E is for Epidemic

E is also for Enterovirus and Ebola, two diseases we’ve heard a lot about.  Before discussing them consider one simple fact.  The President, the CDC, and Immigration all have the authority and responsibility to secure our borders against foreign disease; in fact there’s a list of diseases that will prevent a legal immigrant from entering.  These include TB, plague, and hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola.  This administration failed.

Enterovirus EV-D68 reached epidemic levels, infecting children in almost every state, paralyzing some and killing others.  Enteroviruses, which include polio, have been around for years, but it’s a strange coincidence that this particularly virulent strain hit so hard right after illegal immigrants from Central America were distributed around the country just in time for school to start.  We don’t know what other diseases or parasites they carried because the CDC won’t release the facts.  We do know that an outbreak of measles is spreading in the Southwest.  Another coincidence?

Ebola reached epidemic levels in western Africa but not in North America.  It’s high fatality rate and long incubation period make it both fearsome and hard to contain.  There are only four hospitals in the US with containments certified for the deadliest diseases, of which Ebola is one, yet we’re told most hospitals can safely treat Ebola patients.  Yeah, sure.  Sending our troops to help contain Ebola in Africa is potentially a suicide mission.  Even highly trained and equipped health care workers caught Ebola.  The best containments to prevent Ebola from spreading in the US are our borders. Like terrorists, it’s better to keep diseases out than fight them once they’re here.  As soon as one traveler arrived from Africa with Ebola there should have been restrictions on arrivals from infected nations.  Other countries did.

The impact of a major epidemic could surpass the worst disaster movie, with riots, food shortages, and economic collapse.  We’ve heard all those, so consider a less-discussed scenario.  During the Black Death (1348-51), people didn’t understand that the plague was caused by germs hosted by fleas hosted by rats, but they did observe it spread faster in crowded cities, so some fled to the countryside.  What would happen today if large numbers of people fled big cities and arrived in small ones expecting food, shelter and medical care?  Martial law is a sorry response to a situation that could be prevented by government officials doing their jobs.

Politicized agencies are ineffective agencies. Politicized agency heads must be replaced.


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