Posted: 10/12/2014 1:59:01 PM
by Barbara Loe Fisher
In the Digital Age, infectious disease outbreaks like Ebola 1 are brought into our lives through our smart phones, tablets and laptops and we can easily access and quickly analyze the information we receive. As Americans get smarter and more savvy about how to sort through the kind of fear-based rhetoric that sells newspapers, we are able to better assess exactly what is going on with Ebola 2 3 in Africa and the U.S. and ask good questions about what we are seeing.4 5
Inquiring minds want to know the truth about why Ebola hemorrhagic fever has landed on American soil. Unfortunately, Congress 6 and officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS),7 Departments of Defense (DOD) 8 9 and Homeland Security 10 are having a hard time coming up with answers that do not raise more questions. 11
Let’s review the brief timeline of what is being billed as “The Worst Ebola Outbreak Ever,” 12 that has prompted top US public health officials to warn that Ebola could become as widespread as HIV/AIDS 13 while pharmaceutical companies partnering with federal agencies are scrambling to fast track experimental Ebola vaccines to market. 14 15 16 17
Here is how a localized Ebola outbreak has been turned into a global public health emergency:
In the spring of 2014, the African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone report a surge in cases of Ebola, a highly contagious viral infection that starts with symptoms of fever, headache, muscle and stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, bruising and, in severe cases, progresses to bleeding from the nose, mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Between 25 and 90% of Ebola cases end in death and the current Africa-based outbreak is averaging a 40 to 50% case fatality rate. 18 19
In June and July, missionary workers in Africa repeatedly contact US health officials, warning that there is urgent need for an immediate response to the spread of Ebola. 20
By August 2, an American missionary infected with Ebola in Liberia is flown from Liberia to Atlanta for treatment with an experimental drug (ZMapp) 21 22 and shows signs of improvement within 24 hours, eventually fully recovering.
Ten days later, the World Health Organization approves use of fast tracked experimental drugs and vaccines in humans after declaring Ebola an “international public health emergency.” 23
Eight days later, Liberian security forces violently clash with citizens trying to break out of a government-imposed quarantine that left panicked residents in a poor neighborhood without food or other supplies. 24
On September 2, NIH announces upcoming clinical trials using an experimental genetically engineered viral vectored vaccine co-developed by NIH and GlaxoSmithKline that will by-pass normal FDA licensing regulations for demonstrating safety and effectiveness. 25
Three days later, a third US missionary doctor working in Liberia is diagnosed with Ebola and flown to Nebraska for treatment, 26 as deaths in Africa reach 2,100 people out of about 4,000 thought to have been infected.
On September 16, the U.S. announces that Ebola is a national and global security threat and that at least 3,000 American military personnel will be sent to the capitol of Liberia to establish a regional military command and control center. 27 28
Two days later, the United Nations Security Council adopts a U.S.- developed resolution calling for a lifting of travel and border restrictions on citizens living in African nations where Ebola is widespread so that everyone can travel freely between countries, including into the U.S. 29
On September 20, a Liberian citizen infected with Ebola flies from Liberia to Texas and exposes family members after a Dallas hospital misdiagnoses his symptoms on Sept. 26 and sends him home. When he is diagnosed with Ebola two days later, public health officials fail to immediately employ appropriate infection control measures and children and adults in Dallas are put at risk for Ebola infection. 30
Ten days later, CDC officials hold a press conference and insist that the only way a person can transmit Ebola is when there is a fever and other symptoms of illness and the only way a person can become infected with Ebola is to have direct contact with body fluids of an infected person but that under no circumstances is Ebola airborne. Americans are assured that there will be no Ebola epidemic in this country because CDC officials are “stopping this in its tracks.“ 31
On October 2, a Missouri microbiologist and emergency trauma physician checks in at Atlanta’s airport wearing a Hazmat uniform with protective goggles, boots and gloves and a sign on his back declaring that “The CDC is Lying” to protest non-existent infection control measures at airports and what he called a “sugar-coating of the risk of transmission” of Ebola, predicting the deadly infectious disease will consume every African nation and become epidemic in America. 32
On October 8, top disease control and Ebola infection experts publicly admit that scientists are not sure how Ebola is transmitted, admitting there is a possibility that Ebola could be transmitted through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes and that an asymptomatic person without a fever may be able to infect others. The scientists also express concern that Ebola screening at airports targeting people with fevers could be ineffective because symptoms can be masked by taking Tylenol and other fever-reducing medications. 33
The next day, the House Armed Services Committee and Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense approves nearly $1 billion dollars in funding for the U.S. to “lead the international response to the Ebola outbreak.” 34
That same day, the first NIH-developed experimental Ebola vaccine starts being tested on humans in several African nations 35 while a U.S. public opinion poll reveals that the majority of Americans want a ban on incoming flights from Liberia and other countries where Ebola is rampant. By a 2 to 1 margin, Americans oppose sending American soldiers to those countries and 50% of Americans suspect there will be an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. 36
So here is what inquiring minds want to know:
- Why did U.S. health officials in Atlanta and on the ground in Africa ignore the exploding Ebola epidemic last spring?
- Why did U.S. government officials fly American aid workers infected with Ebola to the U.S. rather than treating them with experimental drugs at hospitals in Africa?
- Why did the U.S. government press the United Nations to adopt a resolution calling for no restrictions on international travel from Liberia and other Ebola-stricken countries?
- Why did the Centers for Disease Control, supposedly the world’s leading infection control agency, fail to immediately assist Texas health officials when the first case of Ebola was diagnosed on US soil to guarantee that, at a minimum, the kind of infection control measures used in most nursing homes in America would be carried out?
- Why has the Director of the CDC repeatedly stated that the only way a person can transmit Ebola is if they have a fever and said that people cannot get Ebola unless they have direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person – but that under no circumstances is Ebola airborne – when he knows, or should know, those statements could be false? 37 38 39 40 41 42
- And why are experimental Ebola vaccines being fast tracked into human trials and promoted as the final solution rather than ramping up testing and production of the experimental ZMapp drug that has already saved the lives of several Ebola infected Americans?
A logical conclusion is that some people in industry, government and the World Health Organization did not want the Ebola outbreak to be confined to several nations in Africa because that would fail to create a lucrative global market 43 44 for mandated use of fast tracked Ebola vaccines by every one of the seven billion human beings living on this planet.
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