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Lions and Tigers Ebola Oh My!

Yanno, I used to do this "dealing with mass disruptions like nukes, tidal waves, and epidemics" thing. I was actually the Operations Officer for one of the DoD teams that were set up to command and control the DoD component of a "whole of government" response to *exactly* this sort of event (speaking of ebola, in case you just woke up from a very long nap).

Admittedly, that was back during the Clinton administration, when not all the "professional" positions in the political appointee arena were apparently just about completely political. Clinton made a great choice of Jim Witt as FEMA director.

Of course, that all changed with 9/11 and the creation of the Homeland Mismanagement Agency and the immense scope creep, etc.

Which is why this status from Jonn Lilyea resonated so much:
"I'm just glad that the CDC has been focusing on gun violence policy instead of actual disease control. It's really paying off, isn't it?"

Usetabe - we really did know how to do it. And practiced it. And had the balls to not be so sensitive to the politics of it - because it was just that damn important to be ahead of it - which, oddly enough, is how you can get *less* hung up in the politics of it.  If they'd played hardball from Patient Zero, Day One, this wouldn't be a story any more, much less making the Centers for Disinformation and Confusion look more and more like a Clown College.  Except that Clown Colleges are that way *on purpose.*

Meh. Too bad this didn't arise *after* the election. I'm pretty sure the response would have been different.  But nooooo... we have to always play to the fiction that we are perfect and we are in charge, nothing to see here, no errors, ever.  What about last week?  What?  I can't hear you.

Probably. Of course, the CDC probably really does know how to do it, in the professional ranks - but political considerations, and the fecklessness of public officials when a crisis is *real* vice when it's an exercise, can be amazing.

I've seen, in CPXs, Public Health officials at federal, state and local level and their political masters wave their arms and impose quarantine very quickly.

In real life - well, that might annoy someone powerful or rich, or with a microphone, and, well, "we need more data." 

And we can't look bad before an election.  But we will blame the opposition for any problems because, well, look!  Bright!  Shiny!

What were you saying again?

13 Comments

And now the National Guard is becoming engaged. Mission creep anyone?
 
We are not the effing Peace Corps! Rather than quarantine lets see how many people we can expose in the interest of political expediency. Sorry... I'm just so disgusted with what is supposed to pass for leadership these days.
 
Having done an assessment of the CDC EOC some years ago, I will say that they are very smart people with lots of very nice technology, but their command and control and decision making support systems were inadequate to planning and executing a county fair.
 
 In my world back then, they fell in on the FEMA DFO and FEMA and my JRMPs provided their staff planning and execution skill sets.
 
Squirrell!!!

The decision makers at CDC are idiots. Unfortunately, such incompetence seems all to common among the decision makers these days. FedGov is simply going to pieces.
 
Which governor will say, "Screw You!" when the Feds try to send his or her Guard units to Liberia?
 
Quarantine everything NOW!!!!!

As for sending the Guard to Africa, sorry, that ain't the Guard's mission at a time when we have bigger threats right here. 

CDC professionals need to be empowered to make decisions and get the political idiots out of the way.

This is not a 'effing drill!  With a 70% mortality rate, we cannot afford to allow any case to spread any further.  Even worse, we know with the near (and soon to be fully) pandemic conditions in some other palces, we absolutely will see more infectious ebola carriers entering the U.S.  If we are lucky they will come in legally and be screened.  However, we can bet that some will come illegally across the porous border.

This ebola stuff will likely prove even more catastrophic than the post WW1 "Spanish flu" epidemic.  Unless quarantines are imposed nearly everywhere immediately.
 
Pogue: you spelled pus wrong :)
 
The Last Ship returns next season as a reality show.
 
John,

Observe the CDC procedure for removing protective gear at: www.cdc.gov/sars/downloads/ppeposter1322.pdf. Note the glove removal.

I think this explains why we've had a couple of 'protected' people come up infected. I'm training my staff to do it right, without contacting contamination.

Ebola is HIGHLY dangerous re: death rate; but it is not highly transmissable. Roughly 10,000 cases in the West African countries where standards of hygiene are well below ours, that's really not many.

Everyday disinfectants kill it. UV kills it. Carelessness spreads it, and that's the real danger. Because staff is often not careful enough and the CDC puts out bad information.
 
JimC, back during the Reagan administration, several leftist Govs tried to prevent Reagan from send NG units to Central America. The courts killed the idea with fire. If a NG unit is activated, the President has the authority to deploy them anywhere.
 
QM I know but things are a lot different now.  When Reagan was president things were a bit more cohesive.  We have fallen a long way in 25 short years.  We have gone from the restoration of America to the fracturing of America.  The things the governor's are dealing with will give them a bit more backbone this time.  After all, the current President has dumped a mountatin of sick illegal alien children on them with a host of viral issues and of course that old killer tuberculosis. 
 
As a victim of Influeza B, I'm morbidly fascinated by this whole kabuki dance. From Bill O'Reilly calling for Frieden's tarring and feathering to Earnest's daily assuances that all is well.

Fortunately for me, 'Flu B didn't have a 70% mortality rate, although I at times wished I was dead. Moreover, the ER procedures/admittance and care protocols were a piece of cake compared to an Ebola treatment. (Think threading a needle in a room full of Sarin gas being whipped about by an industrial air circulation fan...)

My point is, treating this badass virus takes all hands on deck in an isolation ER for ONE PATIENT. 

I don't think anybody really gets it. And if/when they do, I hope to God it isn't by direct experience.