What Americans were told was unlikely turned into a reality this week. A man infected with Ebola was admitted into a Dallas hospital after what can only be described as a series of serious missteps. A Missouri doctor put on full protective gear on his trip through Hartsfield Jackson International Airport to protest how the CDC and federal authorities are handling the outbreak.
Dr. Gil Mobley wore protective coveralls, a hood, a mask, googles, gloves, and boots as he walked through Hartsfield Jackson on Wednesday to get on his Delta flight. The words “CDC is Lying” were written across the back of the coveralls.
The microbiologist and emergency trauma physician made it through check in and the terminal wearing the protective gear until he was stopped at the gate to board his flight to Springfield, MO.
“They gave me the option of confiscating my equipment or not flying,” Dr. Mobley said, according to USA Today.
According to the CDC and the White House, measures are supposed to be in place to question people flying into the United States and to spot the potentially sick. Dr. Mobley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he and other passengers coming through international customs were only asked if they had tobacco or alcohol when he flew from Guatemala to Atlanta.
“With 10,000 people flying out of West Africa daily, it’s only a matter of time until all corners of the world are exposed,” Dr. Mobley explained. “Once it devours Third World countries, the U.S. will be importing these cases daily. Eventually, the clusters will overwhelm even the most advanced countries’ ability to isolate and quarantine all those exposed. The CDC needs to be honest with us.”
Thomas Eric Duncan was one of those who managed to fly from West Africa to the United States unimpeded. He reportedly carried a woman in Liberia infected with Ebola just four days before flying boarding a plane headed for Dallas, Texas. His contact with family, neighbors, and others may have officials monitoring up to 100 people or more in the Dallas area.
“The CDC is asleep at the wheel,” Dr. Mobley said. “It’s going to be bad, and I want to make sure that this conversation is happening that this could get out of control in the United States.”
In a statement delivered from the CDC offices in Atlanta just two weeks ago, President Obama stated that the chances of an Ebola outbreak are “extremely low.”
“In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home,” Obama said. “We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus. We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.”
Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Mobley’s protest? Let us know in the comments below.
[Images via John Spink, AP]