Sunday, November 16, 2014

Still An @$$Clown

CNN screenshot of interview with CDC Director Frieden, who apparently just won't go away.

Some people don't get that the best thing they could do is shut up, and quietly hide in their offices for 5 to 10 years, if not quietly retire to BFEgypt.

Usually, if you weren't clear on the concept, the president appointing a political hack to get the spotlight off of you, then keeping that guy in more seclusion than US nuclear weapons information, is normally a pretty good clue to STFU and slither away.

But hubris is a tough disease to beat, and CDC Director Tom Frieden still has a raging case, as noted in this CNN exclusive interview with him:

(CNN) -- In an exclusive interview with CNN, Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reflected on the lowest moments -- and the surprises -- that occurred when Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person to unexpectedly arrive in the United States with Ebola.
Duncan has been the only person in the United States to die of the disease, and two nurses who cared for him became infected with the virus. The CDC was roundly criticized for its handling of the crisis, and some Republican lawmakers called for Frieden's resignation.
Frieden's lowest moment: when the first nurse, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with Ebola.
"We learned that the situation wasn't going to be as simple or as controlled as we thought it would be, and we immediately intensified our response to address the situation in Dallas," he said.
He said his biggest surprise was the difficulty of Duncan's care.
"I think we didn't recognize how hard it would be to care for someone with Ebola who was desperately ill in the U.S., and how much hands-on nursing care there would be, and we didn't expect two nurses to get infected," Frieden said. 
Gotcha Tommy. You only misunderstood the disease itself, how to treat it, and how to prevent its spread. Say, by the by, what's the NAME of your agency again...?
During Duncan's hospitalization, Frieden repeatedly said in press conferences that any hospital in the United States should be able to treat Ebola.
CNN asked Frieden if he regretted those statements, considering that at Texas Presbyterian Hospital, Duncan died and two nurses became infected, but the other nine U.S. Ebola patients, who were treated at hospitals that were specially designated to treat the disease, all lived. In those cases no workers became infected.
"Clearly there are things that we wish we'd done differently," he said. "The bottom line is that Ebola is hard to treat, and when the first patient ever with Ebola came to the United States, we thought the guidelines would protect the health care workers. When two health care workers became infected, we recognized the guidelines didn't work. So we changed them."
Riiiiiiiiiiight. The only thing you do, as an agency with no coercive power, is to promote standards and guidelines for all 5000 hospitals in the US on anything that could be a public health concern. Particularly a virus with no known cure and an 80% mortality rate. So the only thing you had to contribute on Ebola, you totally fucked up nine ways from Sunday, and had to completely backtrack on and revamp, because you'd never noticed the work done for decades by groups like Doctors Without Borders in dealing with this very disease much better under far more primitive conditions. Great job, Tommy!
He added that one thing his agency would have done differently would have been to tell nurse Amber Vinson not to board an airplane from Cleveland to Dallas. Vinson had taken care of Duncan and had reported a temperature of 99.5 degrees, but was told she could fly, because the CDC's threshold at that time for Ebola was 100.4 degrees. Vinson later was diagnosed with Ebola.
Because when your main goal is the public's inviolable health and safety, what better bureaucratic approach than to throw all caution to the winds, and stick lockstep with inappropriate and clueless guidelines, right?
CNN also asked if he considered leaving his post when several Republican lawmakers called for his resignation.
"I'm really just focused on stopping Ebola. I'm working around the clock to do that, and I will continue to do that, as long as Ebola is spreading, as long as I have the opportunity to do that," he said.
Based on your performance in this crisis so far, you "working around the clock" on it is pretty much every American's worst nightmare. Consider other opportunities, and update your resume. There's got to be a town somewhere in North Dakota or the Yukon that needs a good dog and cat vet where the locals may not associate you with the CDC gig right off the bat. Think hard on this, will ya?
"I wish I had know then what we know now," he added. "But that's not how the world works. We live life forwards and we understand it backwards. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, there are always things we would do differently."
Like wishing the president had hired someone who wasn't a flaming head-up-the-ass hemorrhoid to supervise the CDC, no doubt. Or, simply playing calliope music as the background music whenever you make an interview appearance. Like this time.

And now, some appropriate exit music for you...


  1. The tests appear to have a false negative rate ...

  2. Pissin On The Roses suggests that EbolaAir is transferring an Ebola patient from Mexico to Altlanta ...

    This is serious news if true.

  3. It's not a false negative rate, it's a test that's not sensitive enough to detect the virus in the early stages.
    With HIV, you do two tests, and they're repeated 6 months apart, because early on, they can't detect the infection, so one negative is worthless.

    With Ebola, by the time they can detect it, you're nearly dead, and usually too sick to save.

    This argues for treating everyone with signs and symptoms as Ebola-positive until proven otherwise, which means the entire full-court press and isolation protocols.
    Which is contrary to every normal precept of Western medicine: "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras".

    Reason #15,001 of Why We Shouldn't Be Dicking Around About This Disease, and yet we still are, both in Africa, and everywhere else.