Ebola finally made it to American shores. Quicker than expected, and it made it here despite Vox stating it only had an 18% chance of doing so. This really was not hard to protect against. Quarantine all travelers who have been to afflicted nations for 21 days. Yes, it messes with their personal life, but we are talking about a deadly disease. Funny how the government is silent on the infected person being a citizen or not. We cannot have this messing up their immigration reform plans. We cannot stop flights because of the economy. I am a bit cautious and worried for a variety of reasons but one specific reason is Andrew Speaker. Andrew Speaker shows just how faulty and soft our CDC and federal agencies can be.
Andrew Speaker was diagnosed with tuberculosis. It is a bit of he said-she said with what happened, but it also reveals the imperfect nature of humans that our analysts overlook. Speaker was diagnosed with TB and still went forward with his wedding and honeymoon. The CDC say they advised him not to travel, but why could they not just bar him from leaving the nation? The CDC has advisory powers, which is weaker than the EPA that can rain holy hell on anyone they find in violation of their regulations and codes. Maybe that stems from the CDC being created in the '40s vs. the EPA's '70s origins. Speaker pulled an act worthy of "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?". He bounced around several European nations, eventually renting a car and entering the US from Canada, making his way through customs easily despite a warning being out for him that hit when his passport was scanned. He claimed that he made the trek himself because the CDC would not pay for arrangements back to the US.
This was in 2007; post-9/11 changes to security. They failed to scratch together the cash for a flight in an era of bigger government budgets. Our border specifically had a warning for him, but he did not look sick, so the guard let him through. Speaker, a lawyer, also was a bit odd in still going through with his wedding and honeymoon despite the TB diagnosis. He was also a bit odd with his behavior. I guess going to an American embassy never crossed his mind, which is Foreign Travel 101 whenever you have a problem. Humans are odd and oftentimes stupid, and we should freely admit this when life and death matter. Ebola has a 21 day incubation period. This really is not hard. Stop flights from infected nations (sorry 3-6K passengers). Quarantine anyone coming from or through infected nations immediately upon landing in the US. Once anyone shows any signs, lock them down in quarantine. Given our techno-police state tracking capabilities, this is not that hard, but neither was the problem of containing one man with TB. We still failed.