Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, October 13, 2014

Viruses and the Spreading of Fear

"AN OBSERVATION," by Infidel753.


Oct 12 (Reuters) - "A man in Massachusetts who was being evaluated at a Boston hospital for a possible Ebola infection does not appear to have the deadly disease, officials at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said on Sunday night.

The patient, who recently returned from Liberia, had complained of headache and muscle aches, prompting his admittance to an isolation ward with close monitoring, the hospital said. 'This patient does not appear to meet CDC criteria to be considered someone at high risk for Ebola and the likelihood of Ebola Virus Disease is extremely low,' the hospital said in a statement emailed to Reuters. Even so, the patient will remain in isolation, the hospital said."


 "On Sunday, a United Airlines flight from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York landed at an isolated terminal at Los Angeles International Airport after a passenger who had recently visited Africa began vomiting and running a fever, officials said. However, it turned out that the woman had visited South Africa, which is not an area of concern for Ebola.

 The Massachusetts patient first reported to the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates hospital in Braintree, Massachusetts, and was then transferred to Beth Israel, said Ben Kruskal, a physician and chief of infectious disease at Vanguard, in a statement. Kruskal said the Braintree building was closed briefly but reopened."

The internet is in full panic and fear mode since the first case of Ebola in Texas was reported.  All one has to do is visit some of the far right blogs to see the hysteria and just plain idiotic finger-pointing -- the more red in tooth and claw bloggers and shock radio idiots are blaming President Obama for the Ebola outbreak and even accusing the president of deliberately spreading the virus for political reasons:  

From a red in tooth and claw blog:

"Let us consider this: never let a good crisis go to waste, and if there is not a crisis, then create one. So we had Valarie Jarrett telling everyone, 'There will be payback,' and now we have Ebola here in America. What an amazing coincidence!" 

"... my thoughts exactly- import the disease- create a crisis- a set up – for sure– "

" If obama would have had a son, it may have been Ebola."

Robert Fisk, writing about fear mongering attitudes from the crazed right on the subject of ISIS or ISIL had this to say about those who give into their deepest fears and hatreds (and it applies to the Ebola issue as well):

At its most basic, you have only to read the viciousness of internet chatrooms. Major newspapers – hopelessly late – have only now started to realise that chatrooms are not a new technical version of “Letters to the Editor” but a dangerous forum for people to let loose their most-disturbing characteristics. Thus a major political shift in the Middle East, transferred to the internet, takes on cataclysmic proportions.

We now have far right Americans actually believing that President Obama deliberately spread the ebola virus for some obscure political reason.  And the people who sincerely believe this want their party and the people they approve of and vote for to take control of our government.  

This is massive ignorance and sickening paranoia on display.  Just as dangerous to the US as a deadly virus.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself and right wing fear mongers.

UPDATE (What you won't read on the fear-mongering and Obama slandering blogs):

CHART: Public Health Emergency Funding Has Taken Major Hit

"A writer for Scientific American recently pointed out that funding for the Center for Disease Control's funding for public health preparedness has taken serious hits over the course of the past decade. 

 According to funding data analyzed by Judy Stone, annual funding for preparedness efforts have fallen by $1 billion between 2002 and 2013."

Ebola Vaccine Would Likely Have Been Found By Now If Not For Budget Cuts: NIH Director

Who controls the purse strings for funding? 


Vickie O. said...

The Republicans have BLOCKED Obama's attempts to appoint a Surgeon General. And now McCain wants an Ebola Czar. What a joke this Congress is.

Wank Files said...

Whenever there's a scary story, especially one about sicknesses, you'll find a wingnut cowering under the bed yelling IT'S OBAMA'S FAULT!

Rational Nation USA said...

Correction... What a joke American politics are.

Duckys here said...

The fringe right reaction to the NH funding story has been instructive.

The usual suspects are incensed that liberals would imply the cuts are responsible for slowing vaccine development.
To their credit they are sensible enough to avoid discussing why the private sector hadn't stepped up. Although now that their is a huge potential market that can pay inflated prices tat may change.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'" Collins told The Huffington Post on Friday. "Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready."
'It's not just the production of a vaccine that has been hampered by money shortfalls. Collins also said that some therapeutics to fight Ebola "were on a slower track than would've been ideal, or that would have happened if we had been on a stable research support trajectory."
'"We would have been a year or two ahead of where we are, which would have made all the difference," he said.

'Speaking from NIH's headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, the typically upbeat Collins was somber when discussing efforts to control the Ebola epidemic. His days are now spent almost exclusively on the disease. But even after months of painstaking work, a breakthrough doesn't seem on the immediate horizon.

'Money, or rather the lack of it, is a big part of the problem. NIH's purchasing power is down 23 percent from what it was a decade ago, and its budget has remained almost static. In fiscal year 2004, the agency's budget was $28.03 billion. In FY 2013, it was $29.31 billion -- barely a change, even before adjusting for inflation.

The situation is even more pronounced at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a subdivision of NIH, where the budget has fallen from $4.30 billion in FY 2004 to $4.25 billion in FY 2013...'