1. Today was a ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ Day in the U.S. Texas Presbyterian Hospital apologized for mistakes made in diagnosis of Mr. Duncan. Dr. Frieden expressed regret to a Congressional hearing that CDC had not done more for Texas Presbyterian Hospital earlier in Mr. Duncan’s hospitalization.
2. In response to the Congressional hearing this morning, President Obama has convened another Cabinet-level meeting this evening to discuss further actions in response to the EBOV epidemic in West Africa. Right now, only 500 of the 4000 troops the U.S. promised West Africa are on the ground. Very few of the troops are infectious disease specialists. Also, NIH released a bulletin that announces new immediate funding for testing of a new vaccine against EBOV within 6 hours of the Congressional hearing. See: https://col128.mail.live.com/?tid=cmJtNcYW1V5BGepQAhWtlrvg2&fid=flinbox for details of the new vaccine trials.
3. At the beginning of the Congressional meeting, Dr. Fauci announced that both EBOV infected nurses at Texas Presbyterian Hospital had been transferred to other hospitals (Emory and NIH in Maryland). President Obama has issued a federal order that the ‘ready Reserves’ can be called up if the Pentagon deems it necessary in their mission against EBOV in West Africa.
4. CDC FAQ says that EBOV remains viable for several hours on dry surfaces. EBOV remains viable at room temperature in blood as long as the blood is wet; same for vomit, stool, semen, saliva, sweat. This is why the ground on which EBOV patients in West Africa stand or lie is sprayed several times with bleach solution.
5. I have used the JCOS Contact Us website to recommend to GEN Dempsey: ‘buddy system’ for donning and doffing PPEs for all troopers within close proximity of EBOV patients, contacts, or treatment centers in West Africa; all tape on PPEs to be removed by ‘buddy’; statins for all troopers; RT-PCR testing for all troopers prior to return to U.S.; a military commander as Surgeon General for ‘command and control’; significant numbers of military infectious disease units in West Africa; and step-wedge testing of EBOV vaccines, not random controlled testing. Many of these actions are overkill I know, but I choose to believe Laurie Garrett’s estimates of EBOV caseloads and deaths in West Africa. The same recommendations have been made to Secretary Burwell and President Obama via their emails. These are the precautions Congress will demand before the Pentagon is allowed to send military infection disease units to West Africa.
6. Soon I expect passengers entering the U.S. via airports or port terminals will be quarantined if their passports show a passport stamp from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea within 21 days of arrival in U.S. This is a compromise which will satisfy both the President, the Senate, and the House, and may prevent some EBOV-patients-to-be from arriving in U.S.
I hope the President makes another address to the nation this evening to bring us all up to date and put us all on the same page. Too many opinions and few facts at the House hearing today; the ‘blame game’ just makes people fearful; it doesn’t garner votes.