe morals period are just “too old fashioned ” now.

    If people could address ‘lying’ for what it is & stop with the “PC”
    we could begin to correct a bit of what’s wrong here.

  3. Linda E. Montrose says:

    The whole thing with government being what it is today began with and will only end with…WE, THE PEOPLE! Government has become as it is because we have not done OUR job in vetting who we put in office. Not only that, but we keep re-electing the same people out of pure laziness. It is easier to stay with the devil you know…is that it? Well, the devil we know has gotten us to the point where we are now. Instead of nipping government lies in the bud, we make excuses and jokes about it. No one is to blame but ourselves for the mess we are in today. We can whine and gripe all we want about what is going on, but only ONE thing will stop it. When WE, THE PEOPLE start doing OUR job and get these bozos OUT OF OFFICE and put new people in AND if they don’t do right, get rid of them as well. If we do this enough, they WILL get the message! At days end, it is OUR responsibility to get this country back on track because it isn’t going to do it on it’s own!

  4. R. Eagleman says:

    My comments somewhat echo P.K. and L. Miles regarding the absolute incompetence of the C.D.C. administrator, as well as the multitudes of other political appointees throughout our government. The appointment of a spin doctor as czar to oversee the Ebola crisis, only confirms that our president is more interested in P.R. management than the public health of our citizens. When you see stooges like Drs. Frieden and Fauci making such inane statements about how restricting travel into this country from those Ebola hotbeds will make conditions worse, just remember from whence they come. In my experience with these career government doctors, they are the absolute bottom of the barrel in competence; however, they have the highest regard for their own self-worth. Many of them were never able to pass the state medical board exams, and/or not prepared to compete in private practice; therefore, they were welcomed into the security and comfort of government employment. When one hears these so-called experts come to such definite conclusions about anything, especially serious issues like Ebola, keep it in perspective and let your own common sense prevail.

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