Saturday, October 18, 2014

CNN: Back To Spreading BS

After days of the increasing realities about Ebola pushing them to actually, y'know, do news, CNN has gone back to pimping utter horsefeathers about Ebola. Apparently, Dear Leader is pissed about the coverage, and the party line must be toed, and this crap isn't going to shovel itself:

(CNN) -- The U.S. experience with Ebola is generating commentary that is both prudent and outrageous.
There have been only three cases of Ebola occurring on U.S. soil, one ending fatally and the other two now under treatment.
While health officials provide sober guidance on the deadly disease, several public figures, from high-level politicians to cultural icons, haven't been so even-tempered in their remarks, adding to the public hype that has become associated with the virus.
Here is a sampling of those provocative comments, plus a little myth busting, clarifying and reality checking from Ebola experts from around the world.
"If you bring two doctors who happen to have that specialty (Ebola) into a room, one will say, 'No, it will never become airborne, but it could mutate so it would be harder to discover.' Another doctor will say, 'If it continues to mutate at the rate it's mutating, and we go from 20,000 infected to 100,000, the population might allow it to mutate and become airborne, and then it will be a serious problem.' I don't know who is right." -- Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN.

Ebola isn't transmitted through the air. It is transmitted through direct contact by bodily fluids with an Ebola-infected person showing symptoms of the disease.
A mutation such as the kind Dempsey describes "would be exceedingly rare" in one epidemic, said Edward C. Holmes of Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity at the University of Sydney.
"It happens over evolutionary time, millions of years," Holmes said. "This idea that it takes one or two of those mutations and 'Wham!' you pick up airborne transmission, that is way too simplistic."

Yeah, and Ebola coming to the US would be "highly unlikely" too.
There are more Ebola patients right now than the total that have existed in world history prior to now. Every one of them is multiplying viruses by the millions per hour, each one of those replications is another roll of the genetic dice to a mutation. Times the 9000-20000 cases there are. So "exceedingly rare" is cold comfort if we happen to win that jackpot, and right now, the virus is pulling on slot-machine handles like a monkey on crack with a bucket of nickels in every one of those patients, EXACTLY AS THE JCS CHAIRMAN WAS TOLD, AND REPORTED.

"If someone has Ebola at a cocktail party, they're contagious and you can catch it from them. -- Sen. Rand Paul, a physician and potential 2016 presidential candidate

Again, experts say the contact with an infectious person must be tactile, or direct touching, and involve bodily fluids -- blood, sweat, feces, vomit, semen or spit.
People in West Africa are avoiding hugs and handshakes because the virus can be spread through the sweat on someone's hand.
The uninfected person would have to have a break in the skin of their hand that would allow entry of the virus, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta said. But "we all have minor breaks in our skin. And there is a possibility that some of the virus can be transmitted that way."
Paul also made other remarks regarding direct contact: "They say all it takes is direct contact to get this. If you listen carefully, they say being three feet from someone is direct contact. That's not what most Americans think is direct contact."
Without directly addressing Paul's claims about contact over three feet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden indicated that's not a possible mode of transmission for the virus.
"Should you be worried you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone?" Frieden said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "The answer to that is no."

Rather than note yet again what a bullshit-spewing assclown Frieden is, let's just look directly at the CDC's own guideline regarding exposure:
Close contactClose contact is defined as
  1. being within approximately 3 feet (1 meter) of an EVD patient or within the patient’s room or care area for a prolonged period of time (e.g., health care personnel, household members) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (i.e., standard, droplet, and contact precautions; see Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations); or
  2. having direct brief contact (e.g., shaking hands) with an EVD patient while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.
Brief interactions, such as walking by a person or moving through a hospital, do not constitute close contact.
So CNN takes Paul to task for telling the exact truth, and gives Frieden a megaphone for disseminating more rose fertilizer (because he can't help himself). Bravo, idiots.
Dr. Rand Paul 1
Dr. Assclown Frieden 0

"The most comforting thing that I heard from (Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health) was that water kills the Ebola virus. I've never heard that before. I thought it was something that was so contagious there wasn't much you could do to prevent it or anything else, so her advice was 'wash your hands.' " -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal told the Marietta Daily Journal.
In fact, water alone does not kill Ebola. Soap and water does. So does chlorine and bleach, experts added."As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren't available," the Mayo Clinic said about the prevention and spread of Ebola infection.
Wrong, jackholes. Neither water, nor even soap and water, kills fuck-all in Ebola. At least not anywhere near fast enough to matter. They mainly wash them off of YOU, and send them DOWN THE DRAIN.
What kills Ebola?:
Viricidal options:"Ebolavirus is susceptible to 3% acetic acid, 1% glutaraldehyde, alcohol-based products, and dilutions (1:10-1:100 for ≥10 minutes) of 5.25% household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), and calcium hypochlorite (bleach powder) "
We don't wash our hands to kill germs, we wash our hands to get the germs off of them. If such regular burial-at-sea manages to kill them in the process, well and good, but the main point of soap is to make things on your skin come loose, and the water washes the loosened cooties off. But hey CNN, thanks for sleeping through middle school science class.
Basic Hygiene 1
Basic Hogwash 0

"The U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our 'borders.' Act fast!" -- Real estate mogul Donald Trump said on Twitter.
Most public health experts oppose such a ban.
"Many nations have banned flights from other countries in recent years in hopes of blocking the entry of viruses, including SARS and H1N1 'swine flu,' " wrote Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. "None of the bans were effective, and the viruses gained entry to populations regardless of what radical measures governments took to keep them out."
No ban will completely stop people moving about the world, experts said.
"It gives us the false assurance that we can ignore the problems that are happening in Africa," Wendy Parmet, director of the Program on Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University School of Law, told National Geographic. "At the end of the day, we can't. And our own safety depends on our getting it right there, not on building the walls."
President Obama this week said he opposes a travel ban.
Well played. Laurie Garrett is nothing but a science writer with a B.A., and currently shilling for the biggest globalist concern on the planet, which doesn't have the U.S.'s (nor anyone's but their own) best interests at heart.
Banning flights isn't a radical measure, it's a prudent one. No one can walk from Africa to the US. And no one can enter legally without a visa. (We'll set aside for a minute why this is Reason #11,000,001 for SECURING THE BORDERS.) So anyone coming here, from there, would have their point of origin checked, and if we're going to do this intelligently, they would then go into quarantine until they were presumptively disease free. That works with 100% efficacy, going back to the plagues of the Middle Ages. That's where the word "quarantine" came from: 40 days in strict isolation.
So bringing in gainsaying fuckwits to try and contradict common sense won't work any better than trying to do magic tricks with no clothes on. We see the bunny.
Thanks for playing.

"Reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning." -- Georgia Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey, a medical doctor, wrote to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gingrey and other Republicans have claimed that Latino immigrants are carriers for Ebola, particularly via the U.S.-Mexico border.
"One of the reasons why I've been so adamant about closing our border, because if people are coming through normal channels -- can you imagine what they can do through our porous borders?" former Massachusetts senator and now New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown said in a radio interview.
Marine Gen. John Kelly, chief of the U.S. Southern Command said, "If Ebola breaks out, in Haiti or in Central America. I think it is literally, 'Katie bar the door,' in terms of the mass migration of Central Americans into the United States."
Health experts said those fears are grossly exaggerated.
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden dismissed the possibility of Ebola reaching the United States via the southern border. "That is not happening," he said.
Hello, McFly? Is your head out of your ass yet?? No one said "it's happening", they said "IT COULD HAPPEN". Which is not only true, it's also far from "highly unlikely". It's certainly not "grossly exaggerated", and if you had actual experts to say that, you'd have conjured them by name, instead of holding a séance to summon your Imaginary Friends. So get off of buffing Frieden's knob, and wake the hell up.

Common sense  1
CNN news-hackery  0

"I don't know ... But I think this Ebola epidemic is a form of population control. S*** is getting crazy bruh," R and B star Chris Brown tweeted.

Brown and a number of other public figures, including radio show hosts Rick Wiles and Michael Savage have advanced perhaps the most provocative statements.

Let's take this one by one.

The numbers don't support Brown's comment.

There are more than 7 billion people living on Earth. Worldwide, there have been a total of 8,997 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in seven affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States), according to the latest World Health Organization figures.

There have been 4,493 deaths, the WHO says.

Then there's Christian radio broadcaster Wiles, who said Ebola "may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming," according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Ebola "could solve America's problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion," Wiles said on his Trunews program, according to the Colorado Independent.
A prominent Christian evangelical group, Focus on the Family, denounced those remarks.
"Our first response as Christians to tragedies such as Ebola ought to be one of concern and compassion," Ron Reno, the group's vice president of orthodoxy, said, according to the Independent. "[P]ublicly speculating on God's motives in allowing specific outbreaks of disease is both unwise and unhelpful."
Finally, talk radio host Michael Savage said President Barack Obama wants to infect America with Ebola.
"There is not a sane reason to take three- or four-thousand troops and send them into a hot Ebola zone without expecting at least one of them to come back with Ebola, unless you want to infect the nation with Ebola," Savage said.
Obama sent those U.S. troops to West African nations with Ebola as part of an international effort to help eradicate -- not spread -- the disease.
"The most important thing in addition to treating and monitoring anybody who even has a hint of potential exposure here in this country, the most important thing that I can do for keeping the American people safe, is for us to be able to deal with Ebola at the source, where you have a huge outbreak in West Africa," Obama said Thursday.

Let's take this one by one.
1) Thanks for scouring the babblesphere for the craziest dipshits you could find, so you could roll out Ad Hominem, Scapegoating, Guilt By Association, Red Herring, and Strawman Fallacies by the dozen.
Unfortunately for you, they covered Logical Fallacies for most people in high school, and even the Greeks figured it out as pure BS some 2500 years ago. Apparently it's still not well-known in J-school, huh guys?
Unfortunately for your article, dragging them in is not the same as proving your points. It's just shoveling horsesh*t with a wider shovel, and flinging it harder.

2) Ten months ago, there was 1 Ebola case.
To get to the nearly 9000 cases you note (which both WHO and the CDC acknowledge is far likelier to actually be 22,000 cases), the virus has had to double 13 to 14 times its original infection size of 1.
It's currently doubling in Africa about every 3 weeks on average. Sometimes, even faster than that.
And if it doubles 19-20 more times, Ebola will be everywhere, and 70-90% of the planet will die from it, in a manner most hideous and unpleasant.


Just a thought.

Reality 8,997
CNN   0

By Michael Martinez. CNN's Stephanie Smith, Zachary Wolf, Belle Reynoso and Sarah Aarthun contributed to this report.

UPDATE: Apparently the new media marching orders are simple:

NBC's version of the story above
ABC's slightly milder version of the above
CBS joins the parade a day late and a dollar short.
So far, CBS and only Fox seems content to continue reporting, instead of telling people what to think.


  1. "Every one of them is multiplying viruses by the millions per hour, each one of those replications is another roll of the genetic dice to a mutation."

    Shepherd, can you give one actual example of a virus that mutated from fluid borne to airborne?

    Just one.

    Look, I'm on your side on most things, but I think you should read up about virus mutation before you hint that the virus could become airborne. It's bad enough as it is. There are other ways that are much more likely to mutate, such as having a longer asymptomatic mutation period in which the carrier is contagious.

  2. Rare does not equal impossible.

    My point isn't how it mutates, or what it has or hasn't mutated to, or even what's most or least likely, the point is that it mutates, and that our experiential knowledge of this virus is extremely limited.

    Pooh-poohing someone for being prudent, knowing that, is pure jackassery.

    I've been loud and frequent pointing out to people prone to run around in circles that it's not airborne, because the current droplet-spread version is robust and virulent enough to kill 90% of us deader than canned tuna, which'll do just fine.

    Someone telling us that because something is "highly unlikely", we should ignore the chance, is going to be wrong, but they won't be the only one who pays for their own arguments from ignorance. Real people will, and already are.

    They tried that very phrase with this very virus coming to the US, and not even days before it arrived here. How's that working out so far?
    Shall we ask the 74 people now on lockdown? Maybe the parents of several thousand kids in Dallas or Cleveland? Or maybe just the two nurses in the BL4 ICUs?

    Then we can bring in the guys who designed Three Mile Island, or the engineers who thought putting Fukusima in was a good idea, or even just the surviving crew members of Apollo XIII.

    Anybody arguing the opposite is selling meadow muffins, and anyone arguing in regard to a virus about which we know so little is nothing but a dangerous asshole.

    My point wasn't to teach viral microbiology. It's to point out that there's a prudent outlook, and there's an idiotic outlook. The writers at CNN, knowing even less about this than I do, or you do, are clearly in that latter category, because they not only ignore what they don't know about microbiology, they ignore what they should know about relying purely on chance never lining up badly for any given event.

    Most significant events in human history are nothing less than a collection of people who ignored the possibilities for tragedy and catastrophe: The Titanic, New Coke, the Johnstown Flood, most movie sequels or stories based on comics, Napoleon's Russian Campaign, the last Challenger launch, any Pauly Shore movie, the Hindenburg, putting Rosie O'Donnell on camera, thalidomide, Justin Bieber, banning DDT, and so on ad infinitum.

    If someone wants to argue large unlikelihoods vs. small unlikelihoods, great, publish the charts in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

    But when someone slams people for prudence, whose jobs are to make difficult decisions, considering all possibilities, and responding conservatively on the side of maximum safety to others, when the consequences are a deadly epidemic if they get it wrong, I want to use a steel pipe on their kneecaps for a xylophone.
    And then get some pliers and a blowtorch and get medieval on their asses.