Okay, enough with the calming down. This is not the beginning of a zombie movie. This is real, and we need to react as a nation, collectively, to meet the Ebola challenge. First, because this morning a nurse at the Dallas hospital which treated the first U.S. Ebola patient has tested positive for the menacing virus, even though she likely took every precaution to prevent transmission. Secondy, the U.S. has sent over 4,000 troops and personnel to the heart of the “Hot Zone” itself in West Africa to tackle the disease head-on.
I do not believe the government is lying to us, or is involved in some sort of elaborate genocidal conspiracy worthy of a Tom Clancy novel. I do believe that the Federal government is comprised of a bunch of people who, like the rest of us, are emotionally and tactically unprepared for the sea-change in attitude required to meet the Ebola problem.
Okay, so what can we do, now?
First and foremost, the President must call Congress into an emergency session to pass “The Emergency Contagion Act.” This Act would create an immediate, multi-billion dollar fund to reimburse hospitals and doctors who treat people with Ebola or with Ebola-like symptoms. The Act would explicitly state that those who seek and use medical care will bear zero fiscal responsibility for their treatment. This is the only way to convince people who show early symptoms of the virus to get the medical care they need – and we need, as a society. The Act would cover every breathing human being – rich people, white people, African-Americans, Latinos, Bavarians, illegal aliens, foreign visitors – everybody. Additionally, the act would cover vet bills for those whose pets are in need of examination and, in the worst case, termination for possible Ebola infection. Yes, dogs might be able to carry it, and they’re the biggest slobberers of all.
Secondly, Congress must pass immediately the “Manhattan Project Act for Ebola,” creating a multibillion-dollar program dedicated to the treatment and, eventually, the cure for this virus. Our medical establishment knows a lot about viruses, especially how to weaken them through a combination of medical ‘cocktails.’ We did this with the AIDS virus decades ago. But nobody ever got AIDS in a hospital setting by coming into contact with an infected person. Not so with Ebola, at least in some stages.
The president must get on TV and address the nation. He must be clear about what is happening in Dallas. He must state straightforwardly that we don’t know, in some cases, how the disease spreads, and that it is obviously more contagious than originally thought.
We can beat this, but we need to act quickly. We need, as a nation, to act boldly and recognize that there are times when “free market approaches” to a crisis are not going to ease or solve a major problem.