Ebola is federal screw-up

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Add Ebola to our long and growing list of federal screw-ups.

On Wednesday morning we learned a second nurse was infected by the virus in a Dallas hospital while taking care of the Ebola patient from Africa who died Oct. 8.

When the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, went on TV, he admitted his government agency wasn’t aggressive enough in managing and containing the spread of Ebola.

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“We could’ve sent a more robust hospital infection control team and been more hands-on with the hospital from day one about exactly how this should be managed.”

Thanks for the newsflash, Doc.

This latest failure of the federal government is really incredible. Just how incompetent can it get?

Iraq, Syria, ISIS and now Ebola. Isn’t there anyone in Washington who’s qualified to do anything right?

The president made fun of ISIS last year when he called them “the JV team,” but it turns out the real JV team is based in DC and he’s the captain.

Quarantines, restricting flights from West Africa — I don’t pretend to know the best way to keep the USA safe from Ebola. That’s supposed to be the CDC’s mission.

But I do know that the best way for the federal government to deal with this or any problem is to put qualified people in charge of solving it.

We’ve known for six years that the president isn’t qualified to be where he’s at. We know Susan Rice isn’t qualified to be his national security advisor.

And now we’re finding out that Dr. Frieden of the CDC isn’t qualified to take your temperature.

The CDC boasts that it’s “the nation’s health protection agency, working 24/7 to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic.”

But when a guy with the world’s deadliest virus showed up for treatment at a Dallas hospital, what did the expert bureaucrats running the CDC do?

Little more than send in a few advisers.

Now we see the head of the CDC on TV giving us his “shoulda, coulda, woulda” speech.

Too late, Dr. Tom. You shoulda already given us your resignation speech.

You knew how dangerous Ebola was. You knew we were going to bring infected people here for treatment.

When it happened, you and your agency were unprepared, inept and slow to respond.

Dallas hospital personnel were ill-equipped, untrained and basically forced to learn how to properly and safely handle an Ebola patient on their own.

Late Wednesday afternoon, when President Obama appeared with his cabinet to speak about Ebola, he said the CDC was going to aggressively monitor the deadly virus and would not repeat the mistakes made in Dallas.

He said the CDC would be setting up a medical SWAT team to handle new cases and it’ll make sure all local hospitals receive proper training and equipment.

He reassured us that the danger of any one of us contracting Ebola is extraordinarily low. So is the chance of a serious outbreak in the USA.

And he said he has confidence in the CDC and the healthcare system to handle what the media are already calling “The Ebola Crisis.”

Unfortunately, this president — and the federal government in general — doesn’t have much credibility left on anything.

Let’s hope he’s right this time.


Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution.” Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.