The ebola experts’ crisis response – lots of plans/little action

Here’s a lengthy chronology of the ebola outbreak from the Washington Post, “Out of control: How the world’s health organizations failed to stop the Ebola disaster”.

Paragraph thirteen kind of sums up the systemic big issue:

“The epidemic has exposed a disconnect between the aspirations of global health officials and the reality of infectious disease control. Officials hold faraway strategy sessions about fighting emerging diseases and bioterrorism even as front-line doctors and nurses don’t have enough latex gloves, protective gowns, rehydrating fluid or workers to carry bodies to the morgue.”

The simple truth that emerges after reading these quotes from “experts” is that in third world areas local problems like civil strife, poverty, lack of sanitation, illiteracy, cultural superstitious belief systems, lack of functioning health systems stack the deck in favor of rampaging epidemics to win.  Sure, the world has some brave do-gooders who expose themselves to grave risks to help, but finding enough to handle the scope of this growing crisis will be very difficult.  And all these experts, with plans in  hand, can’t change human nature – most folks, even medical professionals, will weigh in on the side of not rushing to the epicenter of a virus that causes viral hemorrhagic  fever, has no known treatments, and has a very high mortality rate.

5 Comments

Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Politics

5 responses to “The ebola experts’ crisis response – lots of plans/little action

  1. Kinnison

    A young career Army officer I have mentored—his wife is one of my former students—married and with two young daughters, is seriously considering packing it in and submitting his discharge papers rather than reupping and taking the chance of being sent to West Africa. He sees no legimitate reason the U.S. should be sending combat troops there. The Germans have asked for military volunteers to go to West Africa. Not so the Obama Administration, which is ordering units of the 82nd Airborne into the area. If the contaigon spreads and our troops contract it will they be allowed to come home for treatmant, or, if the entire region is quarantined, will they be left there to die?

    • Kinnison, considering the deplorable state of military-planning these days, all the questions and worst-case scenario situations you, as a trained Army commander, are thinking about, most likely haven’t been mapped out yet by these idiotic political hacks in the Obama administration, who replaced military strategists in this CINC’s military-planning. We may end up with Corpsemen (bad pun, sorry) under his ass-backwards leadership model (more leading from behind, which naturally means he talks out of his you-know-what). If they wanted more isolation facilities built, you’d think engineers and such would be needed, not the 82nd. I noticed the Canadians and some other countries are sending medical supplies – not troops.

  2. JK

    Your’s and Kinnison’s concerns were what prompted me leaving the earlier link in your comments LB – figured y’all knowing the units or more accurately the “specialties” being ordered over … given the mission as I [do not] understand it, like Kinnison, I have some “problems” with that “ordered.”

    Mind, I’m most generally familiar with which Navy and Marine personnel do what, though I do note some Seabees seem er, “somewhat concerned” if that’s the right way to put it.

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/10/03/troop-estimate-for-ebola-fight-boosted-to-4000-or-higher.html

    (That was from a few days back – I’ll admit to some “rough sailing” getting open-source. I’ll keep current as able.)

  3. JK

    IF the final sentence is accurate (and the units mentioned in the above link are deploying) … well, it would appear 3 > 4000 total might be a bit of an understatement:

    “From 3,000 to 4,000 101st Division soldiers will be going to Liberia.”

    http://www.stripes.com/news/africa/101st-airborne-soldiers-heading-to-liberia-for-ebola-fight-1.306898

    • Thanks JK, we’ll just have to keep a running tally of the numbers, because it’s doubtful the Obama administration wants to be transparent about this mission. All I can say is when the first American servicemember contracts ebola there, he can kiss his legacy good-bye completely. He’s deploying elements of the 82nd and 101st for a humanitarian mission, but refusing to commit any of them to his war.

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