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October 01, 2014

CDC Director Tries to Reassure Public, Fails Abysmally

He actually worries the hell out of me.

I've been noting this for some time. The media and the government -- essentially, these two institutions have fused; they are partner operations in the same corporation -- endlessly peddle fictions to the public on the theory that the public cannot handle the truth, and will panic, or bomb mosques, if they are told the truth.

Witness the government and media assuring us -- falsely -- that Alton Nolen's religion was all but irrelevant to his Jihadi Beheading Rampage.

This interview of the director of the CDC -- the first, best, and only line of defense against a major outbreak of a deadly disease -- with Sanjay Gupta of CNN seems to be of a piece with that idea of telling the morons whatever you have to tell them to keep them quiet and peaceable.

The director of the CDC says that you have no fear of infection by ebola unless you are in direct contact. So, he says to Gupta, neither of us is at any risk of infecting the other just standing here, talking to each other, at a distance of a yard or so.

The CNN anchor in the studio asks about a sneeze, and Gupta then points out that the CDC's own guidelines state that infection is a risk in cases of either direct contact or close proximity of three feet or less with an infected person.

The CDC guy then blathers something about taking each case individually on its own merits or something.

What?

These are general guidelines, and apparently the CDC's own general guidelines do say that close proximity (three feet or less) is enough to create a risk of infection.

"We would look at that" and "it depends on the situation" are very, very different from "no risk" of transmission.

So why is this guy claiming that only direct contact is enough for transmission?

This is very worrisome.

You know what would make me not panic? If the officials in charge of protecting us actually sounded like they knew what the hell they were talking about and weren't forever censoring the truth to keep us from panicking.

And by the way, this guy didn't seem to be prepared to discuss this. He did not have a ready explanation for his seeming contradiction.

Now some of this stuff is complicated, and maybe it's the case that (he seems to have been hinting clumsily at this) if a patient is in his most highly infectious stage, he can transmit it by simply being within close proximity, but in those cases, he would almost certainly be a known ebola victim and kept under medical quarantine.

And maybe he meant that in non-diagnosed cases, the patient may be infectious but not as infectious as in full-blown all-symptoms-presented ebola, and in that case, the case where the public is more likely to encounter such a person, only direct contact will suffice.

But if that's what he meant, he sure didn't do a very good job of explaining it.

And this is the head of the CDC. It's kind of an important part of his job to accurately and articulately broadcast information about public health threats to the public.

So what the hell happened here?

Why was Gupta's question about three-feet-or-less such a curveball for him?

Shouldn't he have been more ready to address that?

Eh, watch it yourself.

What the hell. What the hell.

You tell me if you feel "reassured" by this, or if your doubts about the Expert Officials tasked with protecting us have in fact increased.

Hey guys:

Try just treating us like educated adults and fellow citizens with a full right to know the information that affects us and our republic for a change, huh?

The best inoculation against rumor and panic is the truth, the straight truth, the Adult Version of the truth, not the child-safe version of the truth where you tell everyone (as Obama did) that it's "unlikely" that ebola will ever come to the US, or that no one need fear ebola unless he comes into direct physical contact with an infected person.

The government's and media's insistence on withholding information from us that it doesn't think we can handle is causing panic and rumors, not tamping down on them.



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posted by Ace at 04:36 PM

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