Is the CDC in control?
I am not sure anymore. This latest case of Ebola in Texas has me wondering whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is prepared to eradicate any further contamination on U.S. soil.
CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden stated that this first case of Ebola to be transmitted in America was due to a breach in medical protocol. The latest patient is a nurse who was part of the team treating Thomas Eric Duncan, "patient zero," who died last week from the disease.
As we all know, Duncan was very sick and was undergoing treatment in an isolation unit for more than a week.
I would have thought that the CDC would be all over the supervision of this patient in the hospital, making sure that all protocols were being followed properly.
So, you see my conundrum. Did the CDC drop the ball? Or are we blaming this breach of protocol on hospital staff?
I have been saying that not all hospitals are created equal and have the infrastructure necessary to fully protect their health care workers. The reality is, the infrastructure needed is just not available in many U.S. cities.
So the question is: How are we going to control further contamination?
The time has come to have specific centers where patients with suspected Ebola need to be monitored and treated. Hospital staff needs to be better protected.
I think that Dr. Frieden needs to evaluate whether he is qualified for this national task. I think that he needs to consider whether or not to delegate this responsibility to the Department of Defense, because dealing with Ebola warrants a military medical approach rather than a bureaucratic, political, Washington approach.
Tough decisions need to be made. Dr. Frieden's argument of not closing West Africa to commercial travel does not hold water. A better approach would be to have military flights bring supplies and volunteers to eradicate this epidemic in that continent. It would minimize the potential dangers to other communities around the planet as the world works on better treatment plans.
Otherwise, the Ebola war will continue for generations to come.