Guest Column: There is no exit strategy with Ebola

By Gregory John Campbell

Wake up, America. There is no exit strategy with Ebola, because Ebola is an impending calamity without parallel.

Some may view these words as alarmist, but when we consider the pandemic lethality of Ebola, they’re essential. Ebola can only be stopped with an effective entrance strategy, because the ounce of prevention visa prescreening, point of origin and destination verification, mandatory 21-day quarantine and separate treatment centers for Ebola victims offers us is worth more than a pound of cure, because Ebola has no cure.

The United States has a broad technological medical system second to none, but this broad reach is only paper-thin. And it is this lack of medical depth that has many worried, because the U.S. is not prepared for a disease like Ebola.

The counterfeit Republicans accuse President Barack Obama (D) of being incompetent, which is true, but this is for political collateral only come November. Such is just a cheap shot across the bow, when we consider what Bush II did to destroy our democracy and country; arguably the most incompetent Republican and president in our nation’s history.

But this does nothing to solve the problem of Ebola, which transcends all party lines, because Ebola is a virus that kills without favor, like the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu epidemic that claimed 25-50 million lives worldwide.[1]

And if the government doesn’t have a firm “Manhattan” preventive strategy and treatment program in place to stop Ebola soon, as Republican Gov. Rick Perry is doing in Texas, it may be too late for America, because Ebola is like playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun; there is no good outcome possible.

Further, the National Nurses United (NNU) has stated U.S. hospitals are not prepared to deal with Ebola, because they say we don’t have a national health care system; only a fragmented collection of private health care companies each with a different response plan.[2] NNU surveyed 700 registered nurses at more than 250 hospitals in 31 states and found their hospitals have failed to deliver proper policies, education, protective equipment, isolation rooms or reduce patient loads to deal with Ebola.[3] Further, Dallas is not an isolated instance, as the Spanish Ebola case now confirms.

Ebola is not DOA; it’s DOC — death on contact. And Ebola can be contracted without personal contact, via perspiration, cough or sneeze droplets on the seat of a plane, chair in a school, keyboard on a computer or blankets and sheets on a bed. Thomas Duncan’s family knows this; let’s hope ours won’t. God be with them, because tragically, Mr. Duncan has died from Ebola.

Americans must awake from their historical illusions to deal with Ebola, because if they don’t, Ebola will kill them. If this means curtailing or banning travel from West Africa, or securing or closing our borders, we must, because no nation can permit “open borders” with a disease like Ebola. And if Obama doesn’t act, he’ll be inviting disaster into our nation and usher in perhaps the greatest human tragedy in our history as his presidential legacy. By comparison, the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic, which killed 550,000 Americans, could be nothing.[4]

Ebola is not a question of isolationism or human rights, because none of us is isolated from or has any rights with certain death. And Ebola is too real a threat to our children for any parent to remain complacent. Call your two senators and congressman now, and demand action. Ask them how it is we can send troops to West Africa but not help Americans here at home. Tell them to get the money and programs going now, or our nation may suffer an unprecedented socioeconomic disaster. America, choose what you want to be.

Gregory John Campbell is a Rockford resident.

[1] “Influenza pandemic of 1918–19.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2013.

[2] Published on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, by Common Dreams, Nurses to CDC: Wrong. U.S. Hospitals Not Prepared for Ebola, 87 percent say their hospital has not provided education on Ebola, By Common Dreams staff at:

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Influenza pandemic of 1918–19.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2013.

From the Oct. 15-21, 2014, issue

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