The Ebola virus in the United States seems far beyond the control of the Obama Administration’s Centers for Disease Control and so far, health care workers and the economy seem to be taking the punishment for it.
On NBC’s “Today Show” this morning, Texas Presbyterian Nurse Briana Aguirre told host Matt Lauer that she watched fellow healthcare workers “violate basic principles of nursing” and that the hospital had not provided any protocols on the handling of an Ebola patient. When they contacted the hospital’s infectious disease control office to ask what the protocols were, Briana said, they were told that “they didn’t know” and would have to get back to them.
Aguirre went on to say that the protective gear that they were given did not fully cover their exposed skin leaving their necks entirely vulnerable to splashes of bodily fluids.
For months Americans have been told by the President and his head of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden, that there were procedures in place and that the healthcare system and the CDC were ready to deal with Ebola cases – the public is struggling to believe them.
Just last week Dr. Frieden blamed nurses for failing to follow protocol. Listening to Nurse Aguirre’s interview this morning, it would appear as though protocols and equipment were neither in place nor trained upon.
Now, the CDC has instituted rapid response teams to fly out to hospitals where an Ebola case is suspected. With recent events, it may be too little, too late.
Two nurses have since been diagnosed with Ebola. Nina Pham and Amber Vinson. Both were exposed to Mr. Duncan, the Ebola patient at Texas Hospital that flew into the United States with the infection.
Nina was quarantined, but Amber was allowed by the CDC to fly on a commercial airliner after she contacted them to inform them that she had a fever – the first sign of an infection. The CDC is now frantically searching for all 132 people on that shared that flight with her.
Even the economy is not immune to this highly-infectious killer. While Europe’s debt issues and widespread deflation are one aspect, Ebola fears are helping to push the stock market into free-fall.
Since the CDC first confirmed the first U.S. case on September 30th, the DOW has lost about 900 points – over 5% of it’s value just.. gone. Today’s DOW futures show another 200+ point drop in the offering at open.
Airline stocks have been hammered despite rapidly dropping oil prices. Fuel is a huge input costs and a main driver of ticket prices. Investors expect a massive drop in people willing to fly due to the spread of the disease. The CDC allowing an Ebola-exposed nurse with a fever fly may just make that come true.
As Ebola fear escalates in the country, investors are concerned that people will avoid crowds like those at stores, malls, restaurants and tourist destinations. With the holiday shopping season just beginning to kick-up, the timing could be catastrophic for the American economy especially after the disappointing retail sales numbers from last month.
The only portions of the economy that seems to be getting a lift from the outbreak are retailers that sell biohazard suits, masks, prepping supplies, guns and ammo.