Tuesday, October 21, 2014

So, the Republicans decreased funding for the CDC’s Ebola research

Commentary by James Shott

An ad produced and being run by the Agenda Project Action Fund says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding has been cut by $585 million since 2010 and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) saw its budget cut by $446 million. Interspersed along the way are brief visuals of various Republicans who at some time in their public life uttered the word “cut,” and have had that split-second of their life included in this ad: “cut,” “cut,” “cut,” “cut.”

And then the CDC director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, is shown saying that there are disease outbreaks that his agency is not able to act against “as effectively as we should be able to.” And finally disturbing images of Ebola sufferers appear, followed by the words “Republican cuts kill” just prior to advising people to “Vote.”

We can forgive Dr. Frieden for ending a sentence with a preposition, which is at worst a minor slip-up, but we cannot forgive the Agenda Project for flagrantly lying that Republicans – or anyone – cut funding for the CDC and the NIH, preventing them from developing a vaccine for Ebola.

For verification of that assertion we look to one of the most liberal of voices, The Washington Post. It gave the ad its gold seal: Four Pinocchios, which the Post categorizes as “Whoppers.”

The Post story explains “For NIH, since 2006, there has been relatively little change in the size of the budget, going from about $28.5 billion in 2006 to $30.14 billion in 2014. … (The agency also received a $10 billion windfall in 2009 from the stimulus law.)”

“As for the CDC,” the Post continues, “you will see a similar pattern. The numbers have bounced around $6.5 billion in recent years. (CDC receives both an appropriation from Congress and, since 2010, hundreds of millions of dollars from the Prevention and Public Health Fund established by the Affordable Care Act.) Before 2008, the agency received less than $6 billion a year. In fiscal year 2013, the White House proposed a cut in CDC’s funding, but Congress added about $700 million. In 2014, the administration again proposed reducing the budget, but Congress boosted it to $6.9 billion.” In case you aren’t aware, the House of Representatives is under control of Republicans, and has been since 2010.

However, even if the CDC and NIH budgets had been cut, every manager in the public sector is obligated to spend the available funds in the smartest and most beneficial way; put whatever funds you have where they are most needed, and if necessary seek authorization to do so.

How well did the managers of these agencies do with the billions of taxpayer dollars they have at their disposal? The NIH thought that studying the sex life of fruit flies at a cost of $1 million took precedence over Ebola. Likewise, spending $1.5 million studying why lesbians have a tendency to be overweight, while gay men don’t was more important than an Ebola vaccine. As was spending $688,000 to determine why people watch “Seinfeld” reruns and $355,000 on a study of how quickly husbands and wives calm down after an argument.

For its part, the CDC’s mission statement says in part, “Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.” In support of that lofty goal, the CDC used some of its billions studying seat-belt use and infant car seats, built a second finely appointed visitor center in Atlanta to the tune of $106 million, spent $10 million more on furniture for the new building, and helped Hollywood devise medical plots to the tune of $1.7 million. And of the more than $3 billion CDC received from the Affordable Care Act to research dangerous diseases, it has spent only $180 million on that project, but not on Ebola.

And after asking Congress for extra funding in 1999 for a syphilis project, and receiving double the amount of funding it requested, the CDC responded by hiring porn stars and strippers to speak at public events, all the while the number of reported syphilis cases had doubled by 2005. Oh, and the CDC spent $25 million of our money on bonuses for employees over recent years.

Both agencies spent millions to study that mysterious bacterial infection, “gun violence.”

If you want to know why the CDC doesn’t have a vaccine for Ebola and why it hasn’t prepared the nation’s hospitals to handle people infected with the Ebola virus, you probably ought to look to the party whose backside the Agenda Project is trying so desperately to cover, the one that was elected to run the government efficiently. Incidentally, Republicans are not in charge of the CDC or the NIH.

With an important mid-term election two weeks away, the message at the end of this sleazy ad to vote should be heeded. However, voters should remember dishonest ads like this one that attempt to cover up the gross incompetence in administrative agencies, along with the other scandals that still exist, but that the mainstream media has kept below the radar.


Cross-posted from Observations

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Infection 101: Quarantine Ebola Hot Spots


Infection 101: Quarantine Ebola hot spots

 

President Obama and the CDC have decided to allow incoming flights from Ebola hot zone regardless of their potential toxic nature. Less than one month ago the media had few words concerning quarantine bans of affected areas. This reporter has written three other articles why our borders should be closed to those emigrating from high risk areas. Today the media is abuzz with critiques of the Administration and CDC for not taking the right course of action. Instead their rationale enhances not minimizes the human tragedy enveloping this nation. United States is spending millions to track down those who may have been exposed to the latest patients that contracted Ebola. Listening to the director of the CDC, Tom Frieden, it was obvious his mindset paralleled that of the Executive Branch. Doctor Frieden will keep his job a short while longer until more cases of Ebola arise and they will. At this juncture Obama, as usual, will throw the CDC director under the proverbial bus to be replaced with another politically correct physician who takes orders. Frieden continues to provide the public with misinformation concerning Ebola’s ability to spread rapidly. Protocols, Frieden claims, are in place to contain this viral menace. Yet people continue to acquire Ebola unabated by these strict regulations. A new Ebola czar has been appointed to carry out the President’s misdirected policies. Ron Klain, uninitiated in any precepts or teachings in health care has accepted this post. As a non-physician he brings very little to the table except more political correctness. Had Ronald Reagan been at the helm incoming flights would have stopped the same day he became aware of the epidemic. If there is an ounce of good news hysteria around the country has moved up several notches which may cause the President to rethink his position. Banning flights from Ebola hot zones is not only logical it is a moral imperative. Thousands in this country are under observation for Ebola symptoms because of their proximity to a few disease individuals. Think of the chaos that would embody the population of the United States in the event dozens became infected by this toxic menace. Mr. President now is the time to do the right thing, stop incoming flights before more people are consumed by this virus.

 

Mark Davis MD, media consultant, physician and author. President of Davis Writing Services. www.daviswritingservices.com  platomd@gmail.com

Dr. Davis latest book Obamacare: Dead on Arrival, A Prescription for Disaster.

Infection 101: Quarantine Ebola Hot Spots


Infection 101: Quarantine Ebola hot spots

 

President Obama and the CDC have decided to allow incoming flights from Ebola hot zone regardless of their potential toxic nature. Less than one month ago the media had few words concerning quarantine bans of affected areas. This reporter has written three other articles why our borders should be closed to those emigrating from high risk areas. Today the media is abuzz with critiques of the Administration and CDC for not taking the right course of action. Instead their rationale enhances not minimizes the human tragedy enveloping this nation. United States is spending millions to track down those who may have been exposed to the latest patients that contracted Ebola. Listening to the director of the CDC, Tom Frieden, it was obvious his mindset paralleled that of the Executive Branch. Doctor Frieden will keep his job a short while longer until more cases of Ebola arise and they will. At this juncture Obama, as usual, will throw the CDC director under the proverbial bus to be replaced with another politically correct physician who takes orders. Frieden continues to provide the public with misinformation concerning Ebola’s ability to spread rapidly. Protocols, Frieden claims, are in place to contain this viral menace. Yet people continue to acquire Ebola unabated by these strict regulations. A new Ebola czar has been appointed to carry out the President’s misdirected policies. Ron Klain, uninitiated in any precepts or teachings in health care has accepted this post. As a non-physician he brings very little to the table except more political correctness. Had Ronald Reagan been at the helm incoming flights would have stopped the same day he became aware of the epidemic. If there is an ounce of good news hysteria around the country has moved up several notches which may cause the President to rethink his position. Banning flights from Ebola hot zones is not only logical it is a moral imperative. Thousands in this country are under observation for Ebola symptoms because of their proximity to a few disease individuals. Think of the chaos that would embody the population of the United States in the event dozens became infected by this toxic menace. Mr. President now is the time to do the right thing, stop incoming flights before more people are consumed by this virus.

 

Mark Davis MD, media consultant, physician and author. President of Davis Writing Services. www.daviswritingservices.com  platomd@gmail.com

Dr. Davis latest book Obamacare: Dead on Arrival, A Prescription for Disaster.

Infection 101: Quarantine Ebola Hot Spots


Infection 101: Quarantine Ebola hot spots

 

President Obama and the CDC have decided to allow incoming flights from Ebola hot zone regardless of their potential toxic nature. Less than one month ago the media had few words concerning quarantine bans of affected areas. This reporter has written three other articles why our borders should be closed to those emigrating from high risk areas. Today the media is abuzz with critiques of the Administration and CDC for not taking the right course of action. Instead their rationale enhances not minimizes the human tragedy enveloping this nation. United States is spending millions to track down those who may have been exposed to the latest patients that contracted Ebola. Listening to the director of the CDC, Tom Frieden, it was obvious his mindset paralleled that of the Executive Branch. Doctor Frieden will keep his job a short while longer until more cases of Ebola arise and they will. At this juncture Obama, as usual, will throw the CDC director under the proverbial bus to be replaced with another politically correct physician who takes orders. Frieden continues to provide the public with misinformation concerning Ebola’s ability to spread rapidly. Protocols, Frieden claims, are in place to contain this viral menace. Yet people continue to acquire Ebola unabated by these strict regulations. A new Ebola czar has been appointed to carry out the President’s misdirected policies. Ron Klain, uninitiated in any precepts or teachings in health care has accepted this post. As a non-physician he brings very little to the table except more political correctness. Had Ronald Reagan been at the helm incoming flights would have stopped the same day he became aware of the epidemic. If there is an ounce of good news hysteria around the country has moved up several notches which may cause the President to rethink his position. Banning flights from Ebola hot zones is not only logical it is a moral imperative. Thousands in this country are under observation for Ebola symptoms because of their proximity to a few disease individuals. Think of the chaos that would embody the population of the United States in the event dozens became infected by this toxic menace. Mr. President now is the time to do the right thing, stop incoming flights before more people are consumed by this virus.

 

Mark Davis MD, media consultant, physician and author. President of Davis Writing Services. www.daviswritingservices.com  platomd@gmail.com

Dr. Davis latest book Obamacare: Dead on Arrival, A Prescription for Disaster.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ebola infected West Africa – Will it now infect the United States

President Barack Obama said the following on September 16 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta: “First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low. We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States. In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home. We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus. We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.”

Four days later the “unlikely” occurred: the first person infected with Ebola arrived in the U.S. from Liberia, where he had assisted an infected woman, become contaminated, but did not tell anyone about it in order to get on a plane and travel to Dallas, Texas. It took three different flights for him to get here and no one along the way apparently knew he had been in Liberia, or was able to determine that he had been infected, since he was asymptomatic until after he got here.

After developing a fever, he visited Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was treated and sent home, despite having recently been in Liberia. He was staying with relatives in Dallas and as the disease progressed he got sicker and became contagious, and after that he returned to the hospital and was diagnosed with Ebola. Several days later, he passed away.

His relatives were exposed to Ebola, and the residence and outside areas were contaminated. Who knows how many others were exposed to the virus?

Mr. Obama said we can handle this, should the need arise. But the need arose, and a well-respected hospital didn’t handle the first infected person very well at all.

The first airport screenings began Saturday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Other airports were to begin screenings this week. Screenings at African airports and another screening at U.S. airports, the president said, would make it unlikely that someone infected with Ebola will get to the U.S.

Given the botched handling of the first Ebola patient in our country, can we believe Mr. Obama? “No matter how many of these procedures are put into place, we can’t get the risk to zero,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Martin Cetron, director of the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. He told a news conference that these new measures wouldn’t necessarily have detected Ebola in the patient who traveled to Dallas.

Complicating an already unnerving situation, a second case of Ebola at the Dallas hospital has now been confirmed. A female nurse who had cared for the Ebola patient prior to his death was assessed on Friday, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said, and on Sunday it was confirmed that the nurse has Ebola.

The nurse’s infection is blamed on a breech of protocol. One report said that when removing the protective clothing she was wearing, the nurse inadvertently touched her cheek with her gloved hand, a glove that was contaminated with the virus. And now she has Ebola. And now, the disease has a small, but troubling presence in America.

This second error at this hospital has put other hospital personnel at risk, and may have infected one or more of them. Raise your hand if you believe the U.S. healthcare system really is prepared to deal with Ebola patients.

Even without these errors in handling Ebola in Dallas, it simply makes no sense either to bring potential or actual Ebola patients here, or allow people from countries where the disease exists to come here. Why take the chance of exposing Americans, particularly healthcare workers, to this vicious disease?

Columnist Thomas Sowell outlines the situation: “There was a time when an outbreak of a deadly disease overseas would bring virtually unanimous agreement that our top priority should be to keep it overseas. Yet Barack Obama has refused to bar entry to the United States by people from countries where the Ebola epidemic rages, as Britain has done. In other words, the safety of the American people takes second place to the goal of helping people overseas.”

President Obama has a giant blind spot when it comes to protecting the country from illegal entry of who knows who through the southern border, and now that blind spot extends to failing to stop people potentially infected with Ebola from coming into the U.S.

In situations like this one, we need to be smart, not compassionate. We can help the unfortunate West Africans by sending medical supplies and assistance without needlessly putting ourselves at risk. And we must.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Black Plague Two


Black Plague Two

 

One of the deadliest viruses in the history of mankind has found its way to our shores. Ebola, named for the river where it was first identified, moves through its victims with no mercy, leaving a shell of a human being behind. Identified in 1976 Ebola has left an increasing legacy of misery and death wherever this new plague has touched. Most recently the latest epidemic has engulfed numerous countries in Western Africa traveling across borders uninhibited by armies of health workers attempting to stop its movements. Through the munificence of the United States and other countries money, personnel and supplies have been sent to the hardest hit areas. These Ebola hot zones continue to expand even with the best efforts by those on the ground. Recently Thomas Duncan, a citizen of Liberia, entered the U.S. under false pretenses, with the Ebola virus firmly implanted in him. Reports state that Duncan misrepresented his proximity to the infection prior to coming to the states. He presented himself to an emergency room in Dallas Texas a few days after arriving there with flu like symptoms. For reasons that are not clear he was sent home but returned within a short time. At this juncture a presumptive diagnosis of Ebola was made. Duncan’s death came less than two weeks later. Rapidly fatal Ebola patients have few treatment options. The question remains: How many were exposed to the virus as Duncan made his way to the United States? Late word is a hospital worker where Duncan tragically succumbed has tested positive for Ebola. This story is still developing.

 

President Obama and his subordinates at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have stubbornly refused to place travel restrictions on flights from Ebola hot zones. CDC has gone on record asserting a travel ban would do more harm than good, without fully elaborating why. Instead their plan is to take temperature readings of those emigrating from infected areas and to have them fill out questionnaires. Sounds crazy on the surface and it is. An infected patient may not spike a fever for days to weeks after contracting this viral menace. Worse many may hide the fact they were exposed to Ebola. African nations are in the process of quarantining infected areas. Logic dictates we should do the same. This nation’s best course of action is to keep the plague where it originated. Sending our best and brightest into endemic areas, to fight this unseen enemy, is irrational having the potential for horrific ramifications. Political correctness not commonsense is guiding United States Ebola policy. Obama’s containment policies are a series of false actions designed to assuage a fearful public not to stop the virus in its tracks. Ebola has been acquired by those in full protective gear suggesting a different path of inoculation than is commonly believed. In the event an airborne component of transmission exists or the virus is found to penetrate biological garb the fight to contain Ebola moves to a new level. The Black Death killed a third of the population of Europe in the 14th century. How many must die in the United States before policies isolating affected areas are implemented?

 

Mark Davis MD, author of Obamacare Dead on Arrival, A Prescription for Disaster and Demons of Democracy.  President of Davis Writing Services. www.daviswritingservices.com  platomd@gmail.com  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sometimes The Nobel Committee Gets It Right!

By Findalis

Today in Norway Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel Winners Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi

Malala Yousafzai won her prize for demanding from the Taliban that girls have a right to an education.  A Taliban fighter thug boarded her school bus and shot her 3 times in the head.  It was a miracle that she survived.  A miracle and a couple of British doctors in her area.

Kailash Satyarthi won his prize for his work in eliminating child slavery in India and world-wide.
Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for risking their lives to fight for children's rights. The decision made Malala, a 17-year-old student and education activist, the youngest-ever Nobel winner.

The news set off celebrations on the streets of Mingora, the main town in Pakistan's volatile Swat valley, with residents greeting each other and distributing sweets. At the town's Khushal Public School, which is owned by Malala's father, students danced in celebration Friday, jumping up and down.

When she was a student there, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago for insisting that girls as well as boys have the right to an education. Surviving several operations with the help of British medical care, she continued both her activism and her studies.

Appropriately, Malala was at school in the central English city of Birmingham at the time of the Nobel announcement and was expected to make a statement later Friday.

Satyarthi, 60, has been at the forefront of a global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labor since 1980, when he gave up his career as an electrical engineer. The grassroots activist has led the rescue of tens of thousands of child slaves and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation. He has also survived several attempts on his life.
"Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here. A lot of work still remains but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime," Satyarthi told The Associated Press at his office in New Delhi. "If any child is a child slave in any part of the world, it is a blot on humanity. It is a disgrace."
Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, said the decision will further the rights of girls.

"(The Nobel will) boost the courage of Malala and enhance her capability to work for the cause of girls' education," he told the AP.

Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan congratulated the nation as well as Malala and her family.

"(This) has given pride to the whole of Pakistan," he said.

The Nobel committee's announcement reflected a delicate diplomatic balance, naming one activist from Pakistan and another from India, two countries that are long-time bitter rivals; one Muslim and one Hindu; both sexes; an elder statesman of child's rights and a youthful advocate who had herself been a victim.

Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said it was important to reward both an Indian Hindu and a Pakistani Muslim for joining "in a common struggle for education and against extremism." The two will split the Nobel award of $1.1 million.

By highlighting children's rights, the committee widened the scope of the peace prize, which in its early days was given for efforts to end or prevent armed conflicts.
"It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected," the committee said. "In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation."
Many around the world praised the Nobel committee for focusing on children.

"The biggest threat to the Taliban is a girl with a book," said Margot Wallstrom, Sweden's foreign minister and former special representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Raised in Pakistan's ruggedly beautiful, politically volatile Swat Valley, Malala was barely 11 years old when she began championing girls' education, speaking out in TV interviews. The Taliban had overrun her hometown of Mingora, terrorizing residents, threatening to blow up girls' schools, ordering teachers and students into the all-encompassing burqas.

She was critically injured on Oct. 9, 2012, when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head. She survived through luck -- the bullet did not enter her brain -- and by the quick intervention of British doctors visiting Pakistan.

Flown to Britain for specialist treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, she underwent numerous surgeries but made a strong recovery. Malala now lives with her father, mother and two brothers in Birmingham and goes to the private Edgbaston High School for girls.

She has been showered with human rights prizes, including the European Parliament's Sakharov Award.

Yet her memoir, "I Am Malala," published last year, reminded the world that beneath the now-iconic exterior she is still a teenager who likes TV shows such as "Ugly Betty" and the cooking show "MasterChef," who worries about her clothes and her hair and wishes she was taller.

The Nobel committee said Satyarthi was carrying on the tradition of another great Indian, Mahatma Gandhi, who remains the most notable omission in the 113-year history of the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Gandhi's tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the committee said.

India's President Pranab Mukherjee said "the prize should be seen as recognition of the contributions of India's vibrant civil society in addressing complex social problems such as child labor."

A.N.S. Ahmed, a well-known sociologist in India, said the award should prod the Indian government to do more in a country where a large number of children must support their families by engaging in dangerous jobs.

"The award will have a deep impact not just on the Indian government but also on the civil society to work with passion and improve the condition of children by enforcing their rights and shake-up India's government," he said. The founder of the Nobel Prizes, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, said the prize should go to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

The committee has interpreted those instructions differently over time, widening the concept of peace work to include efforts to improve human rights, fight poverty and clean up the environment.

Former Indian diplomat Lalit Mansingh praised the Nobel committee's decision.
"(They are) conscious of helping in conflict resolution. The award, especially at a time when India-Pakistan relations are under stress, is a nice gesture," he said.
The Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, physics and literature were announced earlier this week. The economics award will be announced on Monday.

All awards will be handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.

SOURCE
Every once in a while the Nobel Committee gets it right and gives the Peace Prize to a deserving candidate.  This time it is 2 deserving candidates.  Not a person for the color of his skin.  (Barack Obama) Or one for a movie about a slideshow.  (Al Gore)  But a man who saw a wrong and has worked to correct it and a young girl who just wants to be educated.

"The biggest threat to the Taliban is a girl with a book," -- Margot Wallstrom