Moon-virus taken more seriously than Ebola
By Harold Witkov
I remember watching, on live TV, Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon back in 1969. I also recall the three Apollo 11 astronauts being quarantined after their splashdown.
That's right. Upon their return from the Moon, the astronauts were put in Biological Isolation Suits, rubbed down with a bleach solution, and forced to spend the next three weeks in a Mobile Quarantine Facility.
Evidently, back then, NASA, and the decision makers of our great nation, were not willing to roll the dice when it came to the health and safety of U.S. citizenry. So even the remotest possibility of a deadly Moon-virus returning to Earth with the Apollo astronauts was taken seriously.
To be honest, back then I thought the whole astronaut quarantine thing a stupid idea. Why worry? The Moon had extreme temperatures and lacked atmosphere. There couldn't possibly be anything to fear.
I have to admit, I now better understand the thinking. When it comes to the health and safety of Americans, erring on the side of caution is never stupid.
So, if erring on the side of caution is never stupid, then what constitutes stupid? Stupid, to be sure, is letting a myriad of illegal immigrants enter our country with contagious diseases like tuberculosis, chicken pox and hepatitis.
But Stupid is also the laissez-faire approach of this President when it comes to protecting Americans from the Ebola virus. Stupid is what I heard on October 3rd when I listened to the Administration's not-to-worry-about-Ebola Press briefing, and the professional doubletalk that falsely assured Americans not to fear an Ebola outbreak because they've got our backs. Here is some of the classic feel-good rhetoric:
Today, we're using a whole-of-government approach and response to control this epidemic at its source
We are rallying the international community
President Obama is confident that this epidemic will again be stopped
We've been working for many months to ensure that the United States is protected
We're continuing to provide guidance for flight crews
We're continuing to work with hospitals and health care workers
In Dallas, the public health system is now handling the (Ebola) case with the protocols that we know control the disease
Our scientists at the Food and Drug Administration are working tirelessly to develop new vaccines and treatments for Ebola
(Ebola) is not easily transmitted
In the end, our equipment, training procedures and most of all the discipline of our leaders and our force will help us to ensure that our team accomplishes its mission without posing a risk to our nation and our fellow citizens
Yada yada yada...
What an amazing contrast when one considers the aggressive protective measures (and thinking) of 45 years ago, to the cavalier thinking and the just for show measures of our government today. And I'm not just talking about Moon-viruses and Ebola!
Our leaders once cared enough about American citizens to err on the side of caution. Today our leaders, for their own shadowy reasons, throw caution to the wind.
Harold Witkov is an occasional contributor to Enter Stage Right. © 2014 Harold Witkov