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Obama Tries to Take Credit for Beating Ebola

President Obama was in full self-congratulatory mode last week, patting himself aggressively on the back for wiping out ebola and doing what had to be done even as the doubting Toms doubted.

From remarks at the White House:

Last summer, as Ebola spread in West Africa, overwhelming public health systems and threatening to cross more borders, I said that fighting this disease had to be more than a national security priority, but an example of American leadership. After all, whenever and wherever a disaster or a disease strikes, the world looks to us to lead. And because of extraordinary people like the ones standing behind me, and many who are in the audience, we have risen to the challenge.

Now, remember, there was no small amount of skepticism about our chances. People were understandably afraid, and, if we’re honest, some stoked those fears. But we believed that if we made policy based not on fear, but on sound science and good judgment, America could lead an effective global response while keeping the American people safe, and we could turn the tide of the epidemic.

Actually, Obama, distracted from important tasks as usual, was late when it counted, as I pointed out in September. As the Washington Post confirmed in an ebola effort post-mortem last month, our leader and his white horse rode up to save the day after the day had already been saved.

The U.S. military sent about 3,000 troops to West Africa to build centers like this one in recent months. They were intended as a crucial safeguard against an epidemic that flared in unpredictable, deadly waves. But as the outbreak fades in Liberia, it has become clear that the disease had already drastically subsided before the first American centers were completed. Several of the U.S.-built units haven’t seen a single patient infected with Ebola.

It now appears that the alarming epidemiological predictions that in large part prompted the U.S. aid effort here were far too bleak. Although future flare-ups of the disease are possible, the near-empty Ebola centers tell the story of an aggressive American military and civilian response that occurred too late to help the bulk of the more than 8,300 Liberians who became infected. Last week, even as international aid organizations built yet more Ebola centers, there was an average of less than one new case reported in Liberia per day.

“If they had been built when we needed them, it wouldn’t have been too much,” said Moses Massaquoi, the Liberian government’s chairman for Ebola case management. “But they were too late.”

Perhaps he can offer the relatives of those who died two years of free community college.

CDC Hires Dr. Seuss to Teach About Ebola

In a surprise development, the Centers for Disease Control has enlisted Dr. Seuss to teach about Ebola. Given the conflicting statements that have come out of the administration about how Ebola can be transmitted, the CDC felt Dr. Seuss could provide some clarity.

*******

That Ebola virus! That Ebola virus!
I like it less than Mylie Cyrus.

Can I get it on a bus?

You cannot get it on a bus,
Unless someone is oozing pus.

Can I get in on a plane? 

You cannot get it on a plane,
A bus, a plane, it’s all the same.
You cannot get it on a bus,
Unless someone is oozing pus.

Well can I get it from the Druids?

You cannot get it from the Druids,
Unless you’re exposed to their bodily fluids.
You cannot get it on a plane,
A bus, a plane, it’s all the same.
And you cannot get it on a bus,
Unless someone is oozing pus.

Then can I get it from a sneeze?

A sneeze! Oh please! Not from a sneeze!
You would not, could not, from a sneeze,
Unless an open wound it sees.

Not from a sneeze,
Not from the Druids,
Only from their internal fluids
Not on a plane,
Not on a bus,
Unless someone is oozing pus.

Can I get it from a doorknob?

Well I suppose if there was some poor-slob,
Who slobbered all over your bedroom doorknob,
Then you could come down with a bad case of Ebola
And soon you’d be drinking your last Pepsi Cola.

But you cannot get it from a sneeze,
Unless an open wound it sees.
Nor can you get it from the Druids,
Unless you’re exposed to their bodily fluids.
You cannot get it on a plane,
A bus, a plane, it’s all the same.
And you cannot get it on a bus,
Unless someone is oozing pus.

So I CAN get Ebola then, is that right?

Who the Hell knows? Now say goodnight!

Is Obama Politicizing Ebola?

President Obama has chosen to make his policy points on Ebola by using the tactics he customarily employs during political campaigns – vilification and straw men – begging the question of whether he is using the Ebola crisis to buttress his own sorry standing with the American people and in the process help Democratic candidates who are being harmed by his tarnished image.

Granted, a White House so thoroughly politicized may not know how to talk in any tongue other than the language of confrontation.

But Obama’s approach to an issue on which he should be unifying the country stands out as particularly incongruous and can perhaps only be explained as a political effort. And the brutally sharp edge to his remarks likely is in part the handiwork of his Ebola coordinator, Ron Klain, who knows politics and not Ebola.

Obame Ebola East Room

Make no mistake, I think Obama is correct to oppose quarantining health workers when they return from Africa. I agree with his argument that quarantines will damage our ability to send workers there and defeat the Ebola outbreak before it gets here.

But Americans who disagree with me, and with him, have legitimate arguments and rational bases for their concerns that steps short of a quarantine may be an insufficient guarantee that health workers won’t come home and spread the virus. People with opposing views should not be attacked.

But that’s what Obama did during remarks at the White House Wednesday, accusing his opponents of descending into crazed state of fearfulness that he suggested was un-American.

From his speech, delivered surrounded by health care workers who had returned from West Africa:

We don’t run and hide when there’s a problem. Because we don’t react to our fears, but instead, we respond with commonsense and skill and courage. That’s the best of our history — not fear, not hysteria, not misinformation. We react clearly and firmly, even with others are losing their heads. That’s part of the reason why we’re effective. That’s part of the reason why people look to us . . .

America has never been defined by fear. We are defined by courage and passion and hope and selflessness and sacrifice . . .

So I put those on notice who think that we should hide from these problems. That’s not who we are. That’s not who I am. That’s not who these folks are. This is America. We do things differently.

Who, exactly, is being hysterical? Chris Christie? Who is providing misinformation? Why is Obama putting people “on notice?” Why the anger? This is standard Obama acerbic political speech, not remarks about health care.

And some of these men and women have recently returned; others are heading there shortly. But all of them have signed up to leave their homes and their loved ones to head straight into the heart of the Ebola epidemic . . .  And we need to call them what they are, which is American heroes. They deserve our gratitude, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and with respect.

Really? Do people who disagree with Obama on Ebola policies not think those who treat Ebola patients are heroes? Only Obama does?

Note the self-promotion in these next comments, Obama’s implicit claim that he is a steady leader while others are losing their heads and “hiding under the covers.”

When I hear people talking about American leadership, and then are promoting policies that would avoid leadership and have us running in the opposite direction and hiding under the covers, it makes me a little frustrated . . .

And it’s . . . our ability to learn from mistakes that are made, and our ability to work through problems that are really complicated, and to see something through, and not lose our heads; to have grace under pressure and apply ourselves with slow, steady effort — the kind that change and progress requires.

I think the only people losing their heads are the victims of ISIS, the Islamist terrorist organization that metastasized in part due to a failure of leadership from Obama.

The president should promote his point of view. But politicizing it in the heat of campaign season, as he appears to be doing, is a disgrace.

Ron Klain, Secret Agent Man

Where is Ron Klain?

He’s an international man of mystery. We know he exists. We know he’s defeating Ebola. Probably has one arm tied behind his back, just to be fair. But we are not allowed to see him.

He is our leader, but he does not lead. He does not talk us. He does not reassure. HE DOESN’T LET ON WHAT THE HELL HE IS DOING.

But that’s because he’s not just the Ebola Coordinator. Coordinating is not really his bag, baby. Ron Klain cannot appear in public, because he is a secret agent man.

Here’s a photo of him practicing his moves. That’s Klain on the left, with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on the right.

KlainEarnest

Together, they are fighting Ebola. Earnest takes the public role, while Klain does his secret agent stuff. And Ebola doesn’t even stand a chance.

And now, a tribute to Ron Klain.

CDC: Returning Health Worker Won’t be Quarantined

The Centers for Disease Control today announced that the majority of health workers returning from West Africa would require daily monitoring but not quarantine, Reuters reports. A few considered “high-risk” – such as those who were stuck with a needle or who cared for patients without protective gear – would be asked to voluntarily quarantine themselves.

The military, though, is taking a more stringent approach, quarantining troops returning from Ebola-infested countries even if they did not come in contact with victims of the disease.

A dozen service members have already been isolated at a U.S. base in Vicenza, Italy, and dozens more will join them in the coming days.

CDC to Announce Guidelines for Returning Health Workers

The Centers for Disease Control this afternoon will announce a policy with respect to health care workers who return from treating Ebola victims in Africa, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today.

Signaling where the CDC will come down, Earnest said the White House continues to stand by its position that the health workers should not be quarantined, despite the quarantines issued in New York and New Jersey. But Earnest indicated President Obama would not seek to overrule state decisions, saying the states constitutionally have purview over the health of their citizens.

Earnest advised a consultation with James Madison for those who disagree.

Obama Gets It Right on the Quarantine

The White House was correct this weekend to pressure New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to change their short-sighted, misguided Ebola quarantine policies, which are more likely to harm than help the citizens of their states. President Obama, of course, has only himself to thank for the governors taking matters… Continue Reading

Photo || Obama Hugs Recovered Ebola Victim

President Obama today met with Nurse Nina Pham, who survived Ebola and was declared free of the virus today. In a symbolically important gesture, he hugged her for the cameras. Several White House reporters protested the failure of the White House to allow either video cameras or print reporters to cover the event. Only still photographers… Continue Reading

Obama to Meet with Nurse Who Recovered from Ebola

President Obama today will meet in the Oval Office with Dallas nurse Nina Pham. Pham was one of the brave nurses who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, who was the first person to contract Ebola in the United States. At a news conference this morning, Pham was… Continue Reading