Today's award goes to the Centers for Disease Control and their pathetically inadequate - not to mention incomprehensibly flawed - attempts to deal with the Ebola crisis. The latest example of their crass stupidity was uncovered yesterday.
The CDC has announced that the second healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola ... traveled by air Oct. 13, with a low-grade fever, a day before she showed up at the hospital reporting symptoms.
. . .
CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. John LaPook reports that Vinson called the CDC several times before boarding the plane concerned about her fever.
“This nurse, Nurse Vinson, did in fact call the CDC several times before taking that flight and said she has a temperature, a fever of 99.5, and the person at the CDC looked at a chart and because her temperature wasn’t 100.4 or higher she didn’t officially fall into the category of high risk,” said Dr. LaPook on the CBS Evening News.
. . .
“Those who have exposures to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline,” said Dr. Frieden. “The CDC guidance in this setting outlines the need for controlled movement. That can include a charter plane; that can include a car; but it does not include public transport. We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement.”
There's more at the link.
Can't blame the nurse for this - she did precisely and exactly what she'd been told to do, and asked the CDC for clearance. Inexplicably, they gave it. The plane she took had scores of other passengers aboard, all of whom must now be monitored; and it was used for five flights after she disembarked before it was taken out of service to be decontaminated. All of the passengers on those flights are now also at risk. I'm sure they're comforted to know it's a low risk . . . and I'm sure they'd like to know why the CDC allowed them to be put at risk in the first place!
As the Los Angeles Times noted yesterday: "The United States does not remotely have an Ebola crisis, but it is beginning to have a crisis of confidence in the Obama administration's handling of the matter." Perhaps the administration needs to learn a few lessons from Firestone . . .