‘The Science’ vs. Ebola

A quarantine is good enough for the military but not civilians.

Whatever the damage that the White House, liberals and the press corps say Ebola quarantines will do, their reaction to the state-imposed isolation policies has already done far worse. The federal contradictions and false claims of omniscience are adding to public confusion—and may discredit an important tool that the country will need if there is a major outbreak of Ebola or some other pathogen.
Somehow liberals are trying to convert the Ebola debate into the new trial of Galileo, as if any dissent over the appropriate response is the Inquisition. President Obama emerged on Tuesday to denounce the New York, New Jersey and other state quarantines, which he said “aren’t based on science and best practices.” He instructed lesser politicians to adopt the new Centers for Disease Control monitoring and movement guidelines instead—because they are “based on the science, based on the facts.”

Yet on Tuesday Army General Ray Odierno ordered personnel returning from West Africa to spend 21 days in seclusion, and on Wednesday the Pentagon extended the policy to the rest of the military. This quarantine is being called a “controlled monitoring period,” as if Ebola can tell the difference between the troops and medical workers and travellers.

Yet the White House is attempting to argue exactly that. Press secretary Josh Earnest said, “It would be wrong to suggest that it would make the American people safer to apply this military policy in a civilian context. The science would not back that up.” Does the science of Ebola distinguish between civilians and soldiers, or is he talking about political science?

The argument is that quarantine would dissuade people from volunteering to help, but they’re not being forced to return home by way of Gitmo. The subset of humanitarians must be small who are willing at great personal danger to brave a contagion in Africa but are unwilling to accept the minor sacrifice of three weeks at home for the greater good.


Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was briefly quarantined at a Newark, N.J., hospital after flying into the state en route from Ebola-ravaged Sierra Leone, now says she won’t comply with the three-week home-quarantine requirements in her home state of Maine. “She doesn’t want to agree to continue to be confined to a residence beyond the two days,” her New York-based lawyer, Steven Hyman, tells the Bangor Daily News.The Associated Press quotes Hyman as saying: “She’s a very good person who did very good work and deserves to be honored, not detained, for it.”

At least two other medical professionals have acted as if public-health rules don’t apply to them. The New York Post reports that physician Craig Spencer—like Hickox a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders, in his case in Guinea—“lied to authorities about his travels around the city . . ., law-enforcement sources said”:

Spencer at first told officials that he isolated himself in his Harlem apartment—and didn’t admit he rode the subways, dined out and went bowling until cops looked at his MetroCard the sources said.

“He told the authorities that he self-quarantined. Detectives then reviewed his credit-card statement and MetroCard and found that he went over here, over there, up and down and all around,” a source said.

And let’s not forget Nancy Snyderman, a Princeton, N.J., physician who entered voluntary quarantine after a fellow traveler to Liberia was diagnosed with Ebola. On Oct. 9 the Planet Princeton website reported that “Snyderman allegedly was seen sitting in her car outside of the Peasant Grill in Hopewell Boro this afternoon. A reader reported that a man who was with her got out of the car and went inside the restaurant to pick up a take-out order. Another man was in the back seat of her black Mercedes. Snyderman had sunglasses on and had her hair pulled back, the reader said.”

The state issued a mandatory quarantine order, and on Oct. 13 Snyderman “issued an apology to the public . . . but did not indicate that she had violated the voluntary confinement agreement . . . or take personal responsibility for the violation.”

While Obama Officials Bloviate About Settled “Science,” DoD Scientists Fear Air Transmission of Ebola By Andrew C. McCarthy

Pretending to be guided by “science” rather than practicing politics in service of their post-American agenda, Obama administration officials persevere in the irresponsible suggestion that Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air – i.e., that it requires physical contact with an infected person that results in exposure to bodily fluids. It should go without saying that because viruses mutate, responsible scientists would never claim that the “science” about them is “settled.” But quite apart from the dynamic circumstances, government scientists are obviously concerned about air transmission in the here and now, even as the spin-meisters claim it cannot happen.

Aaron Klein has uncovered a “broad agency announcement” (BAA) from the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), soliciting research proposals to combat Ebola (in connection with the government’s efforts against chemical and biological threats). The BAA is appended to a “Federal Business Opportunities” notice – the notice can be found here, and the BAA is an attachment atop the right column, accessible through the link “HDTRA1-15-EBOLA-BAA”).

At page 7, Section 2.2.4 (“Ebola Characterization”), the Defense Department’s BAA explains that Ebola is “aerostable” and, since other filoviruses infect through “the respiratory route,” it is at least theoretically possible that Ebola could, too. (The CDC elaborates that Ebola is a filovirus.) As the BAA puts it:

While current science indicates the disease can only be transmitted by contact with contaminated body fluids, it remains unclear if other transmission modes are feasible. Filoviruses are able to infect via the respiratory route and are lethal at very low doses in experimental animal models, however the infectious dose is unknown. There is minimal information on how well filoviruses survive within aerosolized particles, and in certain media like the biofilm of sewage systems.

The BAA goes on to add (my italics): “While current science indicates the disease can only be transmitted by contact with contaminat”Preliminary studies indicate that Ebola is aerostable in an enclosed controlled system in the dark and can survive for long periods in different liquid media and can also be recovered from plastic and glass surfaces at low temperatures for over 3 weeks.”

At page 9, section 2.2.6 (“Topic: CBT-02, Rapid Disinfection Processes), the BAA further explains that the Defense Department is thus looking for treatments that could combat deposits of Ebola transmitted “as an aerosol” as well as by the better known means of bodily fluid contact (again, my italics):

The Lightening-Fast Reflexes of the Obama Regime By Frank Salvato

The Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, announced October 28th that his agency has raised the security level for federal buildings in the aftermath of last week’s terror attacks in Canada:

“The reasons for this action are self-evident: the continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere, including against law enforcement and other government officials, and the acts of violence targeted at government personnel and installations in Canada and elsewhere recently,” Johnson said in a statement. “Given world events, prudence dictates a heightened vigilance in the protection of US government installations and our personnel.”

Aren’t you absolutely bowled over by the cat-like reflexes of the Obama Administration? I mean really, we have only seen the fall of every major town in Iraq, sans Baghdad, the engagement of even Islamist countries in the fight against the Islamic State, beheadings and actual declarations of violent intent from the Islamic State and associated Islamist terror groups. We have seen “faceless selfies” of wanna-be jihadis and jihadist sympathizers featuring signs with pro-Islamic State propaganda in front of buildings in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC. And we have seen beheadings on American soil in the name of Islam. Why should we expect any meaningful and/or timely response from an administration that is still trying to figure out if an infectious disease should warrant a quarantine of travelers arriving from infected countries?

Oh sure, the brilliant mind that is Barack Obama doesn’t succumb to the knee-jerk decision, especially where national security and foreign policy are concerned. That’s probably why he is still deliberating the security of the US border in the face of Islamist terrorists who have declared they will bring car bombs and beheadings to US soil; and why he is purposely ignoring the transportation of infectious disease across the border in the form of Enterovirus 68. Titrated to the Obama Administration’s response rate to serious issues facing the American citizenry, he will probably see our border secured after the 27th car bomb goes off in New York (after he chastises politicians there for their kneejerk Islamophobic responses) and after all of the schools in every state on the Southern border are quarantined.


When my nephew was in St. Vincent’s hospital after being run over by a murderous driver, he was in a lot of pain. I went to the nurse’s station to ask if someone could come to check him out and was angrily told by the head-nurse that they were all busy tending to my nephew’s roommate, a gentleman who had AIDS. Her meaning was clear: in the hierarchy of patient needs, AIDS always trumps fractured bones. Two days later, it was the AIDS patient who was released while my nephew was dead from lack of attention to a blood clot that wasn’t caught in time.

I thought of this tragedy because of the attitude of Kaci Hickox, the hothead nurse who wants to sue anyone who dares to quarantine her. Here’s a young woman whose priority is helping destitute and desperate Africans dying of a plague while at the same time displaying total lack of empathy for the epidemiology of preventing that plague from spreading in American cities and large population centers. (According to the World Health Organization, ebola has already spread to eight countries) You get lots of praise for donating your time to Doctors Without Borders; not so much for just complying with quarantine rules. You’re a hero if you travel to Africa to work in the midst of a death ward; you’re just another nurse when you deal with scared middle-class Americans who are already over-privileged. Wild Ms. Hickox is convinced that she knows exactly when she might be contagious and can self-regulate her behavior without any government interference. But there are disagreements over how long the period of contagion lasts or even the mode by which the virus spreads. Some scientists have claimed that the virus in a sneeze droplet can spray far wider than originally thought and can live long enough on surfaces to pose a problem to someone who didn’t get personally sprayed by that sneeze.

BETSY MCCAUGHEY, PHD -Ebola Crisis: Team Obama Takes Politically Correct Approach, Ignores Science Must read ****


On Monday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Thomas Frieden announced a new policy on health care workers returning from Ebola-plagued West Africa.

Parroting President Obama’s Saturday radio address, Frieden cautioned that Americans must be “guided by the science,” not fear.

Sorry. The Obama administration’s half-way approach is based on political correctness. It ignores the science.

According to Frieden, every day about five health care workers fly back from West Africa to the U.S., landing at airports in Chicago, Newark, Atlanta, New York’s JFK, or Dulles outside Washington, D.C.

For months, the CDC did almost nothing to prevent a returning doctor or nurse from inadvertently spreading the disease here.

On Thursday Dr. Craig Spencer, who had returned from a stint at Doctors Without Borders in Guinea on October 17, was rushed into isolation at New York city’s Bellevue Hospital with Ebola. Before his diagnosis, Spencer took subways, went bowling and dined out.

Authorities scrambled to identify his contacts. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican, and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, a Democrat, jointly announced on Sunday that health care workers landing at area airports after treating Ebola patients would have to undergo 21 days isolation. Governors of Florida and Illinois announced they would be devising policies as well.

By Monday, Thomas Frieden had to respond to the spectacle of governors concocting isolation policies on the run to prevent the possibility, however small, of Ebola being spread. Unfortunately, Frieden stopped short of endorsing isolation. Instead he announced that local officials would monitor doctors and nurses coming from West Africa for fever or other symptoms but not necessarily isolate them.

Frieden said isolating the brave doctors and nurses would be a “stigma” and make them “pariahs.” That’s a shockingly unscientific attitude toward quarantine from a trained epidemiologist.


The co-founder of Greenpeace left his Melbourne audience in no doubt that the so-called ‘environmental organisation’ is a not only an enemy of progress, it regards the waste of human life as collateral damage in its crusade to hector, harass and hobble all who oppose its ambitions

It was 1978. Young Greenpeace leader Patrick Moore, hair Afro-style, was interfering with the annual baby fur-seal hunt off Newfoundland. He jumped on a baby seal to shield it with his body but found it was, as he put it, ‘a tough little bugger’ who didn’t want to be jumped on. He hung on to it for dear life, his film crews’ cameras whirring, but was arrested and dragged off. Two sealers bashed the pup’s head in and skinned their little victim.

At least Greenpeace had its ‘mind bomb’ – the term Greenpeace used for irresistible media airplay. But when the film got to CBC studios in Montreal, it was exposed and useless, either by carelessness or sabotage. But the still photos made it into 3000 newspapers.

It was a bit hard to reconcile that Greenpeace warrior with the balding, conservative 67-year-old at a Melbourne podium last Friday. He quit Greenpeace in 1986 after 15 years as a co-founder, saying the organisation had become anti-science and anti-human. He now runs consultancy Ecosense Environmental as “The Sensible Environmentalist”, combating what he calls green sensationalism, misinformation, and pop-environmentalism. His Melbourne talk was sponsored by the Galileo Movement, and based on his book Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout (Beatty Street, 2013).

Moore is not exactly being rushed by ABC interviewers, unlike, say, Green catastrophist Naomi Oreskes. He suspects his one scheduled interview appointment will involve a hostile host wanting to know about his Big Oil funding. (editor’s note: Moore was set to be interviewed by Jon Faine, of the ABC’s radio 774, but the host called in sick that day.)


“If the West does finally collapse in the politically correct multicultural mire, it may well be said by some future historian that it died from stupidity. The big hope is that ordinary punters are waking up.”

Long before last week’s terror attacks in Canada, seventeen suspects were arrested for planning something similar. Politically correct authorities pointedly declined to connect the dots back then, and they seem almost as keen to ignore the obvious now

Whenever I hear the likes of Barack Obama, David Cameron and other sundry spokesmen, from the ranks of the politically correct, posing as experts on Islam, I am torn between anger and laughter at the depth of their imbecility. Their ability to pretend not to see what is in plain sight seems limitless.

ISIS has nothing to do with Islam? Terrorists, inconveniently quoting the Koran, have nothing to do with Islam? Perhaps terrorists could just as easily be Catholic nuns, Presbyterians, bored “youths”, maybe even geriatric war veterans. That is the way of airport security in our multicultural paradise. After all, you cannot be seen to single out a certain group — you-know-who devotees of the Prophet, aka the founder of that creed which must never, ever be named.

We read that

“Authorities in Canada are trying to understand what motivated a gunman to kill the soldier with Harper calling the shooting the country’s second “terrorist” attack this week. During his remarks this morning, Harper continued to connect the two attacks, saying that they were perpetrated by “young men born and raised in this peaceful country” who turned their backs on the values that they were taught.”

Despite blindingly obvious evidence to the contrary, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour there is “no evidence at this stage” that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was linked to a wider group, or network, of jihadists.

“There’s no evidence at this stage for us to know that. Obviously there’s an investigation going on, and we hope to learn more in the … coming days. It was clear that, police authorities now have announced, that he was acting alone yesterday”.

Steering the Climate Change Coverage By Insider Staff ****Read the comments from Quadrant

All the news that’s fit to ignore

Problems always loom larger when close at hand, so there is perverse reassurance to be drawn from the fact that The Age, SMH and ABC have not been alone in surrendering their news and opinion pages to ideologues and the moral arrogance of green-left activism. On the other side of the world it seems The New York Times, which fancies itself as a journal of record, is every bit as prey to close-minded arrogance as its antipodean counterparts.

Here is the Times latest environmental editor, Adam Bryant, explaining that it will be a long time between drinks before he allows climate sceptics to make their case in any story that he oversees:

“Claims that the entire field of climate science is some kind of giant hoax do not hold water, and we have made a conscious decision that we are not going to take that point of view seriously.”

That doesn’t mean he is opposed to debates of the approved, science-is-settled variety:

“…there is a huge amount of legitimate debate and uncertainty within mainstream science. Scientists are pretty open about not being sure how bad things will get, or how quickly.”

That would seem a case of dumb arrogance, rather than blinkered bias, if not for Timesman Bryant’s cited example of what, exactly, represents respectable, solid, unimpeachable science: Australia’s very own catastropharian David Karoly!

If Bryant was on the ball as a reporter, rather than a bawler of warmist refrains in the climate-catastrophe chorus, he might have come across the odd mention of Karoly-style settled science — settled, that is, in that it his paper claiming Australia has never been hotter in the past 1000 years had to be withdrawn and has since sunk without trace, along with the $300,000 of taxpayer money that paid for it.

Bryant’s views on the way, ahem, serious journalism must report warmism and other topics can be read via the link below.

Few topics fuel as much reader attention as climate change. Adam Bryant recently became editor of The Times’s expanded team covering the environment. We asked him how he is approaching the position.


When Leftist Race Hatred Meets Islamism By Arnold Ahlert

Apparently the hatchet-wielding maniac who assaulted two New York City policemen in Queens had ambitions in addition to his twisted jihadist sympathies. Attacker Zale Thompson’s father told the New York Post that killing white people was also on would-be murderer’s agenda.

“He wanted white people to pay for all that slavery and all that racism,” said father Ralph Thompson. “I think he committed suicide — and he was taking one of y’all with him.” Asked if “one of y’all” referred to whites, Thompson answered in the affirmative. “He just said, ‘They have to pay for all their unfairness,’” the father explained. “Unfairness for the way they treat black people.”

Zale Thompson assaulted three white and one light-skinned Hispanic police officers while they posed for a photograph on Jamaica Avenue in Queens. White officers Kenneth Healey, 25, and Joseph Meeker, 24, were struck by the hatchet. Meeker was cut on the arm, and rookie cop Healey was struck on the back of his skull, nearly killing him. The other two officers on the scene shot Thompson dead. Sadly, innocent bystander LaToya Jones, 29, was also shot and might be paralyzed.

Thompson’s 2013 comment on Google+ revealed the animus to which his father referred. “It’s ok for white people to draw pictures of a white jesus, and then colonize Africa, and enslave the negro in America, wipe out the native American, and invade the middle east,” he wrote. “They call black people racist for rejecting the oppression they suffered from whites. Listen, when black people have colonized the entire continent of Europe, enslaved its people, and sold them into bondage to foreign lands, then you can call them racist.”

Additional comments were uncovered by the SITE Intelligence Group, an entity that monitors extremist activity. On Facebook and YouTube, Thompson characterized Christians as “aggressive and violent” and chastised the “Christianized Negro” for adhering to the faith “his slave master gave him.” He was apparently the commenter named Zale Thompson who also offered his opinion on a YouTube video entitled, “Uprise of the Khilafah (Caliphate) World Wide”:

If you’re looking for “perfect” muslims who never make any mistakes in their Jihad, then you will be looking in vain! If the Zionists and the Crusaders had never invaded and colonized the Islamic lands after WW1, then there would be no need for Jihad! Which is better, to sit around and do nothing, or to Jihad fisabeelallah (for allah’s sake)!