I remember as a younger man that when a virus of such serious nature became a reality, the CDC was quite alarmist in its comments. An example was AIDS which when it became known seemed to be a health hazard which could quite possibly destroy millions. And even more recently, remember the fear of the "Bird Flu" spreading from the Orient to America and the dangers of what that would entail. No one was more alarmist at the time than the CDC and even the President warned of the impending danger.
But now this new threat which is proving to be such a killer is approach by officials with almost a cavalier attitude. And with the limited knowledge we have of Ebola, but the formidable and quick advance it is making, it seems like much more concern is in order, particularly in pronouncements from the CDC. After all, we have a President who absolutely refuses to close our border while thousands and thousand of illegal flood across and we continue to welcome them, no matter who they are, no matter what their intent or health condition, while Americans genuinely and in large numbers oppose this lawlessness.
So what makes Dr. Frieden tick? Why is he operating the way he is? Well, and I think this gets to the heart of the matter, he is an Obama appointee. And as we've seen from Obama's treatment of those who disagree with him, like a large number of senior military officials have done in recent years, they don't stay in their position long, cashiered out for a "true believer". Now I'm not convinced that Dr. Frieden is a "true believer", but I do think that by his associations in political circles over the last twelve years it has impacted his judgment.
A graduate of the Columbia medical program and a theoretical and research oriented medical doctor, Dr. Frieden spent his early years studying and making great strides against tuberculosis (TB). As a result, the impact of this worldwide scourge has largely been reduced in developing country although we've seen somewhat of a resurgence in the United States from south of the border of late. But it was only in 2002 that the good doctor's medicine truly received a dose of political influence, for in that year he became the top public health official in the New York City Public Health Department, appointed by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
There is no question that Dr. Frieden did some things in NYC that were of major importance to improved public health, but the zeal with which he went after tobacco use in the city, following his leader's direction in literally removing it from availability is noteworthy. Unfortunately, the notable aspect was in this humble writer's opinion more one of government overreach than medical value, for while cigarette smoking can certainly be hazardous, the zeal applied was more one of big brother knows best that genuine concern. It was kind of like the push to eliminate soda sales which has since been struck down by a court.
But this developed his reputation which was duly noted by the new President, Barack Obama, in 2008. He accordingly appointed Dr. Frieden to the CDC position in 2009 and he has held that position ever since. And I guess the question today is this: If cigarettes are so dangerous to your health although the principal danger is to the actual user, why are we treating Ebola so casually when its impact is so clearly seen? I mean, really, Ebola has a track record of killing about fifty percent of all of those who contract it, and it quick order, while cigarette smoking is a slow if deadly process, taking multiple decades to take its toll?
The answer is probably that he is doing Obama's bidding and knows he can't speak stronger about the danger. I suggest that's why he refuses to call for closed borders or limited flight scheduling from Africa, knowing that Obama's pet project is to flood the nation with illegal aliens who can then be made good and loyal Democratic voters. Meanwhile, the nation daily becomes more at risk and the eventual morphing of the disease into new strains and the exponential spread becomes more and more likely.
Now I know there is some truth to the government holding back information due to not wanting to spread panic, but that would not account for the degree of misinformation being spread or just lack of information availability. After all, researchers from overseas, most notably Dr. Timm Westhoff of Germany, have reported that the spread of the disease and active carrier stages are much different and more deadly than Dr. Frieden is reporting. I think we just need the truth.
Americans, we need to demand more accountability from our public health officials and more honesty. The more we know, the better we can try and prepare but remember, like so many other things happening because of our current political condition, things are likely to get much worse in the days ahead. Pay attention, take care of your children and other family members like their life depends on it because it likely does. And may God keep us in his care always.