By Doug Porter
It’s week five of a major health crisis in the United States and there are signs the epidemic is waning. The number cases of actual Ebola now equals the number of times Rush Limbaugh has been married– four. The number of hysterical media reports and opportunist politicians playing on people’s fear of the unknown has yet to be determined.
The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is now screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says they began actively preparing for an outbreak in March of this year, the correct protocols for treating patients were not in place at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas when Thomas Duncan, the initial Ebola patient showed up in the emergency room. It didn’t help matters that Duncan was less than forthcoming in telling medical personnel about his potential exposure to the disease.
Two of the nurses treating Duncan and one physician from Doctors Without Borders who’d recently returned from West Africa have been diagnosed with the disease. It’s probable, given the ease of travel and the fact thousands of people are actually travelling TO the affected nations to assist healthcare workers, that there will be a few more cases.
There are numerous threats from infectious diseases in this world. Many of these diseases can be fatal. 97% of the 288 confirmed cases of measles in the first five months of this year came as the result of exposure to international travelers.
There are lots of ways to die in the US. Thirty people die each day from gunshot wounds. It could be as many as three people a day (nobody knows the true number) are killed law enforcement personnel. If current trends continue, gun deaths will surpass car accident deaths among young people next year.
Ebola and Obama: Coincidence? I Think Not
Yesterday Congressman Darrell Issa chatted up CNN Candy Crowley. From the Times of San Diego:
Rep. Darrell Issa said Sunday that state governors are implementing quarantines themselves because they don’t trust the Obama administration to handle the worldwide Ebola crisis.
“Governors of both parties are reacting because there isn’t a trust in the leadership of this administration. Getting that back is doable. It’s our responsibility to do it, but it’s also now our responsibility to second guess,” said Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Issa’s implied air quote marks around everything government or scientists have said had to be seen to be believed. Ebola must be Obama’s fault. Hell, they both end in “a.”
Then the Congressman displayed a smartphone to illustrate how easy it would be to monitor body temperatures on our phones. Because obviously if you’ve got a fever it might be Ebola.
Unfortunately for Issa, the phone displayed a weather forecast, not his body temperature.
Issa also clearly doesn’t understand that most of the body temperature apps on iTunes are clearly marked for entertainment purposes only. The accurate apps are the ones that come with thermometers that plug into your phone. Thus, the only way a phone can effectively be used to measure body temperature is if it is attached to a thermometer.
The deputy chief of staff for Senator Ted Cruz tweeted last week about how Ebola got into America. After refusing to respond to requests for clarification, the tweet was deleted. The following evening Nick Muzin announced that he was just kidding. Ha, Ha.
Over at the local conservative blog SD Rostra, they’ve reposted Jason Jackson’s essay telling us that public opinion polls are obviously more important than any (probably left wing) science.
Why is it that Scott Peters, the administration, and the left are opposing a travel ban when 75% of Americans say they would support such a measure? The answer lies in their ideological approach to problem solving, which prioritizes social justice theory and the global community over America’s national interest. It’s ideology that informs CDC Director Tom Frieden’s conclusion that a travel ban won’t work because “it will increase the risk that Ebola will spread in those countries (with outbreaks) and to other countries.”
The administration and thought leaders on the left seem to be following the lead of international health care experts, who have been very transparent with where their priorities lie. In the words of Natalie Eisenbarth, Policy & Advocacy Officer for the International Rescue Committee, “It’s important to look at humanitarian and moral implications. Stopping the spread of it in West Africa is in our best interest and that means getting the right people and the supplies in as fast as possible. The idea of issuing a travel ban runs against that.” This position in understandable from organizations like the IRC or the World Health Organization, which have no specific obligations for American citizens or sovereignty, but it is more difficult to understand from American officials.
So you see, it’s also Scott Peter’s fault. Those damned doctors, what do they know anyway?
Nate Silver over at the 538.com data lab crunched the numbers, illustrating the point that the next infected international traveler arriving in the US is more likely to come from a place other than Africa.
The Price of a City Council Seat
Republican Chris Cate moved into District 6 from the North Coast last year with a big IOU in his pocket from doing the right’s bidding during his years as a functionary with the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.
His relocation and employment history have been carefully airbrushed from his campaign materials. The IOU is being repaid and then some, if you look at the funding for his City Council candidacy.
Since Jan. 1, Cate has raised at least $489,000, and independent committees have spent at least $709,000 to support him. Kim has raised at least $181,000, and independent committees have spent at least $88,000 supporting her.
UT-San Diego’s Sagging Circulation
This week UT-San Diego’s circulation data from the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly Audit Bureau of Circulations) will be released. This information encompasses digital and branded numbers — not just the print edition–and is considered the best measure of a newspaper/media platform’s health.
Don Bauder at the Reader released the US Postal Service circulation figures, and they don’t bode well for the daily fishwrap standing in the upcoming report:
In October of last year, the seven-day paid circulation of the print edition through Sept. 13, 2013 was 189,822; this year, that figure dropped to 182,083 for the year through Sept. 21. Last year, the paid circulation on Sunday, September 15, was 251,318; this year’s paid circulation for Sunday, September 21, was down to 233,109.
These are weak numbers, considering that there are 3.1 million people in the county and about 1.07 million households.
Remember That House GOP Lawsuit Against Obama?
Surely you must remember all the media brouhaha over Speaker John Boehner’s promise to sue the President of the United States for doing something House Republicans wanted him to do.
Much like their oft-promised replacement for Obamacare, the GOP’s lawsuit against the President appears to be an illusion.
It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the Capitol to the federal courthouse just down the hill, but House Republicans haven’t managed to make that trip in the four months since they announced they’d be suing the president.
House Speaker John Boehner came out swinging hard last June when he announced that his chamber would take President Barack Obama to court. The suit, charging that the president grossly exceeded his constitutional authority by failing to implement portions of the Obamacare law, was billed as an election-season rallying point for aggrieved Republicans. But days before the midterms, the House’s legal guns seem to have fallen silent…
…Whatever the reason, the delay means the core of the suit could effectively be moot before the Obama administration even has to respond to it in court. The case was expected to center on an employer mandate provision that Obama twice delayed but is now set to kick in for many employers on Jan. 1.
A Missed Story–The SDSU Shit-In
No, that’s not a typo. Trans students at State found a way to make a unique and powerful statement last week and it didn’t get heard in the local media.
The Sunday first person roundup of student activism from The Nation included the following item:
The Trans* Action and Advocacy Student Coalition at San Diego State University, or TAASC force, is a student organization for transgender and gender nonconforming folks and allies.
On Tuesday, October 21, in coordination with the California Student Union’s week of action, we held a “Shit-In” to raise awareness and advocate for more gender neutral restrooms on campus. At six toilets spread in front of our iconic Hepner Hall building, participants dropped their pants for#SDSUShitIn and #translivesmatter and pledged to take the Gender Neutral Bathroom Challenge, using only gender-neutral bathrooms for an entire week. Amid violence and verbal assault for using gender-segregated restrooms, it has been a struggle to get more accessible restrooms at SDSU.
While the university gets ranked as a top LGBT campus, trans* justice has been on the back burner—or, in the case of last spring’s Trans* Week of Empowerment and the Shit-In, co-opted, silencing our efforts. The university’s reasoning for a lack of these restrooms is that trans* issues weren’t on the radar when buildings were constructed—despite that two of three new buildings don’t have any and existing locations are largely inaccessible. We are making a short documentary about the “Shit-In” and hope to create a national campaign.
On This Day:1904 – The New York subway system officially opened. It was the first rapid-transit subway system in America. 1951 – The National Negro Labor Council formed in Cincinnati to unite black workers in the struggle for full economic, political and social equality. The group was to function for five years before disbanding, having forced many AFL and CIO unions to adopt non-discrimination policies. 1975 – Bruce Springsteen was simultaneously on the cover of “Time” and “Newsweek.” This was the first time this happened for a rock star.
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