Remember the U.S. Ebola crisis? The only epidemic was fear-mongering


mentalfloss
+2 / -1
#1
Next Year: Remember ISIS?


Remember the U.S. Ebola crisis? The only epidemic was fear-mongering

Remember the great North American Ebola hysteria of ’14? The baseless quarantines, the helicopters following the first infected American aid worker as he was taken off a plane in the United States, the television news channels that warned, in a continuous panicky crawl, that “cases may soar to 10,000 per week.”

The terror was justified – if you happened to live in certain parts of West Africa. As of last week, the death toll in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone had reached 9,637 out of 23,781 confirmed cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Thankfully, it looks like the spread of the disease is finally slowing in those countries.

One person who was diagnosed with Ebola in the United States died, out of four confirmed cases. You would never know that, judging by the paranoia and political grandstanding that dominated the airwaves in October. A community college in Texas stopped taking applicants from affected countries; two kids from Sierra Leone were beaten up in America because, you know, they’d been to Sierra Leone. Health-care professionals returning from Africa were placed under quarantine even if they showed no symptoms; anyone they’d come in contact with was told to stay at home too, as if the virus could spread by mere proximity (which was not the case). It was like Beatlemania, if you took away the Beatles and just kept the mania.

There has never been a case of Ebola in Canada, but that didn’t prevent our government’s shameful decision to deny visas to visitors from the afflicted countries, over the protests of public-health experts. Australia did the same thing.

The most absurd cautionary tale had to involve the closing of Coming Attractions, a bridal shop in Akron, Ohio, which shut down in January after months of poor sales. The reason? Amber Vinson, a nurse who contracted (and recovered from) Ebola had visited the store before her diagnosis. “You can’t Google ‘Coming Attractions’ without the word ‘Ebola’ coming up everywhere,” one of the shop’s employees told a local newscast. I feel for the owners of the shop, though not as deeply as I feel for the people suffering and fighting the disease in West Africa.

Some of the damage the hysteria left in its wake was laid out in a report this week called Ethics and Ebola, from the U.S. Presidential Commission on Bioethical Issues. “In the United States,” the authors noted, “the limited cases sometimes generated widespread fear, unflattering reactions and governmental responses that some argued were actually focused on addressing political implications of such public reactions as opposed to the underlying health concerns themselves.”

This will not surprise anyone who heard politicians such as Rand Paul, as well as walking caricature Donald Trump, essentially blame President Barack Obama for the arrival of the virus on America’s shores. A Fox News host actually asked the director of the CDC, live on air, why anyone should trust its advice when it was “part of the administration.”

Public trust is key, as the report points out. Preparations have to be made not just for the next epidemic but for the best way to communicate useful information to the public that is based on science, not fear or political machinations. The report singles out travel bans and unnecessary quarantines of health professionals that were “ineffective and overly restrictive.” Instead, it recommends a policy of “least infringement,” which acknowledges that allowing experts to travel to fight an epidemic at its source is the best way of stopping a disease’s global spread.

Try telling that to Kaci Hickox. She’s the nurse who was slapped into quarantine after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, despite not having the virus or even any symptoms of it. She fought the quarantine in court and threatened to sue New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. (“Get in line,” he responded.)

“My liberty, my interests and consequently my civil rights were ignored because some ambitious governors saw an opportunity to use an age-old political tactic: fear,” she wrote in the Guardian. The issue, which she wrote about under the headline Stop Calling Me ‘The Ebola Nurse,’ was much larger than just her restricted movements. “Too many political and civic leaders have allowed this fear to spread and some even fuelled the flames.”

Her comments were echoed by Craig Spencer, the New York doctor who contracted Ebola and had his own moment in the panic spotlight. Dr. Spencer went to a bowling alley before he began showing symptoms, prompting widespread terror and leading one wit to point out that New Yorkers were safe unless Dr. Spencer had had carnal relations with a bowling ball.

Dr. Spencer recently wrote about his experiences in The New England Journal of Medicine, and in an interview with WNYC radio he lambasted the fear-mongering that leads to mandatory quarantine policies: “I’m afraid that what happened was that we forsake public health principles at the expense of political expediency. … I’m very afraid that what we did in this situation is set a precedent that allowed politicians to make public health policies when they were not qualified to do so.”

They have such nice, reasonable tones, Dr. Spencer and Ms. Hickox. What are the chances they’ll be heard above the shouting?

Topics:

Health Care
United States of America
Liberia
North America
Canada
Sierra Leone

Remember the U.S. Ebola crisis? The only epidemic was fear-mongering - The Globe and Mail
 
Blackleaf
+1
#2
The whole Ebola crisis was nothing but scaremongering, not just in Yankeeland. I think only about 10,000 people died. More people probably die of the flu every year.

We have to remember that the Ebola scaremongering was brought to you by the same people who brought you the scaremongerings over the Summer of the Shark, SARS, bird flu, Global Warming, the raging lefty Europhile BBC's new apocalyptic drama
The Great European Disaster Movie which depicts the terrible portents that await us should the EU break up (including looting in Rome, an Isis army having advanced as far west as Vienna and, somehow, Berlin airport going out of action) etc etc etc etc etc.
 
mentalfloss
-1
#3
Did ya know that ISIS has killed only 2.5x that number?


These are the issues du jour.


Government takes these low exposures and uses them for political theater to grab votes.
 
Blackleaf
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Did ya know that ISIS has killed only 2.5x that number?


These are the issues du jour.


Government takes these low exposures and uses them for political theater to grab votes.


It's not just governments. Many organisations have what they see as good reason to scaremonger.

The whole Global Warming scam is just so they can give us higher energy bills through "green taxes."

BBC's apocalyptic drama about EU break-up is condemned as 'scaremongering propaganda'* | Daily Mail Online
 
mentalfloss
#5
The problem with global warming is that people think that accepting the science means you have to accept policy decisions that the government suggests.

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the fact that the evidence shows humans are the primary driving factor, but that we may not need to do much to rectify that problem for the time being.
 
Blackleaf
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

The problem with global warming is that people think that accepting the science means you have to accept policy decisions that the government suggests.

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the fact that the evidence shows humans are the primary driving factor, but that we may not need to do much to rectify that problem for the time being.


Even if Global Warming is real (and I don't think it is) I think it would actually bring benefits rather than total calamitous disaster as the Warmists keep telling us.
 
mentalfloss
#7
I don't know about that, but where I will agree with you is that I am not sure I agree with the scope of damage proposed as a result of global warming.
 
EagleSmack
+2
#8
So what is the count of your fear mongering global warming threads up to now? Over 100?
 
DaSleeper
+3
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

So what is the count of your fear mongering global warming threads up to now? Over 100?

Keyword(s): "global warming" ; Threads Started By: mentalfloss

Showing results 1 to 50 of 217
 
EagleSmack
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

Keyword(s): "global warming" ; Threads Started By: mentalfloss

Showing results 1 to 50 of 217

217... well well Flossy. Don't you think that is kind of....pathetic?
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#11
Could it be that it was a non-issue because of prompt and harsh responses like isolating a guy getting off a plane?
 
mentalfloss
+1 / -1
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

217... well well Flossy. Don't you think that is kind of....pathetic?

What's pathetic angry person?
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+3
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

So what is the count of your fear mongering global warming threads up to now? Over 100?


LOL. Now that's a valid point.

Anyway, the thing that irritates me is that just because the news over sensationalizes something doesn't automatically mean it should be cavalierly dismissed. Sensible human beings know/knew that Ebola in North America was not worthy of the specialized soundtrack bulletin pieces it was getting on the nightly news. And sorry, but yes quarantining someone who has been exposed to a highly virulent disease, particularly when the only cases thus far have showcased poor procedural practices in Western hospitals is not 'fear mongering'. It's very reasonable.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

What's pathetic angry person?

Angry? I find humor in it to be honest.

Pathetic because you feel the need to post thread after thread because you are so afraid and you are a total zealot to your religion.

You weren't always like this but somewhere along the line you became so obsessive and afraid that you felt compelled to spam the forum with thread after thread on global warming.

217 threads and counting on one subject... that is pathetic.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+3
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Angry? I find humor in it to be honest.

Pathetic because you feel the need to post thread after thread because you are so afraid and you are a total zealot to your religion.

You weren't always like this but somewhere along the line you became so obsessive and afraid that you felt compelled to spam the forum with thread after thread on global warming.

217 threads and counting on one subject... that is pathetic.

I think that number is low. The search was for 'global warming' but it could be AGW or Climate Change or any number of variations.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

LOL. Now that's a valid point.

Anyway, the thing that irritates me is that just because the news over sensationalizes something doesn't automatically mean it should be cavalierly dismissed. Sensible human beings know/knew that Ebola in North America was not worthy of the specialized soundtrack bulletin pieces it was getting on the nightly news. And sorry, but yes quarantining someone who has been exposed to a highly virulent disease, particularly when the only cases thus far have showcased poor procedural practices in Western hospitals is not 'fear mongering'. It's very reasonable.

Makes sense to me.

Perhaps Flossy thought the actual Ebola Epidemic in which thousands of people died and jumped continents through poor screening and medical procedures was distracting from his obsessive threads.

Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

I think that number is low. The search was for 'global warming' but it could be AGW or Climate Change or any number of variations.

I think you are right.
 
mentalfloss
+1 / -1
#17
Discussing a contemporary issue is not pathetic at all.


Ebola outbreak: Fear-mongering criticized by doctor turned patient in NYC

Irrational fear, fuelled by ratings and political expediency, shouldn't supercede public health preparedness

A doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola virus and rode the subway system and dined out before he developed symptoms said the media and politicians could have done a better job by educating people on the science of it instead of focusing on their fears.

"When we look back on this epidemic, I hope we'll recognize that fear caused our initial hesitance to respond — and caused us to respond poorly when we finally did," Dr. Craig Spencer wrote in an article published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Spencer, an emergency room physician, was diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 23, days after returning from treating patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. His was the first Ebola case in the largest U.S. city, spurring an effort to contain anxieties along with the virus. He was treated at a hospital, recovered and was released on Nov. 11.

News of Spencer's infection unnerved some New York residents, particularly after they learned that he rode the subway system, ate out and went bowling in the days before he developed a fever and tested positive.

Spencer said little attention was devoted to the fact the science of disease transmission and the experience of previous Ebola outbreaks suggested it was "nearly impossible for me to have transmitted the virus before I had a fever."

"Meanwhile, politicians, caught up in the election season, took advantage of the panic to try to appear presidential instead of supporting a sound, science-based public health response," he said.

After Spencer's diagnosis, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced mandatory 21-day quarantines for travellers who have come in close contact with Ebola, which has infected more than 14,000 people in West Africa and has killed more than 5,000.

Cuomo and Christie called federal health guidelines inadequate when they announced their quarantine plans.

But the governors, Spencer said, did not "sufficiently consider the unintended side-effects."

Health worker quarantines a mistake

The threat of quarantine may cause sick people to defer seeking treatment or cause health care responders returning from affected countries to "alter their travel plans or misreport their exposure to avoid quarantine," said Spencer, whose treatment included a transfusion of blood plasma from another Ebola survivor.

"We all lose when we allow irrational fear, fueled in part by prime-time ratings and political expediency, to supersede pragmatic public health preparedness," Spencer wrote.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/health/ebol...-nyc-1.2973253
 
DaSleeper
+1
#18
Who cares when ladders are more dangerous.....
 
mentalfloss
-1
#19
Seriously.

If we had actually taken proportionality into account instead of dramatizing the event, we would have had a much better response.
 
EagleSmack
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Discussing a contemporary issue is not pathetic at all.


Ebola outbreak: Fear-mongering criticized by doctor turned patient in NYC

The doctor was your typical know-it-all and could have spread the disease to others. Because he didn't he feels exonerated. How selfish.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Seriously.

If we had actually taken proportionality into account instead of dramatizing the event, we would have had a much better response.

Oh... oh good. What was in your opinion a better response?
 
mentalfloss
-1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

The doctor was your typical know-it-all and could have spread the disease to others. Because he didn't he feels exonerated. How selfish.

This sounds like anti-vaxxer speak.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

This sounds like anti-vaxxer speak.

Sounds like you don't have a logical response.
 
mentalfloss
+1 / -1
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Oh... oh good. What was in your opinion a better response?

Much less coverage.

More time to assess instead of sensationalism which lead to unnecessary quarantines and travel bans that made Canada and Australia look dumb.

Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Sounds like you don't have a logical response.

And your 'typical doctor' quote was logical?
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+2
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Much less coverage.

More time to assess instead of sensationalism which lead to unnecessary quarantines and dumb travel bans that made Canada and Australia look dumb.

Are you serious? That is not what led to "unnecessary quarantines". What led to the quarantines was factual demonstrated piss poor management in western hospitals for those few who did come back with the disease.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Much less coverage.

Censorship?

Quote:

More time to assess instead of sensationalism which lead to unnecessary quarantines and travel bans that made Canada and Australia look dumb.

Assessment capabilities suffered because of news stories?



Quote:

And your 'typical doctor' quote was logical?

Typical Flossy... just make it up and lie if the facts don't support you and you find yourself floundering.

This is what I said.

Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

The doctor was your typical know-it-all

And you lied about what I said.
 
mentalfloss
-1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

Are you serious? That is not what led to "unnecessary quarantines". What led to the quarantines was factual demonstrated piss poor management in western hospitals for those few who did come back with the disease.

Oh yes, the frenzied headlines had nothing to do with it all.

All the 'revelations' now about sensationalism are just rhetoric.

Among the most controversial questions last year was whether to quarantine health workers and others who arrived in the U.S. from the outbreak zones and had no symptoms of concern. Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms arise, and federal health officials recommended daily monitoring for fever during the virus' incubation period.

Nurse Kaci Hickox made headlines fighting the measures when she flew back to the U.S. only to be sequestered in a medical tent for several days in New Jersey and then discharged to her home in Maine.

The bioethics panel heard testimony that worry about quarantine deterred health workers from volunteering to help and concluded that policies like travel curbs or quarantine should be based on science and use the least restrictive means necessary.


http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/health/ebol...-nyc-1.2973253

Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Censorship?

I will tweak that and instead say that appropriate coverage about the virus and how it should be handled would have been more effective than sensationalism.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#27
Science sure helped those two nurses in Texas!

The Press should have stuck with the script!

"In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home." ~ President Obama September 14, 2014

Two weeks later someone with ebola does in fact reach our shores and infects two nurses at a hospital that was not prepared at all.

The doomed man lied to get in the US, slipped past the screening, the diagnoses was missed completely when he went to the hospital the first time. He was p*ssing, sh*tting, and vomiting all over the place and the hospital was not prepared in the slightest.
Last edited by EagleSmack; Mar 3rd, 2015 at 01:43 PM..
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+2
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Seriously.

If we had actually taken proportionality into account instead of dramatizing the event, we would have had a much better response.

I think dying from Ebola is much more serious than some unproved religion that unless I buy carbon credits, I may drown due to a rising ocean.
 
mentalfloss
-1
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

I think dying from Ebola is much more serious than some unproved religion that unless I buy carbon credits, I may drown due to a rising ocean.

Is that better or worse than the unproven religion that takes you to heaven if you don't touch yourself?
 
EagleSmack
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Is that better or worse than the unproven religion that takes you to heaven if you don't touch yourself?

Wow... you surely backed yourself into a corner on this one haven't you?

Where else will you take this one since you clearly got your azz handed to you once again.