Amid all the wasteful, stupid things government does, the one thing it is supposed to do right is protect its citizens. It’s where the focus should be. Not on expanding the welfare state.
But as usual on important matters, President Obama is late. Somehow, a force of 31,500 terrorists materialized under his nose. And now, a major new pandemic that will eventually hit the United States – with results that could range from minimal to catastrophic – has unfolded in Africa amid what critics say is only a token response from the United States.
Someone needs to send Obama some “To Do List” software or the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People – I’d recommend it to anyone, BTW – in order to get his thinking organized.
The Ebola crisis is a national security threat to the United States. The virus kills half the people it infects. After incalculable suffering. Scientists have long warned that another great pandemic is coming. If this virus mutates to become more communicable, we’ll be in deep doodoo.
Obama is traveling to the Centers for Disease Control today and launching what appears to be a serious effort to contain the virus where it is. But our vacation and golf-addicted president has lumbered to slowly into action.
According to The Hill:
The White House is facing sharp criticism over its previous actions in the outbreak, which aid workers have lamented as insufficient half-measures given rapidly deteriorating conditions on the ground.
So far, the Obama administration has committed roughly $175 million for multiple agencies specifically to fight Ebola. The CDC has deployed about 100 healthcare workers to the region, USAID has its own teams on the ground, and the Pentagon is working to establish a 25-bed temporary hospital in Liberia to treat ill healthcare workers.
Aid workers saw these actions as token gestures, however, given the need for literally thousands of hospital beds and healthcare workers on the ground.
The 25-bed temporary hospital is a particular sore spot given its small size and the fact that it could take more than one month to arrive in West Africa.
Administration officials say it will also be weeks before U.S. military personnel are fully deployed to the region, although the Pentagon hopes to have a general officer overseeing the coordinated effort in place by the end of this week.
Even now, some experts warn that it may be too little too late.
“The mobilization that is happening is coming late, and it’s coming while exponential growth of the virus itself is just outstripping everyone,” said J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“The collapse of security and flight access, the closure of borders, the regression of the economy, the fear of the people — all of those things create this absolutely formidable environment.”
“I’m very distressed,” said Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. “I don’t think we’re even close to playing catch up, much less mount a response that will get us ahead of the virus.”
A rapidly spreading virus that kills half the people it infects is a problem. Obama also needs to be banging our allies over the head to get them to pay this effort and contribute their own people too – since, you know, we take care of their defense needs for them – but somehow I doubt Obama’s been on the phone about it.
An aggressive response earlier might have contained outbreak. But whether it’s the Obamacare website catastrophe or the president’s own routine lateness for every appearance he makes, I don’t think this is a White House that is being run with any greater effectiveness than an ant colony.
Actually, ant colonies appear to have some degree of organization.