As the Ebola crises worsens and it becomes clear that the Obama administration and the Centers for Disease Control are operating on incomplete or even false information, Obama’s appointed CDC director is finding mounting criticism of his handling of the crisis.
CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden was appointed to his position by President Obama in 2009 and now, as the face of the Obama administration’s flawed response to this developing Ebola situation, he faces the toughest task in his long, administrative career.
It is a career that began in New York City in 2002 when Frieden was appointed as the City Health Commissioner. There Frieden was responsible for the political attack on “trans fats,” a campaign that opened the door for mayor Bloomberg’s failed attempt to ban the sale of large sodas and other such nanny state “health” policies.
But it is his muddled response to Ebola that is marking his tenure at the CDC. Today, one of Frieden’s more difficult to understand positions is his insistence that we don’t need to ban travel from the African nations most effected by the Ebola outbreak that has now killed thousands of Africans.
Frieden has quixotically claimed that a travel ban would somehow make the Ebola crisis worse than it is.
Frieden seemed to assume that if the US institutes a travel ban–like many other countries have already done–we would hamper our own desires to help Africa by shutting down the ability of our medial teams to travel there.
“We really need to be clear that we don’t inadvertently increase the risk to people in this country by making it harder for us to respond to the needs in those countries,” Frieden said in confused testimony to Congress, “by making it harder to get assistance in and therefore those outbreaks would become worse, go on longer, and paradoxically, something that we did to try and protect ourselves might actually increase our risk.”
Why Frieden assumes that we wouldn’t be able to send special fights with aide regardless of a general travel ban was never explained.
Critics claim that Frieden’s reticence to initiate a travel ban is just part of the administration’s amnesty agenda and an attempt to avoid putting a black mark on immigration so that after the elections Obama can issue a blanket amnesty to all illegals saying that untrammeled borders is a good thing for the country.
Frieden has also made the straight claim that the country’s hospitals are 100 percent ready for any possible Ebola outbreak. In September, Frieden said that US hospitals are prepared for the virus, but not everyone agreed.
Several nurses and the president of a nurses union have said that far from being prepared, the nation is at risk. Hospitals have flawed or non-existent preparedness policies, have not adequately trained staff, and lack enough supplies to treat an outbreak.
A recent poll also found that Americans think that Obama is not doing enough to prevent the spread of Ebola. In this poll, fully 91 percent said that a travel ban should be put in place.
Some workers at New York’s Kennedy International Airport conducted a brief strike saying that they were unprepared and at risk from passengers that might have Ebola.
Further, even as Frieden continues to claim he knows exactly how Ebola is spread, others are less sure.
Last week, Dr. David Lakey, Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner, said that doctors are unsure of just how several healthcare workers here in the US contracted the virus.
It was also said that the stricken nurses were in a “low risk” job in the Texas hospital treating now deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan and had been in full protective gear but contracted the virus anyway.
In the end, Frieden insists he is doing all that can be expected. “It’s a really horrific situation,” he said last week. “We just don’t see this in public health very often. This is what I became a doctor to do.”