Story 1: Obama’s Cadillac Tax Crashes and Burns Killing Obamacare and Injuring MIT Professor Gruber — Rest In Peace — Obamacare Is Shovel Ready — Videos
ObamaCare a Trojan Horse for Single-Payer
Obama lies about “cadillac” plan taxation
36 Times Obama Said You Could Keep Your Health Care Plan | SuperCuts #18
ACA Architect Confession: Created Lies For Obama
Obamacare – Concerns “Cadillac Tax” Forcing Employers To Cut Back Health Plans
What is the “cadillac tax?”
Obamacare’s Cadillac Tax Pushing People To Plans With High Deductible- Union You Got What You Wanted
Obamacare – Concerns “Cadillac Tax” Forcing Employers To Cut Back Health Plans
The Five: Large Employers Cite ObamaCare “Cadillac” Tax In Reducing Benefits
SMOKING GUN! Gruber Admits Obama Was in Room During Planning of Cadillac Lie
GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”
GRUBER; Deceive Americans Critical to Pass Obamacare-Calls us ‘Stupid Americans'; Part 1 of 3
Gruber Remarks Puts Obama Administration on Scramble; Part 2 of 3
Jonathan Gruber: States Which Do Not Set Up an Exchange Do Not Get Tax Subsidies
BookTV: Jonathan Gruber, “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works”
Jonathan Gruber admits Obamacare is inherently unaffordable
Obamacare – Concerns “Cadillac Tax” Forcing Employers To Cut Back Health Plans
Krauthammer rips Jonathan Gruber: “We’re hearing the true voice of liberal arrogance”
Megyn Slams ObamaCare Architect Who Declined to Appear on ‘Kelly File’
Democrats Loved Jonathan Gruber Before They Forgot Who He Was
Sen. Harry Reid, 2009: Gruber Is One Of The ‘Most Respected Economists’ Out There
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in a December 2009 floor speech on Capitol Hill lauded Jonathan Gruber as one of the most “respected economists in the world” as Reid cited facts defending the Senate’s Obamacare bill.
Nancy Pelosi In 2009: Americans Should Read Jonathan Gruber’s ObamaCare Analysis
Nancy Pelosi In 2009: Americans Should Read Jonathan Gruber’s ObamaCare Analysis (November 5, 2009)
AHEC 2013 Conference
As part of the 24th Annual Health Economics Conference hosted by PennLDI, Mark Pauly and Jonathan Gruber were featured in the Plenary Panel discussing the role of economics in shaping (and possibly reshaping) the ACA. See below for the conference agenda with links to working papers. See the full AHEC agenda: http://ldi.upenn.edu/ahec2013/agenda
Jonathan Gruber at Noblis – January 18, 2012
The Noblis Technology Tuesday speaker series covers a broad spectrum of political, technical and innovative ideas. Noblis is a nonprofit science, technology, and strategy organization that brings the best of scientific thought, management, and engineering expertise with a reputation for independence and objectivity. The opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Noblis.
Jonathan Gruber spoke to a Noblis audience on January 18, 2012 Few experts know more about America’s dire need of health care reform than Gruber. And of that short list, he is the only one prepared to enter the pages of a comic book to make the case. To be clear: Gruber is not an expert; he is “the” expert. An award-winning MIT economist and the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, he was a key architect of the ambitious health care reform effort in Massachusetts and is a member of the Health Connector Board now implementing it; in 2006 he was named by “Modern Healthcare” as the nineteenth most powerful person in health care in the United States. In 2008 he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards, and Obama presidential campaigns. The national legislation passed by Congress in 2009 derives directly from Gruber’s insights learned during the Massachusetts health care debate.
Honors Colloquium 2012 – Jonathan Gruber
Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate. He is an Associate Editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.
Dr. Gruber received his B.S. in Economics from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Dr. Gruber’s research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel. In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusettsâ€™ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.
BookTV: Jonathan Gruber, “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works
Jonathan Gruber, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, presents his thoughts on health care. Mr. Gruber a leading architect of Massachusetts’ health care reform also consulted with Congress and President Obama on the creation of the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by the President in 2010.
Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber suddenly recast as bit player after uproar
Nancy Pelosi, fellow Democrats scramble to distance themselves from MIT professor, economist
For years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber was deemed an architect of Obamacare and his economic modeling was cited regularly by the health care law’s defenders on Capitol Hill and in legal briefs defending the Affordable Care Act in federal courts.
But after tapes surfaced of the economist saying “stupid” voters needed to be bamboozled and the books cooked to get the legislation passed in 2010, Democrats are scrambling to reduce Mr. Gruber to a bit player — and raising questions about whether he needs to be expunged from their defense strategy as they face yet another Supreme Court review.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who as speaker in 2009 posted an Obamacare “myth buster” citing Mr. Gruber, vehemently distanced herself from him Thursday.
“I don’t who he is. He didn’t help write our bill,” she said, but added that Mr. Gruber’s comments were a year old and he had recanted them.
In the comments that have just come to light, Mr. Gruber said the health care bill was written in a “tortured” way to ensure the Congressional Budget Office didn’t score the individual mandate as a tax, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld the mandate as constitutional under Congress’ taxing power.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Mr. Gruber said at the time. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.”
Mr. Gruber said this week that he regretted the remarks. But House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Thursday that American voters are “anything but stupid” and oppose the health care system’s overhaul for valid reasons.
Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican selected as the next Senate majority leader, said Mr. Gruber made a classic “Washington gaffe — when a politician mistakenly tells you what he really thinks.”
In legal briefs submitted last year to a federal district court in Virginia, Obama administration attorneys cited Mr. Gruber in a case defending their ability to pay subsidies to enrollees regardless of whether they are part of state-run or federally run health care exchanges.
“According to the calculations of one health care economist, without the minimum coverage provision and subsidized insurance coverage, premiums for single individuals would be double the amount anticipated under the ACA,” the Justice Department wrote in a legal brief last November, citing Mr. Gruber’s work in a footnote.
The Supreme Court decided this month to take up the case, King v. Burwell, after the challengers lost to the administration in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Neither the Justice Department nor the White House responded to questions about Mr. Gruber — who declined to comment for this story — and his role in their legal strategy.
But Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is funding the administration’s opponents in the King case, said Mr. Gruber’s 2012 remarks about subsidies bolster their own arguments.
Mr. Gruber at the time said subsidies would flow only to states that set up their own exchanges.
“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” the economist told an audience.
That would mean consumers in most states wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies, which would puncture a big hole in Obamacare. The Obama administration has argued that even though the law says subsidies go to state exchanges, they also should include states that have opted for the federal exchange.
Mr. Kazman said the Gruber comments create a major problem for Mr. Obama.
“He’s not toxic to us,” Mr. Kazman said in an interview Thursday. “We may give him an award for public service.”
In a parallel case before the D.C. Circuit, the administration tried to downplay Mr. Gruber in its latest court filings. On Nov. 3, the Justice Department said in a footnote that “post-enactment statements by a non-legislator are entitled to no weight.”
“In any event, Professor Gruber has since clarified that the remarks on which plaintiffs rely were mistaken,” the attorneys told the D.C. Circuit, which has suspended its proceedings until the Supreme Court weighs in.
“Tellingly,” Mr. Carvin said in a reply brief, “the government also ignores that Jonathan Gruber — the ACA architect whose work it cited in every brief below but is nowhere mentioned now — articulated the incentive purpose of [subsidies] as early as 2012.”
Mr. Gruber has made hundreds of thousands of dollars off Obamacare, serving as a consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services and to states that used health care grant money to pay him for his services.
Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who closely tracks the health care law, said the controversy has been overblown.
“This whole thing just puzzles me,” he said. “He wasn’t a legislator. He didn’t write the bill. He didn’t vote on the bill.”
But I’ve also long supported the principle of universal coverage. Universal coverage, done right, is a core part of a conservative worldview that values equality of opportunity for the sick and the poor. If 10 of the 11 freest economies in the world can establish universal coverage, it’s not impossible for the United States to do so in a way that is consonant with economic freedom.
Switzerland and Singapore: Market-based health reform models
The most market-oriented health care systems in the developed world—those ofSwitzerland and Singapore—have much to teach us about how to achieve universal coverage in a way that spends far less than what the U.S. does. In 2012, U.S. government entities spent $4,160 per capita on health care. That’s more than twice as much as Switzerland, and nearly five times as much as Singapore.
And that brings us right back to Obamacare. The vast majority of the law is misguided and misconceived. But a handful of its provisions can provide the basis of constructive health care reform: in particular, its use of Swiss-style means-tested tax credits to subsidize private health insurance premiums. Most importantly, those tax credits are applied to insurance plans that people shop for on their own, substantially expanding the market for individually purchased health coverage.
The Swiss system is far from perfect, as I have discussed on many occasions. But the basic idea in Switzerland is to offer premium subsidies to the people who really need them. In Switzerland, one-fifth of the population gets subsidized health coverage. In the U.S., around four-fifths do. That’s the difference between a safety net and an entitlement leviathan.
Conservative health reform after Obamacare
One of the fundamental flaws in the conservative approach to health care policy is that few—if any—Republican leaders have articulated a vision of what a market-oriented health care system would look like. Hence, Republican proposals on health reform have often been tactical and political—in opposition to whatever Democrats were pitching—instead of strategic and serious.
Those days must come to an end. The problems with our health care system are too great. Health care is too expensive for the government, and too expensive for average Americans.
In 2012, as the Romney campaign came to a close, Rich Lowry, the editor ofNational Review, asked me to write an article with my thoughts about the best path forward for conservative health care reform. I outlined a four-step plan to take the entire gamish of government health care programs and reform them into something consumer-driven and fiscally sustainable: (1) deregulate Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, including repeal of the individual mandate, while preserving guaranteed issue for individuals with pre-existing conditions; (2) migrate future retirees onto the reformed exchanges; (3) repeal Obamacare’s employer mandate; (4) migrate Medicaid acute-care and dual-eligible enrollees onto the exchanges.
“After these four relatively simple steps,” I wrote, “we would be left with a health-care system that would look a lot like Switzerland’s. Rises in premium subsidies could be held to a sustainable growth rate to ensure their long-term fiscal stability. And Americans might finally have the opportunity to purchase insurance for themselves, gain control of their own health-care dollars, and enjoy a wide range of low-cost, high-quality coverage options.”
A few months later, former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and I wrote a similar piece for Reuters, which elicited a broad range of responses from both the left and the right.
It became clear that I had to do more than write op-eds, that I had to develop this idea in detail, with credible fiscal and economic modeling.
Modeling market-based health reform
So, over the last 18 months, I’ve done just that. Stephen Parente, a health economist at the University of Minnesota, and his team modeled the fiscal and coverage impact of the bulk of my proposed set of reforms. (I then modeled the remainder, using analyses from the Congressional Budget Office, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the like.)
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, where I am a Senior Fellow, raised money to fund Parente’s work on this project. Steve and his team and I went back and forth for months, refining and tweaking the proposal until it met five non-negotiable goals. The end result had to:
Reduce the deficit without raising taxes
Expand coverage meaningfully above ACA levels
Repeal the individual mandate
Reduce the cost of private health insurance
Improve health outcomes for the poor
Based on our modeling, the plan, over a thirty-year period, reduces federal spending by $10.5 trillion and federal revenue by $2.5 trillion, for a net deficit reduction of $8 trillion. We project that it will expand coverage by more than 12 million individuals over its first decade, despite the fact that it repeals the individual mandate. It reduces the cost of private-sector insurance policies by 17 percent for single policies and 4 percent for family policies.
But the most dramatic improvement, we estimate, is in the Medicaid population. A group that today receives substandard care and substandard access to care will see a dramatic increase in provider access and health outcomes, based on Parente-developed indices that measure these things.
Breaking free of the repeal-or-reform debate
Importantly, while this plan is compatible with “repealing and replacing” Obamacare, it does not require the repeal of Obamacare. To achieve the former, you would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a universal system of state-based health insurance exchanges. To achieve the latter, you’d reform the pre-existing ACA exchanges, and gradually migrate future retirees and Medicaid enrollees onto the reformed exchanges.
In this way, perhaps the plan can attract interest from both the right and the center.
Both clips reveal a gleefully dismissive attitude toward public concerns about the law, and offer a telling reminder of the attitude that played a crucial role in shaping and selling the law to the public.
In the first video, recorded in March of 2010, just a few days before the law would pass the House, Gruber argues that the public does not really care about the uninsured. What it cares about is cost control. Therefore, he says, the law had to be sold on the basis of its cost control.
Yet as Gruber admits in the video, the bill was not primarily focused on cost control—the bill “is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control.” Indeed, the problem with cost control, he says, is that “we don’t know how” to do it.
“Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay?” Gruber said in his remarks at the College of the Holy Cross on March 11, 2010. “He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured….What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it’s going to lower the cost of health care, that’s all they talk about. Why? Because that’s what people want to hear about because a majority of American care about health care costs.”
Elsewhere in the same speech, Gruber says:
“The only way we’re going to stop our country from being a latter day Roman Empire and falling under its own weight is getting control of the growth rate of health care costs. The problem is we don’t know how.”
Remember, this is what Gruber was saying as the law was still being debated. It didn’tpass in the House, the critical step before hitting President Obama’s desk, until more than a week later. And what Gruber was saying, even before the bill was law, was that supporters had intentionally emphasized parts of the bill that were relatively minor, and that were not certain to even produce their intended effects.
This is not lying, exactly; the bill did in fact include some attempts at cost control, although as Gruber said, it was unclear at the time if or how well they would work. And Gruber may well have been right that the public was more concerned with cost control than expanding coverage. But, especially in combination with the other video released this week, it indicates that Gruber believed that the law’s advocates were not being completely straight with the public, that supporters of Obamacare were telling the public what they believed the public wanted to hear instead of giving them the full story, and that they were doing so on the understanding that telling the full story would make the bill impossible to pass.
What it shows, in other words, is Gruber openly embracing a strategy of messaging manipulation and misleading emphasis even while the bill was still being debated. If the public understood the bill clearly, he believed, they would reject it. It was more important to pass the bill.
Another video, posted today by The Daily Signal, shows Gruber taking a similarly dismissive attitude toward public concerns about the bill. At a meeting with the Vermont House Health Care Committee, Gruber is presented with a question about whether systems like those described in a report by Gruber and Harvard health economist William Hsiao, might result in “ballooning costs, increased taxes and bureaucratic outrages” as well “shabby facilities, disgruntled providers” and destructive price controls.
Gruber’s response begin with: “Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?” The Signal quotes two-term Vermont state senator and Reagan-adviser John McClaughry as saying that the question had been submitted “by a former senior policy adviser in the White House who knew something about health care systems.”
Gruber’s response is intended as a joke, and it reveals little about the health care law (the reforms in question are specific to Vermont). But it says plenty about Gruber, and the flippant, arrogant way he treats concerns and criticism.
This is the person whom the White House relied on to help craft the bill; he was paid handsomely to model its effects (a fact he did not disclose, even when asked), and he was in the room when important decisions were made about how it would work. He claims to have helped write specific portions of the law himself. Gruber was not the sole architect of the law, but he was one of its biggest single influences on both its design and on how the media, which quoted him repeatedly, reported and understood the law.
The White House and its allies are desperately trying to distance themselves from Gruber right now by downplaying his role in the law’s creation. But the record of his involvement is clear enough: At The Washington Post, Ezra Klein has variously described Gruber as “one of the key architects behind the structure of the Affordable Care Act” and “the most aggressive academic economist supporting the reform effort.” The New York Times in 2012 described his role as helping to design the overall structure as well as being “dispatched” by the White House to Congress to write the legislative text. Gruber’s work was cited repeatedly by the White House, Democratic leadership, and the media.
So when he describes the thinking about how the law was crafted and sold to the public, it’s worth taking note. This is the posture of one of the law’s authors and chief backers. It’s part of the spirit in which the law was created and passed. Gruber’s ideas were embedded in the law’s structure and language, and so was his attitude.
The White House is denouncing comments from key Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that a lack of transparency and the stupidity of voters helped in the passage of the health care law and is instead pointing a finger at Republicans.
“The fact of the matter is, the process associated with the writing and passing and implementing of the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a news briefing in Myanmar, according to a transcript provided by the White House.
Story Continued Below
“I disagree vigorously with that assessment,” Earnest responded when asked about Gruber’s claim that Obamacare wouldn’t have passed if the administration was more transparent and voters more intelligent.
He added, “It is Republicans who have been less than forthright and transparent about what their proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act would do in terms of the choices are available to middle class families.”
Earnest said the president “is proud of the transparent process that was undertaken to pass that bill into law.”
The response from the White House comes as a third video of Gruber criticizing the intelligence of American voters has surfaced.
“We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said in remarks from 2012 that aired Wednesday evening on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
Gruber has been causing headaches for the White House as conservatives have had a field day that began with comments the MIT professor made in 2013.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass,” Gruber said at the time, according to one of the videos that has recently come to light.
In another video clip of a separate event, while talking about tax credits in the Affordable Care Act, he said, “American voters are too stupid to understand the difference.”
Gruber apologized for the comments during an appearance earlier this week on MSNBC’s “Ronan Farrow Daily”:
(Also on POLITICO: Ted Cruz out on a limb on Obamacare repeal)
“I was speaking off the cuff, and I was basically speaking inappropriately, and I regret having made those comments.”
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed Gruber’s role in Obamacare on Thursday, telling the press, “I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill.”
Many outlets were quick to point out that Pelosi cited Gruber in a “Health Insurance Reform Mythbuster” on her official website in 2009.
House Speaker John Boehner released a statement Thursday, slamming Gruber for his comments.
“If there was ever any doubt that ObamaCare was rammed through Congress with a heavy dose of arrogance, duplicity, and contempt for the will of the American people, recent comments by one of the law’s chief architects, Jonathan Gruber, put that to rest,” the top Republican said.
The statement continues, “The American people are anything but ‘stupid.’ They’re the ones bearing the consequences of the president’s health care law and, unsurprisingly, they continue to oppose it.” http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/jonathan-gruber-obamacare-voters-white-house-response-112856.html
Criticisms of these plans generally center on the small or nonexistent co-pays, deductibles, or caps that encourage the overuse of medical care, driving the cost up for the uninsured or those on other plans, which some say necessitates aCadillac tax.
A study published in Health Affairs in December 2009 found that high-cost health plans do not provide unusually rich benefits to enrollees. The researchers found that only 3.7% of the variation in the cost of family coverage in employer-sponsored health plans is attributable to differences in the actuarial value of benefits. Only 6.1% of the variation is attributable to the combination of benefit design and plan type (e.g., PPO, HMO, etc.). The employer’s industry and regional variations in health care costs explain part of the variation, but most is unexplained. The researchers conclude “…that analysts should not equate high-cost plans with Cadillac plans, but that in fact other factors—industry and cost of medical inputs—are as important in predicting whether a plan is a high-cost plan. Without appropriate adjustments, a simple cap may exacerbate rather than ameliorate current inequities.”
How ObamaCare Taxes Affect You: New Taxes, Hikes, Breaks, Credits, and Other Changes
Here’s a full list of ObamaCare Taxes. The 21 new ObamaCare tax hikes and breaks impact us all, but which ObamaCare taxes will you actually pay? Find out how the tax related provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) will affect you, your family, your business, and your tax returns for 2013 and beyond.
The Bottom Line on the ObamaCare Tax Plan
The new tax related provisions in theAffordable Care Act(ObamaCare) include tax hikes, limits to deductions, tax credits, tax breaks, and other changes. While a few of the changes directly affect the average American, tax increases primarily affect high earners (those making over $200,000 as an individual or $250,000 as a family), large businesses (those making over $250,000), and the health care industry, while tax credits primarily affect low-to-middle income Americans and small businesses.
Here are some quick facts to help you understand how ObamaCare affects taxes:
• For the majority of the 85% of Americans with health insurance the percentage of income paid in taxes won’t change much, if at all. However, some of the changes may directly or indirectly affect specific groups.
• The majority of the 15% of Americans without health insurance will primarily be affected by the Individual Mandate (the requirement to buy health insurance), the Employer Mandate (the requirement for large employers to insure full-time employees), and Tax Credits (tax credits reduce premium costs for individuals, families, and small businesses).
• Many Americans will be affected by changes to new limits on medical tax deduction thresholds MSAs, FSAs, and HSAs.
• Small businesses will not be required to provide health insurance, but will gettax credits to reduce premium costs if they choose to offer group plans.
• Even if you won’t see higher taxes under the Affordable Care Act, it doesn’t mean there aren’t costs associated with the law. You’ll still need to buy health insurance, unless you qualify for Medicaid or an exemption, and that will cost you money.
• As a rule of thumb those who make less pay less and those who make more pay more, both in regard to health insurance costs and taxes under theAffordable Care Act.
• The Congressional Budget Office has shown that the revenue generated from the new taxes, along with cuts to spending, will help to pay for the Affordable Care Act’s many provisions, fund tax credits and lower the deficit by 2023.Learn More.
Why Does ObamaCare Create New Taxes?
ObamaCare includes many new benefits, rights, and protections including the requirement for health insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions. It also expands access to affordable health insurance to almost 50 million low-to-middle income men, women, and children across the country by offering reduced premiums via tax credits and expanding Medicaid and CHIP. Expanding the quality, affordability and availability of health insurance (along with other aspects of the law) come at a high cost. Assuming all tax provisions remain in place, the revenue generated from these new taxes help to cover the costs of the program and reduces the deficit. Learn more about the new benefits, rights, protections offered by the Affordable Care Act.
A Quick Overview of Key Taxes in the Affordable Care Act
Before we get to the full list of taxes here is a quick overview of the key tax related provisions that may affect those without insurance, those who plan to go without insurance, and those who are struggling to afford insurance now.
Individual Mandate (new tax): Americans who can afford to must obtain minimum essential health coverage for 2014, get an exemption or pay a per month fee.
Employer Mandate (new tax): Come 2015 large employers must insure full time employees or pay a per employee fee. Over half of Americans get their insurance through work and the largest group of uninsured is currently the working poor.
Taking all the tax provisions in the ACA into account ObamaCare technically provides the greatest middle class tax cut to healthcare in history.
Full List of All Taxes in ObamaCare / All Taxes in the Affordable Care Act
The following list of new ObamaCare taxes collectively raise over $800 billion by 2022. Here is a complete list of new fees and taxes contained withinObamaCare:
ObamaCare Taxes That Most Likely Won’t Directly Affect the Average American
• 2.3% Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers 2014
• 10% Tax on Indoor Tanning Services 2014
• Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike
• Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals which fail to comply with the requirements of ObamaCare
• Tax on Brand Name Drugs
• Tax on Health Insurers
• $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives
• Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D
• Employer Mandate on business with over 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide health insurance to full-time employees. $2000 per employee $3000 if employee uses tax credits to buy insurance on the exchange (marketplace). (pushed back to 2015)
• Medicare Tax on Investment Income 3.8% over $200k/$250k
• Medicare Part A Tax increase of .9% over $200k/$250k
• Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (not a tax)
• Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (repealed)
• Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (not a tax)
ObamaCare Taxes That (may) Directly Affect the Average American
• 40% Excise Tax “Cadillac” on high-end Premium Health Insurance Plans 2018
• An annual $63 fee levied by ObamaCare on all plans (decreased each year until 2017 when pre-existing conditions are eliminated) to help pay for insurance companies covering the costs of high-risk pools.
• Medicine Cabinet Tax
Over the counter medicines no longer qualified as medical expenses for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and Archer Medical Saving accounts (MSAs).
• Additional Tax on HSA/MSA Distributions
Health savings account or an Archer medical savings account, penalties for spending money on non-qualified medical expenses. 10% to 20% in the case of a HSA and from 15% to 20% in the case of a MSA.
• Flexible Spending Account Cap 2013
Contributions to FSAs are reduced to $2,500 from $5,000.
• Medical Deduction Threshold tax increase 2013
Threshold to deduct medical expenses as an itemized deduction increases to 10% from 7.5%.
• Individual Mandate (the tax for not purchasing insurance if you can afford it) 2014
Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income tax surtax at a rate of 1% or $95 in 2014 to 2.5% in 2016 on profitable income above the tax threshold. The total penalty amount cannot exceed the national average of the annual premiums of a “bronze level” health insurance plan on ObamaCare exchanges.
• Premium Tax Credits for Small Businesses 2014 (not a tax)
• Advanced Premium Tax Credits for Individuals and Families 2014 (not a tax)
• Medical Loss Ratio (MRL): Premium rebates (not a tax)
The link below provides a full list of ObamaCare Taxes by the IRS.
Let’s take a look at how ObamaCare’s taxes affect certain income groups.
ObamaCare Taxes for High Earners and Large Businesses
Most of the new taxes are on high-earners (individuals making over $200,000 and families making over $250,000), large businesses (over 50 full-time equivalent employees making over $250,000), and industries that profit from healthcare. Essentially those who will see gains under ObamaCare are required to put money back in the program via taxes.
FACT: Tax increases generally affect single filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000 and married couples filing jointly above $250,000. Some of the tax increases don’t kick in until single AGI hits $400,000 and married filing jointly AGI hits $450,000.
ObamaCare Taxes for the Average American With Health insurance
For most of the 85% of Americans with health insurance, making less than $250,000, most of the new taxes won’t mean much of anything although certain taxes below will affect specific individuals and families.
ObamaCare Taxes for the Average American Without Health insurance
The 15% of Americans without health insurance will be required to obtain health insurance (Individual Mandate) or will face a “tax penalty”.
The good news is that many uninsured will be exempt from the Individual mandate due to income, offered cost assistance through the marketplaceincluding Tax Credits (also available to small businesses), qualify for Medicaid, or will get insurance through work (the Employer Mandaterequires large employers to insure full-time employees by 2015). Adults who are under 26 will be able to stay on their parents plan as well, this will help to limit the number of young people who will pay the fee. Both the employer and individual mandates are part of our “shared responsibility” to expand the quality and affordability of health insurance in the United States as a trade for our new benefits, rights and protections.
ObamaCare Taxes for Small Businesses
Small businesses with less than 25 full-time equivalent employees will have access to tax credits to reduce premium costs of group plans.
ObamaCare Taxes for Specific Groups With Health Insurance
Here are a few changes that my affect specific groups of Americans with health insurance:
• Other tax provisions such as changes medical deduction thresholds, HSAs, MSAs, and FSAs may impact some Americans by limiting tax deductions.
• The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR or 80/20 rule) will mean that some Americans may get rebates if health insurance companies spend on non-healthcare related expenses.
• Tax provisions like the 10% tanning bed tax, taxes on drug companies, taxes on medical devices and taxes on health insurance companies selling insurance on and off the exchange may affect the amount of money we pay for some health care related goods and services, but will not have a significant impact on our daily lives.
• The employer mandate has caused some companies to cut down full-time workers to part-time to avoid providing benefits, however major employers like Disney and Walmart have actually increased their full-time workforce in response to the looming 2015 deadline.
• Overall the benefits tend to outweigh the costs for the average American as even those who pay a little more, get a lot more in return due to the increased quality of their health insurance.
Will I pay More Taxes and High Premiums Because of ObamaCare?
As mentioned above premium rates and the taxes you will have to pay are primarily based on income. Aside from income premium prices are based on which plan you choose, family size, age, smoking status and geography. Subsidies reduce the overall rate of your premiums (however smoking is calculated after subsidies). Come 2018 there will be a 40% excise tax on high end health insurance plans.
Aside from the tax provisions that require Americans to obtain insurance and subsidize it’s costs, ObamaCare also includes a few tax related provisions that work as consumer protections including requirements for better reporting and the Medical Loss Ratio.
ObamaCare Tax Rebates
Some consumers in both individual and group markets will see tax rebates due to ObamaCare’s Medical Loss Ratio (MLR). Health insurance companies will have to provide rebates to consumers if they spend less than 80 to 85% of premium dollars on medical care.
Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)
The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) means that Insurance companies are now required to spend at least 80% of premium dollars (85% in large group markets) on medical care and quality improvement activities. Insurance companies that are not meeting this standard will be required to provide rebates to their consumers. The MLR isn’t a tax, but it does have implications in regards to filing taxes and rebates can be given in the form of reduced premiums. See our page on ObamaCare Health Insurance Regulations for more details.
ObamaCare Income Tax Penalty For Not Having Insurance “Individual Mandate”
Starting in 2014, most people will have to have insurance or pay a “penalty deducted from your taxable income”. For individuals, penalty starts at $95 a year, or up to 1% of income, whichever is greater, and rise to $695, or 2.5% of income, by 2016.
For families the tax will be $2,085 or 2.5% percent of household income, whichever is greater. The requirement can be waived for several reasons, including financial hardship or religious beliefs. If the tax would exceed 8% of your income you are exempt, also some religious groups are exempt. That tax cannot exceed the cost of a “bronze plan” bought on the exchange.
Many individuals who are exempt from the mandate to buy insurance will still be eligible for free or low-cost insurance through the health insurance marketplace.
While some states, including Alabama, Wyoming and Montana, have passed laws to block the requirement to carry health insurance, those provisions do not override federal law. Get more information on the ObamaCare Individual Mandate.
The Individual Mandate is officially called the “individual shared responsibility provision”.
What Are ObamaCare Tax Credits?: Advanced Premium Tax Credits
Advanced Premium Tax Credits for Individuals and Families
Individuals and families will have access to Advanced premium tax credits on the marketplace. Tax Credits are deducted from your premium cost by your health insurance provider and are adjusted on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). You can choose how much advance credit payments to apply to your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount. If the amount of advance credit payments you get for the year is less than the tax credit you’re due, you’ll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return. If your advance payments for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return.
Aside from premium tax credits individuals and families can also get lower cost sharing on out-of-pocket expenses like coinsurance, copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums through the marketplace.
Eligibility for Tax Credits
In general, you may be eligible for the credit if you meet all of the following:
buy health insurance through the Marketplace;
are ineligible for coverage through an employer or government plan;
are within certain income limits;
file a joint return, if married; and
cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person.
If you are eligible for the credit, you can choose to:
Get It Now: have some or all of the estimated credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums during 2014; or
Get It Later: wait to get all of the credit when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.
How Will Advanced Premium Tax Credits Affect My Health Insurance Costs?
Under the Affordable Care Act health insurance that costs less than 8% of your MAGI is considered affordable. Although the law doesn’t guarantee lower costs, premium tax credits help to ensure that more Americans will have access to affordable insurance.
s a rule of thumb most Americans will pay between 1.5% and 9.5% on their Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) when using tax credits to buy a basic Silver Plan on the marketplace.
If the lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8% of your household income are exempt from the individual mandate.
The amount you pay is on a sliding scale based on your income. Use the chart below to get an idea of what you and your family may pay for insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Make sure to check outObamaCare Subsidies for more detailed information on Premium Tax Credits.
The 2013 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines below are used to Determine if your percentage of the poverty level for both taxes and cost-assistance.
For each additional person, add
This following table is an example of how premium tax credits work. Please note that the numbers below are purely for example and don’t reflect your personal rates.
Health Insurance Premiums and Cost Sharing under PPACA for Average Family of 4
For “Silver Plan”
Income % of federal poverty level
Premium Cap as a Share of Income
Income $ (family of 4)
Max Annual Out-of-Pocket Premium
Additional Cost-Sharing Subsidy
3% of income
4% of income
6.3% of income
8.05% of income
9.5% of income
9.5% of income
9.5% of income
In 2016, the FPL is projected to equal about $11,800 for a single person and about $24,000 for family of four. Use the Kaiser ObamaCare Cost Calculator for more information. DHHS and CBO estimate the average annual premium cost in 2014 to be $11,328 for family of 4 without the reform. Source: Wikipedia
ObamaCare Employer / Employee Taxes
ObamaCare’s taxes mean large employers will have to provide health insurance to their employees and will see a raised Medicare part A tax, small businesses may be eligible for tax breaks.
Medicare part A Tax Hike for Employers and Employees
The Medicare part A tax is paid by both employees and employers who earn over a certain amount. ObamaCare’s Medicare tax hike is a .9% increase (from 2.9% to 3.8%) on the current total Medicare part A tax. This tax is split between the employer and employee meaning that they will both see a .45% raise. Small businesses making under $250,000 are exempt from the tax. Employees making less than $200,000 as an individual or ($250,000) as a family are also exempt. Employers must withhold and report an additional 0.9 percent total on employee wages or compensation that exceed $200,000.
Tax Penalty for Not Providing Full-time Workers with Health Insurance the “Employer Mandate”
Employers with over 50 full-time equivalent employees must either insure their full-time employees or pay a penalty or “employer shared responsibility fee”. The penalty is $2000 per employee. If however, at least one full-time employee receives a premium tax credit because coverage is either unaffordable or does not cover 60 percent of total costs, the employer must pay the lesser of $3,000 for each of those employees receiving a credit or $750 for each of their full-time employees total.
Employers with under 25 full time employees, whose average income doesn’t exceed $50,000, can apply for tax credits of up to 50% for insuring their employees.
Tax Credits for Small Businesses
Small businesses with under 25 full-time equivalent employees with average annual wages of less than $50,000 can apply for tax breaks of up to 50% of their share of employee premium costs via ObamaCare’s Small Business Health Options Program (accessible through your State’s Health Insurance Marketplace). The credit can be as much as 50% of employer premiums (35% for not-for-profits in 2014). The credit is only available if the employer is paying at least 50% of the total premiums.
Small Business Health Options Program
Employers with 50 or fewer employees, you can purchase affordable insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) even if they don’t qualify for tax credits.
Along with the new law there are new requirements for reporting.
Effective for calendar year 2015, you must file an annual return reporting whether and what health insurance you offered your employees. This rule is optional for 2014. Learn more.
Effective for calendar year 2015, if you provide self-insured health coverage to your employees, you must file an annual return reporting certain information for each employee you cover. This rule is optional for 2014. Learn more.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, you must withhold and report an additional 0.9 percent on employee wages or compensation that exceed $200,000. Learn more.
Aside from having to adhere to the “employer mandate” ObamaCare also imposes taxes and fees that are unique to big business. ObamaCare taxes some medical device manufactures, drug companies and health insurance companies. Beginning in 2013, medical device manufacturers and importers must pay a 2.3% tax on the sale of a taxable medical device. This raises $29 billion over a 10 years. However, many states are asking to delay the medical device excise tax to protect jobs in states that produce the devices. An annual fee for health insurers is expected to raise more than $100 billion over 10 years, while a fee for brand name drugs will bring in another $34 billion.
Employers that have employees who earn more than $200,000 will have to look at the potential for additional Medicare withholding due to the Medicare part A tax.
Employers that issued 250 or more W-2 forms in 2012 must report the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage for 2013 on the 2013 W-2 forms.
Medical Device Excise Tax
There is a 2.3% medical excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers on the sale of taxable medical devices. Section 4191 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer or importer of the device. The tax applies to sales of taxable medical devices after Dec. 31, 2012. You can learn more from the official IRS page on the Medical Device Tax.
What Increases Do the ObamaCare Taxes Include for The $200k/$250k Earners?
ObamaCare Medicare Part A Payroll Tax
Starting in 2013, individuals with earnings above $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000 will see an increase in the Medicare part A payroll tax. It’s an increase of 2.35%, up from the current 1.45% ( a .9% Medicare part A payroll tax hike), on adjusted income over the threshold.
ObamaCare Unearned Income Tax
This group will also pay a 3.8% unearned income (capital gains) tax on interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, rents, and gains on the sale of investments over the threshold.
Taxable income under the $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 threshold for families is subject to the same benefits and tax cuts as those who make under the threshold.
ObamaCare Home Sales Tax / ObamaCare Real Estate Tax Increase
ObamaCare increases taxes on unearned income by 3.8% and this can add additional taxes to the sales of some homes, but many limitations apply which means it won’t affect most sellers. The 3.8% capital gains tax typically doesn’t apply to your primary residence. It also doesn’t usually apply to homes you have owned for over 5 years or on profits of less than $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples due to a capital gains tax exclusion rule for sales of a primary home.
In short the ObamaCare home sales tax isn’t something that most of us will pay, it is a tax is aimed at those selling non-primary residences in short term periods for profit and not at the average American buying and selling their primary residence.
ObamaCare Medical Expense Deductions
ObamaCare increases the medical expense deduction threshold. Unreimbursed medical expense deductions will now be available only for those medical expenses in excess of 10% of AGI, which has been raised from 7.5%. There is a temporary exemption for individuals ages 65 and older and their spouses from 2013 through 2016.
ObamaCare “Cadillac” Tax
Starting in 2018, the new health care law imposes a 40% excise tax on the portion of most employer-sponsored health coverage (this excludes dental and vision) that exceed $10,200 a year and $27,500 for families. The tax has been dubbed a “Cadillac” tax because it hits only high-end “gold”, “platinum” and high-end health care plans not purchased on the exchange. The tax raises over $150 billion over the next 10 years.
New ObamaCare Taxes Summary
Going through the new ObamaCare taxes line by line is, in itself, taxing. The bottom line is that a majority of Americans will find themselves paying less for better healthcare, while higher-earners will pay tax rates closer to what they did in the Clinton years. ObamaCare pays for most of itself via the above taxes, reforms to Medicare, and health care as a whole, as well as cutting out billions in wasteful spending.
ObamaCare Taxes Moving Forward into 2014
We hope this helps you to understand the new ObamaCare taxes and how they work. Many of the ObamaCare’s taxes won’t be fully implemented until 2022, but most will be in effect by 2014. ObamaCare helps all Americans get access to quality affordable healthcare, and new benefits, rights and protections. Make sure to look out for ObamaCare tax breaks, credits, subsidies and breaks on up front costs moving forward into 2014. As we learn more we will update our full ObamaCare tax list.
Story 1: Breaking News Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes in Test Flight — One Test Pilot Killed and One Test Pilot Seriously Injured — Are You Going Into Space — You Bet — The X Prize Vision — Videos
STATEMENT FROM VIRGIN GALACTIC
Virgin Galactic’s partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo earlier today. During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle. Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with the relevant authorities to determine the cause of the accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so.
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BREAKING NEWS SPACE ROCKET ACCIDENT VIRGIN GALACTIC SPACESHIP TWO TEST MOJAVE CALIFORNIA 10/31/2014
Virgin Galactic spaceship crash in Mojave desert – the remains of the spacecraft – October 31 2014
Virgin Galactic Majestic Flight Showreel – Long Version
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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has made its third rocket-powered supersonic flight in the Mojave Desert, soaring to a record 71,000 feet
Virgin Galactic’s Second Rocket Powered Flight Tail Footage
SpaceShipTwo — First Rocket-Powered, Supersonic Test Flight [HD]
SS2 First Feather Flight
Exclusive footage of the first feather flight, Mojave, CA, May 2011. Filmed by Mobile Aerospace Reconnaissance System (MARS) & The Clay Center Observatory.
Your Journey To Space Starts Here June 2013
Your Journey Into Space Starts Here
Sir Richard Branson’s thoughts on SpaceShipTwo’s First Rocket-Powered Test Flight [HD]
The X PRIZE Vision
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Virgin Galactic Film 2009
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes during testing
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed after it had an “in-flight anomaly” during testing Friday, according to a Mojave Air and Space Port spokesperson.
The status of its pilots is unknown.
A statement from Virgin Galactic said its partner Scaled Composites conducted the test flight Friday, during which a “serious anomaly” led to the “loss of the vehicle.”
This was the company’s first rocket-powered test flight in nine months. In January, SpaceShipTwo reached 71,000 feet – its highest altitude so far.
Virgin Galactic has conducted testing for the spacecraft in the Mojave Desert at Mojave Air and Space Port, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
British billionaire Richard Branson’s commercial space venture in May announced an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration that helped clear the path to send paying customers on a suborbital flight.
The agreement sets the parameters for how routine missions to space will take place in national airspace. It does not yet give the company a license to launch these missions.
The company’s plans have been repeatedly delayed. Branson said earlier this month at a celebration in Mojave that it was “on the verge” of going to space, but he did not give a timeframe.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane exploded and crashed during a powered test flight on Friday, resulting in one fatality and one injury, authorities said.
The explosion occurred after the plane was released from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane and fired up its rocket engine in flight for the first time in more than nine months.
“During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement. “The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely. Our first concern is the status of the pilots.”
Jesse Borne, an officer at the California Highway Patrol, told NBC News that there was one fatality and one major injury.
The flight originated from the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of Los Angeles. The Federal Aviation Administration said two crew members were aboard SpaceShipTwo — which is consistent with Virgin Galactic’s practice of having two test pilots who are equipped with parachutes. The pilots have not yet been identified.
Photographer Ken Brown, who was covering the test flight, told NBC News that he saw an explosion high in the air and later came upon SpaceShipTwo debris scattered across a small area of the desert. The Mojave airport’s director, Stuart Witt, said the craft crashed north of Mojave. He deferred further comment pending a news conference that is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET).
Keith Holloway, a Washington-based spokesman for the National Transportation and Safety Board, said “we are in the process of collecting information.” The FAA said it was also investigating the incident.
New kind of fuel tested
During the nine months since the previous rocket-powered test in January, Virgin Galactic switched SpaceShipTwo’s fuel mixture from a rubber-based compound to a plastic-based mix — in hopes that the new formulation would boost the hybrid rocket engine’s performance.
The latest test got off to a slow start. SpaceShipTwo spent more than three hours on the Mojave runway, slung beneath its WhiteKnightTwo mothership, while the ground team assessed whether the weather was right for flight. The go-ahead was finally given for takeoff at 9:19 a.m. PT (12:19 p.m. ET).
It took WhiteKnightTwo about 45 minutes to get to 50,000 feet, the altitude at which it released SpaceShipTwo for free flight.
The flight was part of Virgin Galactic’s long-running program to test SpaceShipTwo in preparation for suborbital trips to the edge of outer space. Virgin Galactic had said the first trip to an outer-space altitude — usually defined as 100 kilometers, or 62 miles — could have taken place before the end of the year, depending on how the tests went. The company’s billionaire founder, Richard Branson, was hoping to ride on the first commercial flight next year.
More than 700 customers have paid as much as $250,000 for a ride on the rocket plane.
Virgin Galactic’sSpaceShipTwo spacecraft has exploded during a test flight over the Mojave desert, killing one of the two pilots onboard.
Onlookers reported seeing an explosion and debris from the craft.
Two pilots were onboard, and authorities confirmed one was dead, with the second being taken to hospital in Lancaster with serious injuries aboard a helicopter.
Scroll down for videos
Parts of the crashed spacecraft in the Mojave desert. SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power after being released from its mothership – then Virgin tweeted that it had ‘experienced an in-flight anomaly.’
Two pilots were onboard, and authorities confirmed one was dead, with the second being taken to hospital in Lancaster with serious injuries aboard a helicopter (pictured)
Part of SpaceShip Two’s fuselage on the desert floor
Onlookers saw at least one parachute from the craft, which has two crew members.
‘Virgin Galactic’s partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of #SpaceShipTwo earlier today,’ Virgin Galactic said in a tweeted statement.
‘During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo. WK2 landed safely.
‘Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time.
‘We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates ASAP.’
The company earlier tweeted that SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power and then tweeted that it had ‘experienced an in-flight anomaly.’
Richard Branson said in a statement, ‘Thoughts with all at Virgin Galactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support. I’m flying to Mojave immediately to be with the team.’
Wreckage of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism rocket
Parachutes were spotted in the area, and ABC captured this image of them on the ground
Twitter users have begun posting pictures of the debris to Twitter
Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship 2 in flight. The rocket exploded today, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another
The FAA is investigating and released a statement saying, ‘Just after 10 a.m. PDT today, ground controllers at the Mojave Spaceport lost contact with SpaceShipTwo, an experimental space flight vehicle.
‘The incident occurred over the Mojave Desert shortly after the space flight vehicle separated from WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle that carried it aloft.
‘Two crew members were on board SpaceShipTwo at the time of the incident. WhiteKnightTwo remained airborne after the incident.’
HOW VIRGIN GALACTIC WILL TAKE PASSENGERS TO SPACE
SpaceShipTwo has been under development at Mojave Air and Spaceport in the desert northeast of Los Angeles.
SpaceShipTwo is carried aloft by a specially designed mothership and then released before igniting its rocket for suborbital thrill ride into space and then a return to Earth as a glider.
Ticket cost: The starting price for flights is $250,000 (£150,000) – the first ceremonial flight will be undertaken by Richard Branson and his family.
Training: Passengers are required to go through a ‘Pre-Flight Experience Programme’, including three days of pre-flight preparing onsite at the spaceport to ensure passengers are physically and mentally fit to fly.
Once aboard: SpaceShipTwo will carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.
A climb to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere, at which point SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier aircraft, White Knight II. The spaceship will make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 3.5 hours.The spaceship accelerates to approximately 3,000 mph – or nearly four times the speed of sound
The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.
Flight path: A climb to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere, at which point SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier aircraft, White Knight II.
The spaceship will make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 3.5 hours.
The spaceship accelerates to approximately 3,000 mph – or nearly four times the speed of sound
Flight frequency: Initially one per week, eventually to have two flights per day.
Photographer Ken Brown, who was covering the test flight, told NBC News that he saw a midflight explosion and later came upon SpaceShipTwo debris scattered across a small area of the desert.
Two pilots fly in SpaceShipTwo’s cockpit during a test.
Those pilots are equipped with parachutes, and after the anomaly, at least one chute was reportedly sighted over the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the base from which SpaceShipTwo and its WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane took off.
Bakersfield’s KGET-TV quoted the Mojave airport’s director, Stuart Witt, as saying that the craft crashed east of Mojave.
A tweet from Virgin Galactic said more information would be forthcoming.
Kern County Fire Department reports it is heading to a location in the Mojave Desert.
California Highway Patrol Officer Darlena Dotson says the agency is responding to a report of a crash in the Cantil area.
SpaceShipTwo made its last powered test flight on Jan. 10.
The Virgin logo is seen clearly in this image of the wreckage
Cars and emergency vehicles line up near the crash site
A closer look at the wreckage from the explosion
SpaceShipTwo’s pilots include, among other, Frederick ‘CJ’ Sturckow, Michael Masucci and Peter Siebold.
Sturckow, 53, is a former NASA pilot and was snapped up by Virgin Galactic in May 2013 after an illustrious career including 1,200 hours in space and lengthy military service.
He lives in Lakeside, California with his wife, earned his aviator wings in 1987 and was deployed overseas with the military to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Bahrain. He flew 41 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm and led 30 plane airstrikes into Iraq and Kuwait. During his service, he logged more than 6,500 fight hours in more than 60 different aircraft.
According to his NASA profile, he was selected by the space agency in December 1994 and subsequently worked in roles including the Lead for Kennedy Space Center and Chief of the Astronaut Office International Space Station Branch. He went on to log 1,200 hours in space, including during the first International Space Station assembly mission in 1998 and aboard three other missions to the International Space Station between 2001 and 2009.
In 2011, he was named as the backup commander for the penultimate mission of the Space Shuttle program, allowing Commander Mark Kelly to support his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as she recovered from an attempted assassination in Tuscon.
CJ Sturckow gets splashed with water after guiding Virgin Galactic’s private SpaceShipTwo through an unpowered ‘glide flight’
Pilot Michael Masucci celebrates as well with a little water
Sturckow (in red hat), Pete Siebold (with arms crossed in sunglasses) and Masucci (far right)
Along with Sturckow, 51-year-old Michael Masucci – known as ‘Sooch’ – works out of Virgin Galactic’s Mojave, California location to conduct flight training and testing. He joined the team in 2013.
Masucci, a retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) Lieutenant Colonel has more than 30 years of civilian and military operational and test flying experience and has logged more than 9,000 flying hours in 70 different types of airplanes and gliders.
Before joining Virgin Galactic, he served as a U-2 combat pilot in several operations and instructed at the USAF Test Pilot School, while also serving as a Branch Chief. As a U-2 test pilot he was instrumental in the development and testing of the aircraft’s glass cockpit and power upgrade programs, according to AeroNews. The married dad also worked for XOJET Inc., a private company based in Brisbane, California where he captained a Citation X, a business jet aircraft.
FAA Inspector John Penney, pilot Todd ‘Leif’ Ericson and Masucci
SpaceShip2 coming in for a safe landing during a previous run
Branson christening the WhiteKnightTwo, which landed safely today
Siebold flew his first solo flight and gained his pilot’s license at 16 – the youngest age possible – and went on to teach flight classes at the San Luis Obispo Airport while he was a student at Cal Poly. He completed his degree in 2001.
The 43-year-old, who lives in Tehachapi, California with his wife, was one of the test pilots for SpaceShipOne, a experimental spaceplane that completed the first manned private spaceflight in 2004. As a design engineer at its aerospace company Scaled Composites, Siebold was responsible for the simulator, navigation system, and ground control system for the SpaceShipOne project.
In 2009, he was awarded the Iven C. Kincheloe award – the most prestigious award a test pilot can receive – for his role as chief test pilot on the Model 348 WhiteKnightTwo plane, used to lift the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft to release altitude.
By the time of his award, he had logged about 2,500 hours of flight time in 40 different types of fixed wing aircraft, MustangNews reported.
On October 7, Virgin Galactic tweeted: ‘Pilots Pete Siebold (Scaled) and CJ Sturckow (Virgin Galactic) have landed #SpaceShipTwo safely after another great test flight.’
Incredible footage of Virgin Galactic’s third flight (Archive)
SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power after being released from its mothership – then Virgin tweeted that it had ‘experienced an in-flight anomaly.’
In May, the company announced it was switching the fuel used in the vehicle’s hybrid rocket motor, hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, a form of rubber, to a polyamide-based plastic.
During a media tour of Virgin Galactic’s Mojave facilities on Oct. 4 that marked the tenth anniversary of the final flight of SpaceShipOne, the suborbital vehicle that won the $10-million Ansari X Prize, company officials said they expected to resume powered test flights ‘imminently’ once qualification tests of the new motor were done.
At the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Oct. 15, Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said the company had completed those qualification tests.
‘We expect to get back into powered test flight quite soon,’ he said.
A HISTORY OF DELAYS
July 2008 – Branson predicts that the maiden space voyage will take place within 18 months
October 2009 – Virgin Galactic says initial flights will take place from Spaceport America ‘within two years’
December 7, 2009 – SpaceShipTwo unveiled and Branson tells ticket holders that flights will being in 2011
April 2011 – Branson says that due to delays flights will not begin for another 18 months
April 29, 2013 – SpaceShipTwo has first test flight, but only achieves a speed of 920 mph, less than half the speed Branson predicted
May 14, 2013 - Branson says first flight will take place on December 25, 2013
September 2014 – Branson says first flight will happen in February or March of 2015
SpaceShipTwo has been under development at Mojave Air and Spaceport in the desert northeast of Los Angeles.
SpaceShipTwo is carried aloft by a specially designed jet and then released before igniting its rocket for suborbital thrill ride into space and then a return to Earth as a glider.
Seats on the flights into space are already being snapped for £250,000 ahead of the spring launch at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Branson’s big project has also attracted a slew of big name passengers happy to pay for this once in a lifetime experience, including newlyweds Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; Justin Bieber and his manager Scooter Braun; Lady Gaga, who plans to try and sing in space; former pop star Lance Bass, who has long been vocal about his desire to head to space; and Ashton Kutcher, who was the 500th customer to purchase a ticket. Russell Brand also got a ticket for his birthday from ex-wife Katy Perry when the two were married. Perry bought a ticket as well so Brand would not have to go alone.
Stephen Hawking and Kate Winslet are also set to fly, but got their seats for free. Winslet because she is married to Branson’s nephew, Ned RocknRoll, and Hawking because Branson wanted to offer the legendary astrophysicist a chance to go into space.
The ship attached to its mothership
However, Sir Richard is facing a ‘backlash’ from some of the nearly 700 passengers who have already paid for a ticket on the craft.
Some stumped up the fee as long ago as 2005, but still have no idea when they will eventually reach space.
The 600-plus takers for the flights are already benefiting from their ticket purchase, which by extension enters them into an exclusive club that has seen them visit Necker Island and the Mojave Desert with Branson along with undertaking G-force training.
Richard Branson’s plane meant to carry tourists into space never tested a new engine using new fuel before it flew—and exploded—over California on Friday.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed in the California desert Friday after testing a new rocket motor for the first time in flight. The company said an “in-flight anomaly” occurred. Law enforcement said one pilot was killed and the other was seriously injured.
“During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement it released to NBC News. “Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so.”
SpaceShipTwo had been slung under the jet-powered carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo before taking off. WhiteKnightTwo carried SpaceShipTwo to 50,000 feet before releasing it for free flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration provided additional details on what happened next.
“Just after 10 a.m. PDT today, ground controllers at the Mojave Spaceport lost contact with SpaceShipTwo, an experimental space flight vehicle,” FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told The Daily Beast in an email. “The incident occurred over the Mojave Desert shortly after the space flight vehicle separated from WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle that carried it aloft. Two crew members were on board SpaceShipTwo at the time of the incident.”
The WhiteKnightTwo remained airborne after the incident and landed safely.
The National Transportation Safety Board also will investigate the crash, a spokesman told The Daily Beast.
SpaceShipTwo was testing a new plastic-based rocket fuel for the first time Friday. An eyewitness told The Daily Beast that the spacecraft exploded shortly after the rocket motor was ignited. The spaceship had not flown a powered flight in about nine months because engineers were switching out its original engine that used rubber-based rocket fuel for the new engine, which used plastic-based fuel.
Scaled Composites, which built the spacecraft, had experienced some problems with the new rocket, which until Friday had only been tested on the ground. While the new motor holds much promise of greatly increased performance, there were some serious risks associated with the new rocket—as Friday’s incident proved.
With the new rocket installed, SpaceShipTwo was expected to fly more than five times higher than it had ever flown before—right to the edge of space at 62 miles above the Earth. In some ways, SpaceShipTwo, which was to reach a maximum speed of about 2,500 miles per hour during its ascent into space, was pushing the limits of its virtually untested design.
It was not the first time Virgin pushed limits to get into space. A new biography about SpaceShipTwo’s patron, Richard Branson, by investigative journalist Tom Bower makes that clear. Rocket engineers Geoff Daly and Caroline Campbell were critical of one of the components of the original rubber-based fuel: nitrous oxide. Campbell warned: “Nitrous oxide can explode on its own.” Another toxic component of the fuel was hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, a form of rubber. Campbell said that when the engine ran there was “so much soot coming out the back, burning rubber, that it could be carcinogenic.”
In 2007, the unattached rocket engine using that fuel was being tested on the ground in the Mojave desert when it exploded and killed three of 40 engineers observing the test. Investigators found that safety regulations at the site had been violated and that the men killed had been too close to the rocket motor.
After tests this January, it was decided to the fuel powering the rocket engine should have its rubber removed. The reason was not toxicity but that the fuel did not provide consistent and stable power, and the test pilots had to shut down the engine prematurely. Before SpaceShipTwo could fly with the new fuel aboard it had to be extensively tested on the ground. As those tests were taking place, Branson told Bloomberg TV: “It took us a lot longer to build rockets that we felt completely comfortable with.”
SpaceShipTwo was expected to usher in a new era of commercial space travel: More than 700 people had already paid more than $250,000 each for a chance to leave the planet and experience the weightlessness of space flight. Branson himself had been planning to fly onboard the spacecraft by next year.
Friday’s incident, however, throws all of that into question.
Virgin Galactic’s Flight Path to Disaster: A Clash of High Risk and Hyperbole
Sir Richard Branson’s a consummate salesman, but his rhetoric and hopes got ahead of his company’s engineers.
It was always recklessly optimistic of Sir Richard Branson to imagine that he could go straight from experimental test flights of his Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two to carrying passengers in a matter of months.
That’s not the way that things work when you’re pushing at the edge of the unknown, as this program was.
And yet there was Sir Richard, only a few weeks ago, suggesting that once the ship had fired up its rocket motor with a new kind of fuel he would be riding the first passenger-carrying flight early next year.
He’s never seemed either to understand or admit how many technical challenges had to be faced before space tourism could be an everyday event, as safe and simple as flying an airline.
Every milestone in aviation and aerospace has been reached only after exhaustive and often dangerous testing.
The closest parallel to the Galactic challenge is the example of Chuck Yaeger being the first man to successfully fly at supersonic speed in 1947.
It was called, rather dramatically, breaking the sound barrier. In fact, there was no barrier but there was much to be discovered about changes to the controllability of an airplane as it surged beyond the speed of sound.
Yaeger’s Bell X-1 rocket ship was a one-off experimental machine. It would be years before air force pilots could safely fly the supersonic fighters that evolved from these test flights into a very different form.
Yet Virgin Galactic posited the notion that an experimental test vehicle and the final form of a “spaceship for tourists” could be identical.
Both a rocket engine with a temperamental record and an airframe of revolutionary design and construction had to be proved safe. And not just safe for test pilots, but safe enough for the long line of celebrities who had signed up to ride the rocket.
All the Virgin Galactic test flying was done under a special experimental permit issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. To reach the point where SpaceShip Two could be cleared for carrying passengers Galactic needed to move from the experimental permit to being awarded an operator’s license.
That required a new 180-day review by the FAA to establish that all the systems were thoroughly tested and fail-safe. But remember, this was uncharted territory for the FAA just as it was for Galactic. Indeed, by submitting to the FAA review Galactic was being asked to set the standards for all who followed… if they could.
It was a very tall order. Branson wanted a vehicle that could carry six passengers, two pilots and reach a speed of 2,500mph and a height of around 65 miles, ten times the height at which an airliner cruises.
By any measure, this accident will have set back the development program by years. Will backers want to pour ever more money into this black hole?
When the FAA certifies a new airliner as safe it is normal for the airplane builder, like Boeing or Airbus, to put as many a six airplanes into the test program, all flying at the same time, to test every aspect of the design and its safety—and this for a technology that is in most parts wholly mature. Even then it can take several years to receive certification. The principle is clear: the design must have multiple redundancies so that no single failure can jeopardize the airplane.
But here Virgin was fielding only one test vehicle that embodied a whole set of completely untried systems. Everything was being staked on the two test pilots being able to anticipate potential failures and the ground engineers likewise poring over the test results to detect weak points before they had catastrophic results. Despite this, Virgin asked the FAA to begin their review for the operator’s license in August 2013, and that was when the 180-day clock started ticking.
However, as that period neared its end it was obvious that SpaceShip Two was nowhere near completing its test flights and passing every safety milestone that it needed to. So Virgin voluntarily asked the FAA to stop the clock.
The program was facing its most daunting test, firing up the rocket engine to full power and for long enough to reach that apogee of 65 miles high.
Early this year a test flight proved that the fuel being used for the rocket would never meet that goal. The power delivered by the rocket motor was uneven and tricky to control. On the first powered test flights the pilots had prematurely to shut down the engine.
Then a critical change was ordered—a fuel using a new formula that was thought to be more stable and deliver more power. This fuel was repeatedly tested on the ground. But no ground test can replicate the conditions of a flight—key factors like temperature, air pressure and far lower gravitational pull affect the way the fuel behaves.
On Friday morning the pilots prepared for the first flight with the new fuel. There was, I am told, a two-hour delay caused by concerns about the temperature of the fuel. Nonetheless, the test pilots, both known to be scrupulous in their preparations, felt confident enough to go. So SpaceShip Two was lifted aloft by the mother ship, WhiteKnight Two, and separated at 40,000 feet to “light the candle” as rocket ignition is called. Disaster followed.
There are many consequences to this failure. Not the least is what it implies for the financing of the project. After years of delays the costs have gone beyond a billion dollars. More than a third of that money has come from Abar, an investment fund based in Abu Dhabi. (This was made available in return for an undertaking by Virgin to build a space tourism base in the Gulf.) By any measure, this accident will have set back the development program by years. Will backers want to pour ever more money into this black hole?
Then there is the case of Spaceport America in New Mexico, near the small city of Truth & Consequences. This cost local taxpayers $212 million to build in the hope that they would become the center of the new industry of space tourism.
It’s not exactly clear how many people have signed up to ride SpaceShip One – Galactic has claimed that as many as 800 people have paid deposits on the $250,000 fare but the numbers are squishy. For these people the disaster over the Mojave Desert is a sobering wake-up call. What to many must have seemed the prospect of a spectacular joy ride is now better appreciated as a thrill from the very edge of what is safely attainable.
From the beginning in 2004 there has always been a credibility gap between the fairground hyperbole of Branson’s formidable publicity machine and the scientific reality of the enterprise. Somehow, probably because he is such a consummate showman, Branson has been able, year after year, to override the story of continual delays, flagrant over-promises and a voracious, seemingly open-ended budget. This time it’s different. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation will deliver a forensic rigor that has been so far lacking. It will strip away the vocabulary of the promoter. And it will reveal the world as lived daily by the engineers and test pilots who knew how much was left to be understood among the hazards of the dream.
SpaceShipTwo is carried to its launch altitude by a jet-poweredmothership, the Scaled Composites White Knight Two, before being released to fly on into the upper atmosphere, powered by a rocket motor. It then glides back to Earth and performs a conventional runway landing. The spaceship was officially unveiled to the public on 7 December 2009 at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. On 29 April 2013, after nearly three years of unpowered testing, the spacecraft successfully performed its first powered test flight.
Virgin Galactic plans to operate a fleet of five SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes in a private passenger-carrying service, starting in 2014, and have been taking bookings for some time, with a suborbital flight carrying an initial ticket price of US$200,000. The spaceplane could also be used to carry scientific payloads for NASA and other organizations.
SpaceShipTwo is a low-aspect-ratio passenger spaceplane. Its capacity will be eight people: six passengers and two pilots. The apogee of the new craft will be approximately 110 km (68 mi) in the lower thermosphere, 10 km (6.2 mi) higher than the Kármán line which was SpaceShipOne’s target (though the last flight of SpaceShipOne reached a one-time altitude of 112 km (70 mi)). SpaceShipTwo will reach 4,200 km/h (2,600 mph), using a single hybrid rocket motor – the RocketMotorTwo. It launches from its mothership,White Knight Two, at an altitude of 15,000 metres (50,000 ft), and reaches supersonic speed within 8 seconds. After 70 seconds, the rocket motor cuts out and the spacecraft will coast to its peak altitude. SpaceShipTwo’s crew cabin is 3.7 m (12 ft) long and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) in diameter. The wing span is 8.2 m (27 ft), the length is 18 m (60 ft) and the tail height is 4.6 m (15 ft) .
SpaceShipTwo uses a feathered reentry system, feasible due to the low speed of reentry – by contrast, the Space Shuttle and other orbital spacecraft re-enter at orbital speeds, closer to 25,000 km/h (16,000 mph) , using heat shields. SpaceShipTwo is furthermore designed to re-enter the atmosphere at any angle. It will decelerate through the atmosphere, switching to a gliding position at an altitude of 24 km (15 mi), and will take 25 minutes to glide back to the spaceport.
SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two are, respectively, roughly twice the size of the first-generation SpaceShipOne and mothership White Knight, which won theAnsari X Prize in 2004. SpaceShipTwo has 43 and 33 cm (17 and 13 in) -diameter windows for the passengers’ viewing pleasure, and all seats will recline back during landing to decrease the discomfort of G-forces. Reportedly, the craft can land safely even if a catastrophic failure occurs during flight. In 2008, Burt Rutan remarked on the safety of the vehicle:
This vehicle is designed to go into the atmosphere in the worst case straight in or upside down and it’ll correct. This is designed to be at least as safe as the early airliners in the 1920s…Don’t believe anyone that tells you that the safety will be the same as a modern airliner, which has been around for 70 years.
In September 2011, the safety of SpaceShipTwo’s feathered reentry system was tested when the crew briefly lost control of the craft during a gliding test flight. Control was reestablished after the spaceplane entered its feathered configuration, and it landed safely after a 7-minute flight.
Fleet and launch site
The launch customer of SpaceShipTwo is Virgin Galactic, who have ordered five vehicles. The first two were named VSS (Virgin Space Ship) Enterpriseand VSS Voyager. As of August 2013, only VSS Enterprise has been flown;VSS Voyager has yet to begin flight tests. The WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo crafts will take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California during testing. Spaceport America – formerly Southwest Regional Spaceport, a US$212 million spaceport in New Mexico partly funded by the state government – will become the permanent launch site when commercial launches begin.
On 28 September 2006, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson unveiled a mock-up of the SpaceShipTwo passenger cabin at the NextFest exposition at theJavits Convention Center in New York. The design of the vehicle was revealed to the press in January 2008, with the statement that the vehicle itself was around 60% complete. On 7 December 2009, the official unveiling and rollout of SpaceShipTwo took place. The event involved the first SpaceShipTwo being christened by then-Governor of CaliforniaArnold Schwarzenegger as the VSS Enterprise.
2007 test explosion
On 26 July 2007, an explosion occurred during an oxidizer flow test at the Mojave Air and Space Port, where early-stage tests were being conducted on SpaceShipTwo’s systems. The oxidizer test included filling the oxidizer tank with 4,500 kilograms (10,000 lb) of nitrous oxide, followed by a 15-second cold-flow injector test. Although the tests did not ignite the gas, three employees were killed and three injured, two critically and one seriously, by flying shrapnel.
Between 2005 and 2009, Scaled Composites conducted numerous small-scale rocket tests to evaluate SpaceShipTwo’s engine design. After settling on the RocketMotorTwo hybrid rocket design, the company began performing full-scale hot-fire rocket tests in April 2009. By December 2012, 15 full-scale tests had been successfully conducted, and additional ground tests continued into March 2013. In June 2012, the FAA issued a rocket testing permit to Scaled Composites, allowing it to begin SS2 test flights powered by RocketMotorTwo; the first such powered flight took place on 29 April 2013. The HTPB RocketMotorTwo design generated 60,000 lbf (270 kN) of thrust.
2014 Change of fuel
In May 2014, Virgin Galactic announced a change to the fuel to be used in the SpaceShipTwo rocket engine. Rather than the rubber-based HTPB—HTPB engines had experienced serious engine stability issues on firings longer than approximately 20 seconds—the engine will now use a type of plastic called thermoplasticpolyamide as the solid fuel. The plastic fuel is projected to have better performance (by several unspecified measures) and will allow SpaceShipTwo to make flights to a higher altitude.
As of May 2014, the new engine has already completed full-duration burns of over 60 seconds in ground tests on an engine test stand.
A view of the firing of SpaceShipTwo’s rocket motors during its first powered flight in April 2013.
As of October 2014, SpaceShipTwo has conducted 54 test flights. The spacecraft has used its “feathered” wing configuration during ten of these test flights.
In September 2012, Virgin Galactic announced that the unpowered subsonic glide flight test program was essentially complete. In October 2012, Scaled Composites installed key components of the rocket motor, and SpaceShipTwo performed its first glide flight with the engine installed in December 2012.
The spacecraft’s first powered test flight took place on 29 April 2013. Spaceshiptwo reached supersonic speeds in this first powered flight. On 5 September 2013, the second powered flight was made by SpaceShipTwo. The first powered test flight of 2014—and third overall—occurred 10 January 2014. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 22,000 metres (71,000 ft) (the highest to date) and a speed of Mach 1.4. The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft released SpaceShipTwo (VSS Enterprise) at an altitude of 14,000 metres (46,000 ft) .
SpaceShipTwo’s total development costs were estimated at around $400 million in May 2011, a significant increase over the 2007 estimate of $108 million.
On October 31, 2014, SpaceShipTwo suffered an “anomaly” during a powered flight test, resulting in a crash killing one pilot and injuring the other. It was the first flight to use the new type of fuel.
The duration of the flights will be approximately 2.5 hours, though only a few minutes of that will be in space. The price will initially be $200,000. More than 65,000 would-be space tourists applied for the first batch of 100 tickets. By December 2007, Virgin Galactic had 200 paid-up customers on its books for the early flights, and 95% were passing the 6-8 g centrifuge tests. By the start of 2011, that number had increased to over 400 paid customers, and to 575 by early 2013. In April 2013, Virgin Galactic announced that the price for a seat would increase 25 percent to $250,000 before the middle of May 2013, and would remain at $250,000 “until the first 1,000 people have traveled, so that it matches up with inflation since [Virgin Galactic] started.”
Following 50–100 test flights, the first paying customers are expected to fly aboard the craft in 2014. Refining the projected schedule in late 2009, Virgin Galactic declined to announce a firm timetable for commercial flights, but did reiterate that initial flights would take place from Spaceport America. Operational roll-out will be based on a “safety-driven schedule”. In addition to making suborbital passenger launches, Virgin Galactic will market SpaceShipTwo for suborbital space sciencemissions.
NASA sRLV program
By March 2011, Virgin Galactic had submitted SpaceShipTwo as a reusable launch vehicle for carrying research payloads in response to NASA‘s suborbital reusable launch vehicle (sRLV) solicitation, which is a part of the agency’s Flight Opportunities Program. Virgin projects research flights with a peak altitude of 110 km (68 mi) and a duration of approximately 90 minutes. These flights will provide approximately four minutes of microgravity for research payloads. Payload mass and microgravity levels have not yet been specified. The NASA research flights could begin during the test flight certification program for SpaceShipTwo.
In August 2005, the president of Virgin Galactic stated that if the suborbital service with SpaceShipTwo is successful, the follow-up SpaceShipThree will be an orbital craft. In 2008, Virgin Galactic changed their plans and decided to make it a high-speed passenger vehicle, offering transport through point-to-point suborbital spaceflight.
While the first WhiteKnightTwo and the first SpaceShipTwo were built by Scaled Composites, The Spaceship Company has responsibility for the manufacture of the second WK2 aircraft and the second SS2 spacecraft for Virgin Galactic, as well as additional production craft as other customers for the vehicles emerge. In October 2010, TSC announced plans to build three WhiteKnightTwo aircraft and five SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes.
“VG Powered Flight Updated Drop BRoll”. Virgin Galactic via YouTube. 29 April 2013. Shows all 16 seconds of the first-flight rocket firing from three views, and most of the sequence from a fourth view.
Story 1: Good News and Bad News Concerning Ebola — 2 Nurses Ebola Free and 1 Doctor Has Confirmed Case of Ebola in New York City — Ebola Infected Dr. Craig Spencer Took A-Train, L-Train and High-Line – Went Bowling — Contact Tracing Begins — Airborne Ebola Theme Song — If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere, New York, New York — Videos
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Note: They are not wearing a
Biosafety Level 4 Positive Pressure Spacesuit!
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Frank Sinatra-New York,New York
Frank Sinatra-New York,New York-Lyrics
Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New YorkI want to wake up, in a city that never sleeps
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heapThese little town blues, are melting away
I’ll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York..New YorkNew York…New York
I want to wake up, in a city that never sleeps
And find I’m A number one, top of the list
King of the hill, A number one….These little town blues, are melting away
I’ll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York..New York New York!!!
Frank Sinatra – New York New York Song **Lyrics** [HD]
My Kind of Town (Chicago) – Frank Sinatra
“My Kind Of Town”
Now this could only happen to a guy like me
And only happen in a town like this
So may I say to each of you most gratef’lly
As I throw each one of you a kissThis is my kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of people, too
People who smile at youAnd each time I roam, Chicago is
Calling me home, Chicago is
Why I just grin like a clown
It’s my kind of town[brief instrumental]My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of razzmatazz
And it has all that jazzAnd each time I leave, Chicago is
Tuggin’ my sleeve, Chicago is
The Wrigley Building, Chicago is
The Union Stockyard, Chicago is
One town that won’t let you down
It’s my kind of town
New York, New Jersey Set Up Mandatory Quarantine Requirement Amid Ebola Threat Christie: New Policy Has Already Been Used At Newark Liberty International Airport
As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, no other states have yet set up increased screening procedures for Ebola.
“We believe it’s appropriate to increase the current screening procedures from people coming from affected countries from the current (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention screening procedures),” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday afternoon. “We believe it within the State of New York and the State of New Jersey’s legal rights.”
Under the new rules, state officials will establish a risk level by considering the countries that people have visited and their level of possible exposure to Ebola.
The patients with the highest level of possible exposure will be automatically quarantined for 21 days at a government-regulated facility. Those with a lower risk will be monitored for temperature and symptoms, Cuomo explained.
The New York and New Jersey health departments will determine their own specific procedures for hospitalization and quarantine, and will provide a daily recap to state officials on the status of screening, New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said at the news conference.
The new procedures already have been put into use at Newark Liberty International Airport.
On Friday, a health care worker landed at Newark after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at the news conference. A legal quarantine was issued for the woman, who was not a New Jersey resident and was set to go on to New York afterward.
“This woman, while her home residence is outside the area, said her next stop was going to be here in New York,” Christie said. “Governor Cuomo and I discussed it before we came out here, and a quarantine order will be issued.”
The woman will be quarantined in either New York or New Jersey, Christie said.
In discussing the new plan, Cuomo and Christie said a policy of voluntary quarantine simply does not go far enough.
“Voluntary quarantine – you know it’s almost an oxymoron. This is a very serious situation.” Cuomo said. “Voluntary quarantine – raise your right hand and promise you’re going to stay home for 21 days. We’ve seen what happens.”
The new rules were announced a day after Dr. Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, became New York City’s first Ebola patient.
He reported Thursday morning coming down with a fever and diarrhea and is being treated in an isolation ward at Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola center.
Spencer returned from West Africa last Friday after treating Ebola patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. He arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport, passing the extensive CDC screening process.
“When he arrived in the United States, he was also well with no symptoms,” said New York City Health Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett.
Doctors Without Borders said per the guidelines it provides its staff members on their return from Ebola assignments, “the individual engaged in regular health monitoring and reported this development immediately.” But Spencer also took the subway, walked the High Line, and went bowling in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the day before he became sick.
“He was a doctor, and even he didn’t follow the guidelines,” Cuomo said.
With that in mind, the states have to lay down the law, the governors said.
“It’s too serious a situation to leave it to the honor system,” Cuomo said.
The CDC is reviewing its policy for health care workers returning from West Africa, but anyone flying into a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey airport will need to abide by the new procedures.
Ebola Arrives in New York. How Prepared Is the City to Handle It?
Dr. Craig Spencer, the health care worker who recently returned from Guinea and tested positivefor the Ebola virus, is now the first patient to be treated at New York’s Bellevue Hospital.
But the hospital, as well as city, state and federal officials, have been working for weeks or more to ensure the city is ready to identify and treat Ebola cases.
This preparation reflects the now-proven fact that the longer the outbreak rages on in West Africa, the more likely it was that a patient would wind up in Western cities, including New York.
On Oct. 15, the state designated Bellevue Hospital Center as the facility to receive Ebola patients from among the city’s 11 public hospitals, and to receive transferred patients from other hospitals as well, in the event that any Ebola cases occur in the city.
According to a statement from the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the hospital has four single-bed rooms in its infectious disease ward to treat “high probability or confirmed Ebola cases.” This part of the hospital also has a new laboratory that can test for Ebola, separate from the rest of the hospital’s labs, to handle Ebola blood samples.
Because the virus can be spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, careful handling of blood and other samples is necessary.
The hospital is particularly well suited due to its long history of being on the front lines of epidemics and emerging public health threats, and managing an isolation unit for diseases, such as TB, for many years with support from and collaboration with the City Health Department.
Three other hospitals in New York City have also been designated by the state to treat suspected and confirmed Ebola cases, including Mt. Sinai and New York Presbyterian in Manhattan and Montefiore in the Bronx, according to Governor Cuomo’s Ebola preparedness plan.
None of these hospitals, including Bellevue, has an isolated biocontainment unit like those that have treated patients at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
The American public may not have much faith in ordinary hospitals to treat Ebola, considering that the only non-specialized hospital to treat Ebola patients, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, allowed the virus to spread to two nurses who worked on the original patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola on Oct. 8. Both of the nurses are now being treated in a biocontainment unit.
The probability of an Ebola case in New York was always considerably higher than it was for many other cities in the U.S., given that two of the city’s international airports — JFK and Newark — are key gateways for travelers to and from West Africa, via stops in Europe or elsewhere in Africa.
“New York City is a frequent port of entry for travelers from West Africa, a home to communities of West African immigrants who travel back to their home countries, and a home to health care workers who travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report on Oct. 17.
“Ongoing transmission of Ebola virus in West Africa could result in an infected person arriving in NYC,” the report said. However, the chance that a New Yorker who has not traveled to an Ebola hotspot would come down with the virus is “extremely slim,” since the disease is only spread through direct contact with an infectious person’s bodily fluids.
Ultimately, it was a doctor who lived in the city who would bring the virus home.
In recent weeks, the New York Health Commissioner issued a “Commissioner’s Order” to all hospitals and ambulance services in the state, “requiring that they follow protocols for identification, isolation and medical evaluation of patients requiring care.”
The state has been conducting “unannounced drills” at hospitals and health care facilities to test preparedness for handling possible Ebola cases. The state has also involved the Metropalitan Transit Authority, which operates the city’s subways and buses, in training for encountering possible Ebola patients.
And a mass Ebola training for health care workers, which included demonstrations for putting on and taking off protective equipment, took place in the city on Oct. 21.
According to new guidelines the CDC issued on Monday, there are now 30 steps health care workers have to take every time they treat a patient with Ebola or Ebola-like symptoms.
At hospitals like Bellevue, actors have played the role of patients with Ebola symptoms have been part of the drills, and the city’s 911 operators have been told to ask people who call in with Ebola-like symptoms if they have recently traveled to West Africa, according to the Guardian.
As of Thursday, there have been nearly 10,000 cases of Ebola in West Africa, along with about 4,900 deaths. However, these figures are likely to be underestimates, since the lack of treatment facilities and other circumstances are causing many patients to go uncounted.
A doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea became the first person in the city to test positive for the virus Thursday, setting off a search for anyone who might have come into contact with him.
The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital Center and placed in isolation at the same time as investigators sought to retrace every step he had taken over the past several days.
At least three people he had contact with in recent days have been placed in isolation. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which dispatched a team to New York, is conducting its own test to confirm the positive test on Thursday, which was performed by a city lab.
While officials have said they expected isolated cases of the disease to arrive in New York eventually, and had been preparing for this moment for months, the first case highlighted the challenges involved in containing the virus, especially in a crowded metropolis. Dr. Spencer, 33, had traveled on the A and L subway lines Wednesday night, visited a bowling alley in Williamsburg, and then took a taxi back to Manhattan.
The next morning, he reported having a fever, raising questions about his health while he was out in public. The authorities have interviewed Dr. Spencer several times and are also looking at information from his credit cards and MetroCard to determine his movements.
Health officials initially said that Dr. Spencer had a 103-degree fever when he reported his symptoms to authorities at around 11 a.m. on Thursday. But on Friday, health officials said that was incorrect and that Dr. Spencer reported having a 100.3-degree fever. They said the mistake was because of a transcription error.
People infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until they begin to display symptoms, and it cannot be spread through the air. As people become sicker, the viral load in the body builds, and they become increasingly contagious.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at a news conference at Bellevue on Thursday night, sought to reassure New Yorkers that there was no reason to be alarmed.
“Being on the same subway car or living near a person with Ebola does not in itself put someone at risk,” he said.
Dr. Spencer’s work in Africa and the timing of the onset of his symptoms led health officials to dispatch disease detectives, who “immediately began to actively trace all of the patient’s contacts to identify anyone who may be at potential risk,” according to a statement released by the health department.
Dr. Spencer’s fiancée has also been quarantined at Bellevue. Two other friends, who had contact with him on Tuesday and Wednesday, have been told by the authorities that they too will be quarantined but whether they will isolate themselves in their homes or be relocated was still under discussion, according to a person briefed on the investigation. None of the three were showing signs of illness.
The driver of the taxi, arranged through the online service Uber, did not have direct contact with Dr. Spencer and was not considered to be at risk, officials said.
Speaking at the news conference, city officials said that while they were still investigating, they did not believe Dr. Spencer was symptomatic while he traveled around the city on Wednesday and therefore had not posed a risk to the public.
“He did not have a stage of disease that creates a risk of contagiousness on the subway,” Dr. Mary Bassett, the city health commissioner, said. “We consider it extremely unlikely, the probability being close to nil, that there will be any problem related to his taking the subway system.”
Still, out of an abundance of caution, officials said, the bowling alley in Williamsburg that he visited, the Gutter, was closed on Thursday night, and a scheduled concert there, part of the CMJ music festival, was canceled. Health workers were scheduled to visit the alley on Friday.
At Dr. Spencer’s apartment building, his home was sealed off and workers distributed informational fliers about the disease.
Dr. Spencer had been working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea treating Ebola patients, and completed his work on Oct. 12, Dr. Bassett said. He flew out of the country on Oct. 14, traveling via Europe, and arrived in New York on Oct. 17.
Since returning, he had been taking his temperature twice a day, Dr. Bassett said.
He told the authorities that he did not believe the protective gear he wore while working with Ebola patients had been breached but had been monitoring his own health.
Doctors Without Borders, in a statement, said it provides guidelines for its staff members to follow when they return from Ebola assignments, but did not elaborate on the protocols.
“The individual engaged in regular health monitoring and reported this development immediately,” the group said in a statement.
Dr. Spencer began to feel sluggish on Tuesday but did not develop a feveruntil Thursday morning, he told the authorities. At 11 a.m., he found that he had a 100.3-degree temperature and alerted the staff of Doctors Without Borders, according to the official.
The staff called the city’s health department, which in turn called the Fire Department.
Emergency medical workers, wearing full personal protective gear, rushed to Dr. Spencer’s apartment, on West 147th Street. He was transported to Bellevue and arrived shortly after 1 p.m.
He was placed in a special isolation unit and is being seen by the designated medical critical care team. Team members wear personal protective equipment with undergarment air ventilation systems.
Bellevue doctors have been preparing to deal with an Ebola patient with numerous drills and tests as well as actual treatment of suspected cases that turned out to be false alarms.
A health care worker at the hospital said that Dr. Spencer seemed very sick, and it was unclear to the medical staff why he had not gone to the hospital earlier, since his fever was high.
Dr. Spencer is a fellow of international emergency medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and an instructor in clinical medicine at Columbia University.
“He is a committed and responsible physician who always puts his patients first,” the hospital said in a statement. “He has not been to work at our hospital and has not seen any patients at our hospital since his return from overseas.”
Before Thursday, more than 30 people had gone to city hospitals and raised suspicions of Ebola, but in all those cases health workers were able to rule out the virus without performing blood tests.
While the city has stepped up its laboratory capacity so it can get test results within four to six hours, the precautions required when drawing blood and treating a person possibly sick with Ebola meant that it took until late in the evening to confirm Dr. Spencer’s diagnosis.
Doctors said that even before the results came in, it seemed likely that he had been infected. Symptoms usually occur within eight to 10 days of infection. Dr. Spencer stopped working with Ebola patients 11 days ago and returned home six days ago.
Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids and secretions, including blood, mucus, feces and vomit.
Because of its high mortality rate — Ebola kills more than half the people it infects — the disease spreads fear along with infection.
The authorities have been on high alert ever since Thomas Eric Duncan traveled to the United States in September from Liberia, and was later given a diagnosis of Ebola.
Several days after his death, a nurse who helped care for Mr. Duncan learned she had Ebola. Two nurses who treated Mr. Duncan fell ill, but are recovering.
That single case led to hundreds of people being quarantined or being asked to remain isolated from the general public.
The missteps by both local and federal authorities in handling the nation’s first Ebola case raised questions about the ability of health care workers to safely treat those with the disease.
In the New York City region, hospitals and emergency workers have been preparing for the appearance of the virus for months.
Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and a special adviser to Mayor de Blasio, said that the risk to the general public was minimal, but depended on the city moving swiftly.
“New York has mobilized not only a world-class health department, but has full engagement of many other agencies that need to be on the response team,” he said.
The new Ebola infection in New York City exposed flaws in the system and raised new concerns, lawmakers said Friday, as they criticised the U.S. government response to the outbreak and questioned top officials’ credibility.
“I can tell you it’s not working. All you need to do is look at Craig Spencer,” said Rep. John Mica, a Republican, naming the doctor in New York who was diagnosed with Ebola late Thursday a week after returning from Guinea. “He was tested there, it’s not working.”
Spencer, the fourth person diagnosed in the U.S., did not exhibit symptoms until Thursday and so the temperature screening in place at the five U.S. airports that receive passengers from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the three West African countries that have borne the worst of the outbreak, would not have caught him. Some lawmakers questioning administration officials at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing said that just showed that a new approach was needed.
Less than two weeks before hard-fought elections, many lawmakers, especially Republicans, have called for a travel ban from the hot spots in West Africa where the deadly disease has infected roughly 10,000 people and killed about half of them. Others have suggested quarantining people for the 21-day incubation period once they arrive.
The Obama administration has resisted, saying such an approach could make things worse by limiting sorely needed supplies and medical workers to West Africa and encouraging travelers to hide their travel histories. Instead the administration has implemented new guidelines for screening all people arriving here from the hot zones and ensuring they’re all monitored by medical experts for 21 days.
Rep. Stephen Lynch, a Democrat, said Friday that anyone who travels here from West Africa should be quarantined for 21 days in their home country before even boarding a plane to the U.S.
“This can’t just be about ideology and happy talk,” Lynch said. “We need to be very deliberate (and) take it much more seriously than I’m hearing today.”
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican, complained about wrong information and shifting standards coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the first case diagnosed in the U.S., a man who traveled from Sierra Leone to Texas and later died. He infected two nurses who cared for him. As of Friday both nurses have been declared free of the virus.
“We said we were planning to deal with infectious diseases, prepare our health care system and our doctors and nurses,” Issa said. “And in fact it appears as though we trained them but not trained them to the level we should.”
Dr. Nicole Lurie, assistant HHS secretary for preparedness and response, defended the government’s response.
“I think our failures largely relate to the fact that we’re learning some new things about Ebola,” she said. “Ebola’s never been in this hemisphere before, and as we’re learning those things we’re tightening up our policies and procedures as quickly as possible.”
In her prepared testimony, Lurie assured lawmakers that a large-scale outbreak of Ebola is unlikely in this country. “There is an epidemic of fear, but not of Ebola, in the United States,” she said.
New York City police officers enter the building where Dr. Craig Spencer (inset with fiancée Morgan Dixon) lives in New York on Oct. 24.Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar
Efforts are under way to decontaminate the apartment building of the Big Apple’s first Ebola patient.
Cops moved people back around 9:15 am as two officers with the Sanitation Department’s Environmental Police Unit arrived on the scene and entered the building through a side entrance.
They were later joined by several people in plain-clothes who exited out of a truck belonging to the Bio-Recovery Corporation — a full service crime scene cleanup and bio remediation company.
“Today we’re expecting a specialized crew [to] come in full protective gear and will clean and sterilize Dr. [Craig] Spencer’s apartment for signs of bodily fluid,” said City Council member Mark Levine, adding that officials would “confiscate material that might have come into contact with his body such as sheets and pillowcases and bath towels and toothbrushes.”
The 7th District councilman was on the scene Friday morning, giving updates specifically aimed at people in the community whose fears were heightened Thursday when Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders volunteer, tested positive for the Ebola virus.
“We’ve had neighbors understandably concerned that live right across the street, maybe they live down the hall, maybe they’ve seen him in the local bodega and they’re worried,” he told the crowd. “But the truth is and the facts they need to understand are they’re really not at risk.”
Police and health officials enter the New York apartment building of Dr. Craig Spencer, who has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus, on Oct. 24.
Levine made it clear that while fear of catching the disease was high, the actual possibility that Spencer could have spread the illness before being hospitalized was minimal.
“If he was well enough to go for a run, then he was almost certainly not sick enough to be contagious,” he said. “Frankly, if he was well enough to go bowling, he was probably not sick enough to be contagious, so people should not worry.”
When Spencer first reported his elevated temperature to officials, firefighters worked quickly to make sure the risk of infection was extremely low.
“The first thing they did was seal off the apartment,” he said. “That happened immediately after Dr. Spencer was taken to the ambulance.”
The ambulance carrying Dr. Craig Spencer arrives at Bellevue Hospital.
A neighbor who lives across from Spencer told The Post that four of his relatives panicked shortly after the Harlem doctor was picked up and eventually left the apartment.
“They’re gone, they weren’t moved by the authorities, they left on their own because of the scare, because they were frightened,” said Stan Malone, 45. “This really hits home … I believe it’s gonna get worse.”
Malone added that while he thought Spencer had only come in contact with a few people, he felt the city wasn’t doing enough to ensure the safety of New Yorkers.
“I think this whole building should be quarantined now,” he said. “What’s taking the city so long to do that?”
A physician who treated dying Ebola patients in Liberia flew in to JFK on Thursday night — and stayed at an airport hotel, a source told The Post.
Colin Bucks, a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University’s medical school, arrived on a Royal Moroccan Air flight, sources said.
He spent the night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Jamaica, Queens, where Centers for Disease Control workers also stay, according to a source.
On Friday, he was cleared to travel home to Northern California, where he will “be monitored by CDC there,” the source said.
“He is asymptomatic and he’s being allowed to leave the hotel and fly home,” a source added.
Sources said that Bucks, who works with International Medical Corps, was told to self-quarantine at the hotel, but he told The Post he merely missed a connecting flight. He said he was screened at the airport in Africa and again upon arrival at Kennedy airport.
“If there had been a flight yesterday, I would’ve not spent the night here,” he said in a telephone interview.
Bucks is strictly following the CDC’s recommendations and self-monitoring, he said. The CDC is also keeping track of his whereabouts, as standard protocol dictates, he added.
“I worked for over a month with no national staff or ex-patriot staff showing any signs of illness,” he said. “In general I’m amazed by the national staff I was working with. I really want them to be viewed as the heroes of Ebola response.
Bucks didn’t know Spencer, but said, “It sounds like this is someone who’s cut from the same cloth as me who followed all the rules and has not put other people at risk.”
He’s confident that by following proper guidelines, health care workers can do life-saving work abroad and stay safe.
“I have every confidence that [by] following CDC return recommendations, nurses, doctors, lab technicians can go to West Africa and do what’s necessary to protect the rest of the world and not come back and be the ones that need protection.”
On Friday afternoon, the governors of New York and New Jersey announced extra measures that will require all at-risk passengers touching down at JFK and Newark Liberty airports from Ebola-stricken countries to be quarantined for 21 days.
Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola viruses has not yet been identified, the way in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, scientists believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a fruit bat or primate (apes and monkeys), which is called a spillover event. Person-to-person transmission follows and can lead to large numbers of affected people. In some past Ebola outbreaks, primates were also affected by Ebola, and multiple spillover events occurred when people touched or ate infected primates.
When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
infected fuit bats or primates (apes and monkeys)
Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only a few species of mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.
Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients.
During outbreaks of Ebola, the disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to Ebola can occur in healthcare settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, including masks, gowns, and gloves and eye protection.
Dedicated medical equipment (preferable disposable, when possible) should be used by healthcare personnel providing patient care. Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak.
Once someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. Abstinence from sex (including oral sex) is recommended for at least 3 months. If abstinence is not possible, condoms may help prevent the spread of disease.
As the death toll from Ebola reaches 3,800, experts are warning that the virus could mutate and become airborne, meaning that it could be caught by breathing it in.
The public is being told by health officials that the virus that causes Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air and can only be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids – blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen – of an infected person who is showing symptoms.
However, several leading Ebola researchers claim that the virus mutating and spreading through the air should not be ruled out.
As the death toll from Ebola reaches 3,800, experts are warning that the virus could mutate and become airborne
Virus expert Charles L. Bailey, who in 1989 helped the American government tackle an outbreak of Ebola among rhesus monkeys being used for research, told the LA Times: ‘We know for a fact that the virus occurs in sputum and no one has ever done a study [disproving that] coughing or sneezing is a viable means of transmitting.
‘Unqualified assurances that Ebola is not spread through the air are “misleading”.’
Dr C J Peters, who has undertaken research into Ebola for America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the paper: ‘We just don’t have the data to exclude it [becoming airborne].’
Meanwhile virologist Dr Philip K Russell, a former head of the U.S Army’s Medical Research and Development Command, told the paper: ‘I see the reasons to dampen down public fears. But scientifically, we’re in the middle of the first experiment of multiple, serial passages of Ebola virus in man…. God knows what this virus is going to look like. I don’t.’
In September, Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, writing in the New York Times, said experts who believe that Ebola could become airborne are loathed to discuss their concerns in public, for fear of whipping up hysteria.
Discussing the possible future course of the current outbreak, he said: ‘The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air.’
The public is being told by health officials that the virus that causes Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air and can only be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids
Defence Secretary won’t talk about UK airport Ebola screening
Dr Osterholm warns viruses similar to Ebola are notorious for replicating and reinventing themselves.
It means the virus that first broke out in Guinea in February may be very different to the one now invading other parts of West Africa.
Pointing to the example of the H1N1 influenza virus that saw bird flu sweep the globe in 2009, Dr Osterholm said: ‘If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one at risk of contracting Ebola.’
Dr Osterholm said public health officials, while discussing the possibility in private, are reluctant to air their concerns.
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‘They don’t want to be accused of screaming “Fire!” in a crowded theater – as I’m sure some will accuse me of doing.
‘But the risk is real, and until we consider it, the world will not be prepared to do what is necessary to end the epidemic.’
He called for the United Nations to mobilise medical, public health and humanitarian aid to ‘smother the epidemic’.
The chair of the UK’s Health Protection Agency, Professor David Heymann of the London School of Hygiene of Tropical Medicine, said it is impossible to predict how any virus will mutate.
He said scientists across the world do not know enough about genetics to be able to say how the Ebola virus will change over time.
He told MailOnline: ‘No one can predict what will happen with the mutation of the virus. I would like to see the evidence that this could become a respiratory virus.’
The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. died on Wednesday despite intense but delayed treatment, and the government announced it was expanding airport examinations to guard against the spread of the deadly disease.
The checks will include taking the temperatures of hundreds of travelers arriving from West Africa at five major American airports.
The new screenings will begin Saturday at New York’s JFK International Airport and then expand to Washington Dulles and the international airports in Atlanta, Chicago and Newark. An estimated 150 people per day will be checked, using high-tech thermometers that don’t touch the skin.
The White House said the fever checks would reach more than 9 of 10 travelers to the U.S. from the three heaviest-hit countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
President Barack Obama called the measures ‘really just belt and suspenders’ to support protections already in place. Border Patrol agents now look for people who are obviously ill, as do flight crews, and in those cases the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is notified.
As of Wednesday, Ebola has killed about 3,800 people in West Africa and infected at least 8,000, according to the World Health Organization.
A medical official with the U.N. Mission in Liberia who tested positive for Ebola arrived in the German city of Leipzig on Thursday to be treated at a local clinic with specialist facilities, authorities said.
The unidentified medic infected in Liberia is the second member of the U.N. mission, known as UNMIL, to contract the virus. The first died on September 25. He is the third Ebola patient to arrive in Germany for treatment.
The virus has taken an especially devastating toll on health care workers, sickening or killing more than 370 of them in the hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – places that already were short on doctors and nurses.
There are no approved medications for Ebola, so doctors have tried experimental treatments in some cases, including drugs and blood transfusions from others who have recovered from Ebola.
The survivor’s blood could carry antibodies for the disease that will help a patient fight off the virus.
Experts raise specter of more-contagious Ebola virus
Osterholm mentioned the risk of Ebola migrating to developing-world megacities like Nairobi, Kenya.
Amid fears that West Africa’s Ebola epidemic may spiral out of control, two experts are using the pages of leading newspapers to raise the specter of a mutant Ebola virus that could become airborne, and appealing for massive interventions to preclude that nightmare scenario.
Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, wrote in a New York Times commentary today that the scale of the epidemic is offering the virus unprecedented opportunities to evolve toward greater transmissibility, which could give it the capability to spread worldwide. He is director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News.
Richard E. Besser, MD, chief health editor at ABC News and a former acting director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wrote in the Washington Post last night that a more-contagious Ebola virus could threaten the United States and said the crisis warrants the deployment of thousands of American troops to the affected countries.
What virologists don’t like to talk about
The possibility of an airborne-transmissible Ebola virus is one “that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private,” wrote Osterholm. In its current form, the virus spreads only through contact with bodily fluids, he noted, but with more human transmission in the past few months than probably occurred in the past 500 years, the virus is getting plenty of chances to evolve.
“Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice,” he said.
“If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one at risk of contracting Ebola. Infections could spread quickly to every part of the globe, as the H1N1 influenza virus did in 2009, after its birth in Mexico.”
Osterholm added that public officials are reluctant to talk about this risk because they fear being accused of screaming “Fire!” in a crowded theater. “But the risk is real, and until we consider it, the world will not be prepared to do what is necessary to end the epidemic.”
As evidence of the risk, he noted that Canadian researchers in 2012 showed that Ebola Zaire, the species in the West African epidemic, could spread by the respiratory route from pigs to monkeys.
Even without airborne Ebola contagion, there’s a risk of Ebola migrating to developing-world megacities such as Nairobi, Kinshasa, or Karachi, possibly touching off new epidemics, Osterholm wrote.
In the face of the grave risks, someone needs to exercise “command and control,” and the best candidate is the United Nations, he asserted.
The UN “is the only international organization that can direct the immense amount of medical, public health, and humanitarian aid that must come from many different countries and nongovernmental groups to smother this epidemic. Thus far it has played at best a collaborating role, and with everyone in charge, no one is in charge.”
Besser: US must take the lead
Besser, in appealing for a vastly greater Ebola response from the United States, sketched bleak scenes of sick people in Monrovia, Liberia, waiting to get into overcrowded treatment centers and burial teams trying to collect bodies from the homes of terrified people who deny that their loved ones died of Ebola.
Recalling the warning last week from current CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, that the window of opportunity to stop the epidemic is closing, Besser wrote, “I don’t think the world is getting the message. The magnitude of the response needed for a deadly outbreak like this in a staggeringly poor country demands both dollars and people.”
He said his CDC experience taught him that “a military-style response during a major health crisis saves lives.” In foreign public health emergencies, the CDC usually provides technical support to governments, but “this crisis calls for much more.”
Noting that the epidemic is threatening the stability of the affected countries, Besser asserted that an expanded American response would improve both global security and health security.
“While one Ebola case in the United States is unlikely to spark an outbreak, things could change if the virus becomes more easily transmittable,” he added. “We already know it’s mutating.” He called the outbreak more disturbing than anything he witnessed in 13 years at the CDC.
Besser welcomed recent moves to scale up US aid to West Africa, including the Obama administration’s request for more funds, but he said much more is needed.
He called for large field hospitals staffed by Americans to treat Ebola patients, plus active US involvement in strengthening infection control, staffing burial teams, and detecting new cases.
“A few thousand U.S. troops could provide the support that is so desperately needed,” he added. “There could be casualties, but what military operation is ruled out solely because it is dangerous?”
“We know how to control Ebola. It’s time to step up and get the job done,” he concluded.
MSF president speaks out
Some similar points were made in another Washington Post commentary, this one from Joanne Liu, MD, president of Doctors without Borders (MSF), the leading private aid group fighting Ebola in West Africa.
Using words similar to those she used at a UN briefing last week, Liu described the grim situation in West Africa and said MSF has been “completely overwhelmed.”
“We need a large-scale deployment of highly trained personnel who know the protocols for protecting themselves against highly contagious diseases and who have the necessary logistical support to be immediately operational. Private aid groups simply cannot confront this alone,” she wrote.
THE Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to alter history as much as any plague has ever done.
There have been more than 4,300 cases and 2,300 deaths over the past six months. Last week, theWorld Health Organization warned that, by early October, there may be thousands of new cases per week in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. What is not getting said publicly, despite briefings and discussions in the inner circles of the world’s public health agencies, is that we are in totally uncharted waters and that Mother Nature is the only force in charge of the crisis at this time.
There are two possible future chapters to this story that should keep us up at night.
The first possibility is that the Ebola virus spreads from West Africa to megacities in other regions of the developing world. This outbreak is very different from the 19 that have occurred in Africa over the past 40 years. It is much easier to control Ebola infections in isolated villages. But there has been a 300 percent increase in Africa’s population over the last four decades, much of it in large city slums. What happens when an infected person yet to become ill travels by plane to Lagos, Nairobi, Kinshasa or Mogadishu — or even Karachi, Jakarta, Mexico City or Dhaka?
The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air. You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. But viruses like Ebola are notoriously sloppy in replicating, meaning the virus entering one person may be genetically different from the virus entering the next. The current Ebola virus’s hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years. Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice.
If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one at risk of contracting Ebola. Infections could spread quickly to every part of the globe, as the H1N1 influenza virus did in 2009, after its birth in Mexico.
Why are public officials afraid to discuss this? They don’t want to be accused of screaming “Fire!” in a crowded theater — as I’m sure some will accuse me of doing. But the risk is real, and until we consider it, the world will not be prepared to do what is necessary to end the epidemic.
In 2012, a team of Canadian researchers proved that Ebola Zaire, the same virus that is causing the West Africa outbreak, could be transmitted by the respiratory route from pigs to monkeys, both of whose lungs are very similar to those of humans. Richard Preston’s 1994 best seller “The Hot Zone” chronicled a 1989 outbreak of a different strain, Ebola Reston virus, among monkeys at a quarantine station near Washington. The virus was transmitted through breathing, and the outbreak ended only when all the monkeys were euthanized. We must consider that such transmissions could happen between humans, if the virus mutates.
First, we need someone to take over the position of “command and control.” The United Nations is the only international organization that can direct the immense amount of medical, public health and humanitarian aid that must come from many different countries and nongovernmental groups to smother this epidemic. Thus far it has played at best a collaborating role, and with everyone in charge, no one is in charge.
A Security Council resolution could give the United Nations total responsibility for controlling the outbreak, while respecting West African nations’ sovereignty as much as possible. The United Nations could, for instance, secure aircraft and landing rights. Many private airlines are refusing to fly into the affected countries, making it very difficult to deploy critical supplies and personnel. The Group of 7 countries’ military air and ground support must be brought in to ensure supply chains for medical and infection-control products, as well as food and water for quarantined areas.
The United Nations should provide whatever number of beds are needed; the World Health Organization has recommended 1,500, but we may need thousands more. It should also coordinate the recruitment and training around the world of medical and nursing staff, in particular by bringing in local residents who have survived Ebola, and are no longer at risk of infection. Many countries are pledging medical resources, but donations will not result in an effective treatment system if no single group is responsible for coordinating them.
Finally, we have to remember that Ebola isn’t West Africa’s only problem. Tens of thousands die there each year from diseases like AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have among the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Because people are now too afraid of contracting Ebola to go to the hospital, very few are getting basic medical care. In addition, many health care workers have been infected with Ebola, and more than 120 have died. Liberia has only 250 doctors left, for a population of four million.
This is about humanitarianism and self-interest. If we wait for vaccines and new drugs to arrive to end the Ebola epidemic, instead of taking major action now, we risk the disease’s reaching from West Africa to our own backyards.
Story 1: Tyrant Obama’s October Surprise Shafts American People: Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) cards (green cards and work permit cards) — The requirement is for an estimated minimum of 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total! — Illegal, Unconstitutional and Impeachable — Throw The Tyrant Out — Deport 30-50 Million Illegal Aleins — Videos
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H-1B Work Visa, The Main Way to Get a Work Permit in the USA, Part 1, Basic Requirements
Immigration Professor, De-Stressing Deportation, Part 2, Cancellation of Removal
Immigration Professor, Unlawful Presence and Unlawful Presence Waivers, Part 1 of 3
Immigration Professor, Unlawful Presence and Unlawful Presence Waivers, Part 2 of 3
Immigration Professor, Unlawful Presence and Unlawful Presence Waivers, Part 3 of 3
EXCLUSIVE: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION QUIETLY PREPARES ‘SURGE’ OF MILLIONS OF NEW IMMIGRANT IDS
Despite no official action from the president ahead of the election, the Obama administration has quietly begun preparing to issue millions of work authorization permits, suggesting the implementation of a large-scale executive amnesty may have already begun.
Unnoticed until now, a draft solicitation for bids issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Oct. 6 says potential vendors must be capable of handling a “surge” scenario of 9 million id cards in one year “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.”
The request for proposals says the agency will need a minimum of four million cards per year. In the “surge,” scenario in 2016, the agency would need an additional five million cards – more than double the baseline annual amount for a total of 9 million.
“The guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards. The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards,” the document says.
The agency is buying the materials need to construct both Permanent Residency Cards (PRC), commonly known as green cards, as well as Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards which have been used to implement President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program. The RFP does not specify how many of each type of card would be issued.
Jessica Vaughan, an immigration expert at the Center for Immigration Studies and former State Department official, said the document suggests a new program of remarkable breadth.
The RFP “seems to indicate that the president is contemplating an enormous executive action that is even more expansive than the plan that Congress rejected in the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill,” Vaughan said.
Last year, Vaughan reviewed the Gang of Eight’s provisions to estimate that it would have roughly doubled legal immigration. In the “surge” scenario of this RFP, even the relatively high four million cards per year would be more than doubled, meaning that even on its own terms, the agency is preparing for a huge uptick of 125 percent its normal annual output.
It’s not unheard of for federal agencies to plan for contingencies, but the request specifically explains that the surge is related to potential changes in immigration policy.
“The Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential ‘surge’ in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements,” the document says.
A year ago, such a plan might have been attributed to a forthcoming immigration bill. Now, following the summer’s border crisis, the chances of such a new law are extremely low, giving additional credence to the possibility the move is in preparation for an executive amnesty by Obama.
Even four million combined green cards and EADs is a significant number, let alone the “surge” contemplated by USCIS. For instance, in the first two years after Obama unilaterally enacted DACA, about 600,000 people were approved by USCIS under the program. Statistics provided by USCIS on its website show that the entire agency had processed 862,000 total EADs in 2014 as of June.
Vaughan said EADs are increasingly coming under scrutiny as a tool used by the Obama administration to provide legalization for groups of illegal aliens short of full green card status.
In addition to providing government approval to work for illegal aliens, EADs also cost significantly less in fees to acquire, about $450 compared to more than $1000. In many states, EADs give aliens rights to social services and the ability to obtain drivers’ licenses.
Vaughan noted there are currently about 4.5 million individuals waiting for approval for the green cards having followed immigration law and obtained sponsorships from relatives in the U.S. or otherwise, less than the number of id cards contemplated by the USCIS “surge.”
USCIS officials did not provide additional information about the RFP by press time.
Solicitation Number: HSSCCG-14-R-00028
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Office: Citizenship & Immigration Services
Location: USCIS Contracting Office
There have been modifications to this notice. You are currently viewing the original synopsis. To view the most recent modification/amendment, click here
USCIS Contracting will be posting a solicitation for the requirement of Card Stock used by the USCIS Document Management Division. The objective of this procurement is to provide card consumables for the Document Management Division (DMD) that will be used to produce Permanent Resident Cards (PRC) and Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards. The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total.The ordering periods for this requirement shall be for a total of five (5) years. This is a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) supply purchase for commercial items, utilizing North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 325211 and Product / Service Code (PSC) 9330. This requirement is for the acquisition of 100% polycarbonate solid body card stock with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and holographic images embedded within the card construction substrate layers, card design service, and storage.
The solicitation will be posted at this FedBidOpps webpage.
USCIS is charged with processing immigrant visa petitions, naturalization petitions, and asylum and refugeeapplications, as well as making adjudicative decisions performed at the service centers, and managing all other immigration benefits functions (i.e., not immigration enforcement) performed by the former INS. Other responsibilities include:
Administration of immigration services and benefits
Adjudicating asylum claims
Issuing employment authorization documents (EAD)
Adjudicating petitions for non-immigrant temporary workers (H-1B, O-1, etc.)
While core immigration benefits functions remain the same as under the INS, a new goal is to process applications efficiently and effectively. Improvement efforts have included attempts to reduce the applicant backlog, as well as providing customer service through different channels, including the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) with information in English and Spanish, Application Support Centers (ASCs), the Internet and other channels. The enforcement of immigration laws remain under CBP and ICE.
USCIS focuses on two key points on the immigrant’s journey towards civic integration: when they first become permanent residents and when they are ready to begin the formal naturalization process. A lawful permanent resident is eligible to become a citizen of the United States after holding the Permanent Resident Card for at least five continuous years, with no trips out of the United States that last for 180 days or more. If, however, the lawful permanent resident marries a U.S. citizen, eligibility for U.S. citizenship is shortened to three years so long as the resident has been living with the spouse continuously for at least three years and the spouse has been a citizen for at least three years.
USCIS handles all forms and processing materials related to immigration and naturalization. This is evident from USCIS’s predecessor, the INS, (Immigration and Naturalization Service) which is defunct as of May 9, 2003.
USCIS currently handles two kinds of forms: those relating to immigration, and those related to naturalization. Forms are designated by a specific name, and an alphanumeric sequence consisting of one letter, followed by two or three digits. Forms related to immigration are designated with an I (for example, I-551, Permanent Resident Card) and forms related to naturalization are designated by an N (for example, N-400, Application for Naturalization).
Also, USCIS runs an online appointment scheduling service known as INFOPASS. This system allows people with questions about immigration to come into their local USCIS office and speak directly with a government employee about their case and so on. This is an important way in which USCIS serves the public. USCIS maintains a blog entitled “The Beacon” as well as the “@uscis” Twitter account.
Unlike most other federal agencies, USCIS is funded almost entirely by user fees. Under President George W. Bush’s FY2008 budget request, direct congressional appropriations made about 1% of the USCIS budget and about 99% of the budget was funded through fees. The total USCIS FY2008 budget was projected to be $2.6 billion.
USCIS consists of 18,000 federal employees and contractors working at 250 offices around the world.
On March 1, 2003, the INS ceased to exist and services provided by that organization transitioned into USCIS. Eduardo Aguirre was appointed the first USCIS Director by President Bush. In December 2005, Emilio T. Gonzalez, Ph. D., was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Director of USCIS, and he held this position until April 2008. Nominated by President Barack Obama on April 24 and unanimously confirmed on August 7 by the U.S. Senate, Alejandro Mayorkas was sworn in as USCIS Director on August 12, 2009.
An employment authorization document (EAD, Form I-766), EAD card, known popularly as a “work permit”, is a document issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that provides its holder a legal right to work in the US. It is similar to, but should not be confused with the green card.
Certain ‘aliens’ (non-residents) who are temporarily in the United States may file a Form I-765, application for employment authorization, to request an EAD. An EAD is issued for a specific period of time based on alien’s immigration situation. Foreign nationals with an EAD can lawfully work in the United States for any employer.
Aliens who are sponsored by US employers and issued temporary work visas for such as H, I, L-1 or O-1 visas are authorized to work for the sponsoring employer, through the duration of the visa . This is known as ‘employment incident to status’. Aliens on such work visas do not qualify for an EAD according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service regulations (8 CFR Part 274a).
Currently the EAD is issued in the form of a standard credit card-size plastic card enhanced with multiple security features. The EAD card contains some basic information about alien: name, birth date, sex, immigrant category, country of birth, photo, alien registration number (also called “A-number”), card number, restrictive terms and conditions, and dates of validity.
The eligibility for employment authorizations are detailed in the Federal Regulations at 8 C.F.R. §274a.12. Only aliens who fall under the enumerated categories are eligible for an employment authorization document.
There are more than 40 types of immigration status that make their holders eligible to apply for an EAD. Some are nationality-based and apply to a very small number of people. Others are much broader, such as those covering the spouses of E-1, E-2, E-3 or L-1 visa holders.
USCIS issues EADs in the following categories:
Renewal EAD: Renewal cannot be filed more than 120 days before the current employment authorization expires.
Replacement EAD: Replaces a lost, stolen, or mutilated EAD. A replacement EAD also replaces an EAD that was issued with incorrect information, such as a misspelled name.
Obtaining an EAD
Applicants would file Form I-765 (application for employment authorization) by mail with the USCIS Regional Service Center that serves the area where they live. They may also be eligible to file Form I-765 electronically (seeUSCIS Electronic Filing). For employment based green card applicants, your priority date needs to be current to apply for Adjustment of Status (I485) at which time you can apply for EAD. Typically, it is recommended to apply for Advance Parole (AP) at the same time so that you do not have to get a visa stamping when re-entering US from a foreign country.
An interim EAD is an EAD issued to an eligible applicant when USCIS has failed to adjudicate an application within 90 days of receipt of a properly filed EAD application or within 30 days of a properly filed initial EAD application based on an asylum application filed on or after January 4, 1995. The interim EAD will be granted for a period not to exceed 240 days and is subject to the conditions noted on the document.
An interim EAD is no longer issued by local service centers. One can however take an INFOPASS appointment and place a service request at local centers, explicitly asking for it if the application exceeds 90 days and 30 days for asylum applicants without an adjudication .
Story 1: Obama Spreads Suspected Ebola Travelers To 5 Large U.S. Cities– New York, Newark, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago — Sanctuary Cities For Illegal Aliens From Ebola Infected Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea — Ebola Czar Ron Klain Says “Overpopulation” Top Concern — Spreading Ebola Virus Would Reduce World Population In Africa And USA Sanctuary Cities? — Eugenics Redux — Videos
Gov. Perry Announces North Texas Infectious Disease Bio Containment Facility
Gov. Rick Perry today announced the creation of a state-of-the-art Ebola treatment and infectious disease bio containment facility in North Texas. Creation of such facilities was among the first recommendations made by the governor’s recently named Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response in order to better protect health care workers and the public from the spread of pandemic diseases.
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Americans want flight restrictions from Ebola countries. And it’s not close.
By Aaron Blake
Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they are concerned about an Ebola outbreak in the United States, and about the same amount say they want flight restrictions from the countries in West Africa where the disease has quickly spread.
A new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News shows 67 percent of people say they would support restricting entry to the United States from countries struggling with Ebola. Another 91 percent would like to see stricter screening procedures at U.S. airports in response to the disease’s spread.
Thus far, some countries in Europe have restricted flights from these countries in West Africa, and an increasing number of U.S. lawmakers are calling for similar bans. The White House has yet to increase restrictions, with federal officials saying such a move could actually increase the spread of the disease by hampering the movement of aid workers and supplies.
Concern about Ebola, at this point, is real but not pervasive. About two-thirds (65 percent) say they are concerned about an Ebola outbreak in the United States. But while people are broadly concerned about an outbreak, they are not necessarily worried about that potential outbreak directly affecting them. Just 43 percent of people are worried about themselves or someone in their family becoming infected – including 20 percent who are “very worried.”
That finding echoes a Pew poll from last week which showed just 11 percent were “very worried” about themselves or their families becoming infected. Since that survey, Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan died, and news that a nurse who provided care for him became infected broke on the final day of the Post-ABC poll.
By comparison, slightly more Americans said they were worried about the H1N1 virus – a.k.a. the swine flu – in October 2009 (52 percent). Concern about Ebola is about on-par with concern about Avian influenza – a.k.a. the bird flu – in 2006 (41 percent) and slightly higher than concern about Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 (as high as 38 percent).
The support for increasing restrictions puts the White House in a tough spot. Given the moves by other countries and the American public’s stance, there is increasing pressure to act. And given the very real — but still somewhat muted — concerns about the disease, that’s significant, especially if the disease continues to expand.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that all travelers from Ebola outbreak countries in West Africa will be funneled through one of five U.S. airports with enhanced screening starting Wednesday.
Customs and Border Protection within the department began enhanced screening — checking the traveler’s temperature and asking about possible exposure to Ebola — at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Oct. 11.
Enhanced screening for travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea was expanded Oct. 16 to Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare, New Jersey’s Newark and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta international airports.
Those airports were supposed to screen 94% of the average 150 people per day arriving from the three countries. Lawmakers from other states asked for enhanced screening at their airports, too.
Some lawmakers have called for more restrictions, such as suspending visas or denying entry at ports for citizens from the three countries.
Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security, announced that travelers from West Africa must arrive at one of the five airports starting Wednesday.
“We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption,” Johnson said. “If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking as needed.”
The enhanced screening will apply to anyone who traveled recently to, from or through the three outbreak countries, according to the department’s announcement to be published Thursday in the Federal Register. Customs and Border Protection will work with airlines to identify potential travelers before they board, but airlines will be obligated to comply with the rule for carrying to the USA any passengers who recently traveled through the region, according to the filing.
The restrictions should affect only about nine travelers per day who would have arrived at other airports. Katie Cody, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, which serves Europe from hubs such as Philadelphia and Charlotte, said the airline has no concerns about the change.
“We have been tracking that, and we don’t have any concerns because the numbers are so small,” Cody said.
British Airways, which serves a variety of U.S. destinations other than the five targeted airports, said it would comply with the measures.
“Customers affected will be offered a refund or will be rerouted if there is availability,” spokeswoman Michele Kropf said.
Republican lawmakers offered muted praise but pressed for stricter travel restrictions.
“In addition to requiring all travelers from at-risk countries to fly through airports with enhanced screening measures in place, I continue to call on the administration to suspend all visas from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the head of the House Homeland Security Committee.
The head of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said a “real solution” is to deny entry to anyone from the three countries under a provision of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act.
“President Obama has a real solution at his disposal under current law and can use it at any time to temporarily ban foreign nationals from entering the United States from Ebola-ravaged countries,” Goodlatte said. “The vast majority of Americans strongly support such a travel moratorium, and I urge the president to take every step possible to protect the American people from danger.”
Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said steering travelers through the five airports is a sensible precaution.
“As agreed upon by experts in both the public health and transportation communities, issuing a blanket travel ban would not only be counterproductive, but it would also irresponsibly impede getting much-needed supplies and relief to the countries that need it most,” Conyers said.
Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group for all aspects of travel, praised the move to calm travel concerns while avoiding a travel ban.
“The Obama administration continues to heed the counsel of an overwhelming consensus of health and security experts and resist calls for any sort of travel ban on the grounds that it will be counterproductive to efforts to contain Ebola,” Dow said.
A Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan, who became the first person diagnosed with the disease in the USA after arriving in Dallas on Sept. 20, had a temperature of 97.3 degrees but didn’t tell airport officials in Monrovia, Liberia, that he had cared for a pregnant woman suffering from Ebola. He died Oct. 8, and two nurses who treated him have become infected.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the enhanced screening adds a layer of protection against Ebola entering the country.
“The Department of Homeland Security’s policy to funnel all passengers arriving from Ebola hot spots to one of these five equipped airports is a good and effective step towards tightening the net and further protecting our citizens,” Schumer said.
Obama and Johnson have said they will continue to monitor travel restrictions for possible changes.
“We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly,” Johnson said.
Gabbard Calls On CDC To Increase Incubation Period To Prevent Ebola Spread
By Chad Blair
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has called on the Center for Disease Control to implement stricter incubation guidelines for people who have been in contact with patients “confirmed or suspected” to have the Ebola virus.
According to a press release from her office, Gabbard is calling on the CDC to increase the quarantine and restriction period from the 21-day standard to 42 days, “based on the latest scientific studies and the World Health Organization report that the incubation period for the deadly Ebola virus can extend as long as 42 days.”
On Friday, Gabbard called for the “immediate suspension” of visas for citizens of Ebola-stricken West African nations as well as flights from those countries into the United States.
“Recent mistakes have revealed that the U.S. public health system is clearly not fully prepared to combat Ebola and prevent its spread in the United States,” she said in a statement.
Democrats like Gabbard are among a growing number who are “beginning to sound more like Republicans when they talk about Ebola. And Republicans are moving into overdrive with their criticism of the government’s handling of the deadly virus,” according to The Washington Post.
“The sharpened rhetoric, strategists say, suggests Democrats fear President Obama’s response to Ebola in the United States could become a political liability in the midterm election and Republicans see an opportunity to tie increasing concerns about the disease to the public’s broader worries about Obama’s leadership.”
The Washington Post notes, however, that Gabbard is “a liberal Democrat who is not in any danger of losing reelection.” It also reports that a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that “67 percent of Americans would support restricting entry to the United States from countries fighting dealing with an Ebola crisis.”
How is the end of an Ebola outbreak decided and declared?
Information note – October 2014
Who decides the date?
The WHO Ebola outbreak response team is responsible for establishing the date of the end of the outbreak in collaboration with the affected country’s subcommittee for surveillance, epidemiology and laboratory.
How is the date determined?
An Ebola virus disease outbreak in a country can be declared over once 42 days have passed and no new cases have been detected. The 42 days represents twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola (21 days). This 42-day period starts from the last day that any person in the country had contact with a confirmed or probable Ebola case.
This includes health care workers who have been exposed to patients with Ebola virus disease, even if the health worker was wearing personal protective equipment and followed infection control procedures since such a person could be exposed accidentally without realizing it. In the setting of an Ebola treatment centre, the date of the last infectious contact is defined as the day when the last patient in the treatment centre tested negative for Ebola virus disease, using a real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
If no new case has been detected at the end of this 42-day period, the risk of a further case is very low, and the outbreak is declared over.
Why 42 days?
The maximum incubation period for Ebola virus disease is 21 days. The 42-day period set by WHO (twice the maximum incubation period) provides a margin of security to cover any possible missed cases, uncertainty in reporting dates or hidden chains of transmission. (*)
During the 42-day period, the surveillance system should be fully functional, so that all contacts of the last patient are followed to detect possible chains of transmission.
What is the procedure to make the declaration?
The WHO Ebola outbreak response team in collaboration with the affected country’s subcommittee for surveillance, epidemiology and laboratory determines the date of the end of the epidemic. The government of the affected country, in collaboration with WHO and international partners, makes an official declaration of the end of the epidemic.
The Obama administration has reversed course on putting travel restrictions on those coming from three West African nations tainted with Ebola and is putting in place demands that they enter only through five U.S. airports prepared to screen for the virus.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement that the new rules will take effect Wednesday, bowing to demands from both parties that the U.S. do a better job so secure the border from Ebola.
“Today, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing response to prevent the spread of Ebola to the United States, we are announcing travel restrictions in the form of additional screening and protective measures at our ports of entry for travelers from the three West African Ebola-affected countries,” said Johnson.
He said the rules require that anyone coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea enter the U.S. only through the five airports where special Ebola screenings have been set up: New York’s John F. Kennedy, Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Chicago’s O’Hare.
“All passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place. We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption. If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed,” said the statement.
He said that passengers flying into those airports on flights originating in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea “are subject to secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States. These airports account for about 94 percent of travelers flying to the United States from these countries.”
There are no direct, non-stop commercial flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to the U.S.
NIH unit treating Dallas nurse for Ebola is one of 4 special isolation facilities in U.S.
By Lena H. Sun
It has a specially designed air-flow system to prevent contaminated air from leaving the patient room. It requires anyone who enters to be buzzed in. Personnel who work there receive special training in infection control to prevent the spread of bioterror agents, natural or man-made. It also has a tiny gym.
Welcome to the Special Clinical Studies Unit at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. It is a 4,000-square-foot unit inside the NIH Clinical Center, the nation’s only hospital dedicated to research, which provides free state-of-the-art care to very sick patients from all over the world.
Now it’s home to its first confirmed Ebola patient, Nina Pham.
Pham is the first patient with a confirmed infectious disease to be cared for in the special seven-bed unit, center director John Gallin said in an interview Friday. Opened in 2010 for patients who need advanced isolation and extended stays, the unit was initially designed to take care of personnel working at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in case they were exposed to infectious agents. In more recent years, it has been used to house healthy volunteers participating in live vaccine trials. The volunteers need to be monitored in a place where they can be safely quarantined, Gallin said. To accommodate those healthy volunteers, the unit has a dining room and a “tiny fitness area,” he said.
Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after caring for a patient in Dallas, is in fair and stable condition, officials said Friday morning.
What does an Ebola isolation ward look like?
“We are giving her the best possible care on a symptomatic and systemic basis,” Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a news conference.
Pham, 26, was transferred to the facility, one of four in the country with a special biocontainment unit, late Thursday. She was diagnosed with Ebola on Sunday, becoming the first person to contract the disease on U.S. soil. Pham had been part of the team that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who flew to Dallas last month before being diagnosed with Ebola. Duncan died last week, four days before it was announced that Pham had contracted the disease.
“There is no specific therapy that has been proven to be effective against Ebola, and that’s why excellent medical care is critical,” Fauci said. He said Pham was “very, very tired” from her trip.
Patients infected with the Ebola virus require a large number of staffers to provide care around-the-clock. At NIH, that comes out to about 27 people a week — doctors, nurses, support staff — for one patient, Gallin said. With about 50 to 60 such personnel specially trained for infectious disease and critical care, NIH can only care for two Ebola patients at a time, he said.
The four facilities that provide such care were designed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to protect against bioterrorism. Two of them, Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and the Nebraska Medical Center, are each treating one Ebola patient. The other facility is St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Mont.
They require staff to undergo more rigorous training in infection control, and staff must follow strict protocol for putting on and taking off personal protective equipment in a separate anteroom. Officials say meticulous attention to detail in following protocols is what sets them apart from other facilities.
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Emory has treated three Ebola patients, all of whom have recovered. The University of Nebraska treated one patient who recovered and is now caring for a freelance NBC cameraman. St. Patrick has not yet treated an Ebola patient. The hospital has received so many inquiries that it has set up a special hotline where they are transcribed and forwarded to the appropriate departments.
Bruce Ribner gives a tour of the Emory University Hospital isolation unit which has been used for treatment of patients infected with the Ebola virus. (Emory University via YouTube)
Unlike the Dallas hospital where Pham and another nurse were infected, which officials said most likely occurred because of a breach of protocol involving personal protective equipment, no health workers taking care of the Ebola patients at the special facilities have become infected.
“There is a step-by-step, checklisted procedure to putting on your personal protective equipment for when you go in to the patient’s room to perform your duties and when you come out,” said Mark Rupp, medical director of Nebraska Medical Center’s infection control department, which includes the special unit. “That’s the big difference with what goes on in our unit and what goes on in a regular intensive-care unit.”
The facilities have one person whose only job is to make sure health-care workers put on and take off their protective equipment correctly. At NIH, this person is dubbed “the Watson,” Gallin said, for the sidekick to Sherlock Holmes.
The Watson “has the authority to stop everything at any moment if someone looks like they’re breaking protocol,” Gallin said. The Watson has a checklist, like a pilot’s preflight checklist, and everything has to be done in that order. If not, the Watson can “scream at them and tell them to stop,” Gallin said, which apparently happened at least once Thursday night when doctors and staff were admitting Pham.
The protective gear that health-care workers take off is autoclaved (sanitized via pressurized steam) and then incinerated. Equipment that is not disposable is disinfected according to the manufacturer’s directions. The units also have negative air pressure to prevent germs from spreading beyond patient rooms. For Ebola patients, contaminated air is not such a concern because the disease is not transmitted through the air, but through contact with bodily fluids.
The seven-bed, 4,000-square-foot biocontainment unit at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., is a state-of-the-art facility built to keep the world’s scariest pathogens from escaping. The four U.S. facilities are all different — NIH’s even has a gym — but they contain many of the same things. This layout is based on the unit at Emory University in Atlanta.
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Weekly Examiner: Obama appoints Ebola czar
Obama Appoints Ebola ‘czar’ As Anxiety Mounts
Source: Obama to name Ron Klain as Ebola czar
President Obama appoints Ron Klain as Ebola “czar”
Remarks of Ron Klain
Actor Kevin Spacey, Georgetown’s Ron Klain Discuss Politics and Ethics
Obama’s New Ebola ‘Czar’ Has NO Health or Medical Background!
Krauthammer: Obama Is a Narcissist ‘Surrounded by Sycophants’
President Obama Speaks on Ebola
Fast Facts on US Hospitals
The American Hospital Association conducts an annual survey of hospitals in the United States. The data below, from the 2012 AHA Annual Survey, are a sample of what you will find in AHA Hospital Statistics, 2014 edition. The definitive source for aggregate hospital data and trend analysis, AHA Hospital Statistics includes current and historical data on utilization, personnel, revenue, expenses, managed care contracts, community health indicators, physician models, and much more.
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For further information or customized data and research, contact the AHA Resource Center at (312) 422-2050 or email@example.com.
*Registered hospitals are those hospitals that meet AHA’s criteria for registration as a hospital facility. Registered hospitals include AHA member hospitals as well as nonmember hospitals. For a complete listing of the criteria used for registration, please see Registration Requirements for Hospitals.
**Community hospitals are defined as all nonfederal, short-term general, and other special hospitals. Other special hospitals include obstetrics and gynecology; eye, ear, nose, and throat; rehabilitation; orthopedic; and other individually described specialty services. Community hospitals include academic medical centers or other teaching hospitals if they are nonfederal short-term hospitals. Excluded are hospitals not accessible by the general public, such as prison hospitals or college infirmaries.
***System is defined by AHA as either a multihospital or a diversified single hospital system. A multihospital system is two or more hospitals owned, leased, sponsored, or contract managed by a central organization. Single, freestanding hospitals may be categorized as a system by bringing into membership three or more, and at least 25 percent, of their owned or leased non-hospital preacute or postacute health care organizations. System affiliation does not preclude network participation.
**** Network is a group of hospitals, physicians, other providers, insurers and/or community agencies that work together to coordinate and deliver a broad spectrum of services to their community. Network participation does not preclude system affiliation.
Ebola has officially made it to the US, but there is absolutely no reason to freak out. That’s in large part thanks to Emory University Hospital’s state-of-the-art isolation ward, which is better-equipped to field Ebola cases than any ordinary hospital in the country. Here’s a look at the tech that keeps doctors and nurses safe.
Emory is one of four high-level biocontainment patient care units in the US; the others are located at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. We spoke with Dr. Angela Hewlett, associate medical director at the Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit — the largest of the four facilities — about biocontainment suits, wearing three pairs of gloves, and custom air pressure systems.
Perhaps the most comfort Hewlett was able to provide is that none of the super-fancy tech that these four high-level isolation wards have at their disposal is even necessary for Ebola. “There’s a big fear factor with this illness but really, these types of patients can taken care of at any good healthcare facility,” says Dr. Hewlett.
That’s because the Ebola virus easily dies outside of the human body, so unless you’ve been handling a sick person’s blood or feces, you are almost certainly A-OK. Ebola is pretty darn hard to get compared to an airborne disease like SARS or even the regular old flu. But with a mortality rate of up to 90 per cent — and over 50 per cent with the strain in the current outbreak — we still need to keep doctors and nurses as safe as we can. Here’s how Nebraska Biocontainment Unit keeps diseases like Ebola — and much, much worse — from spreading in the hospital.
Negative air pressure. As with Emory in Atlanta, the isolation unit in Nebraska is isolated from the rest of the general hospital. It runs on its own air circulation system, and the air is passed through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter before it is vented outside of the building. That’s the same kind of precautions that you would see in a biosafety level 4 lab (the highest) that works with deadly or highly contagious diseases.
In addition, the biocontainment unit has negative air pressure, which means that air pressure inside the isolation rooms is slightly lower than that outside. Essentially, air is gently sucked into the room, so particles from inside the room can’t float out when you open a door. As another line of protection, ultraviolet lights zap any viruses or bacteria in the air or on surfaces.
Full-body suits and THREE pairs of gloves. The Biocontainment Unit is equipped with gear that covers you head to toe, in some places three times over. That includes personal respirators, headgear, full-body suits and gloves. Healthcare workers wear three pairs, including one thick pair that protects against needle accidents, and then two pairs of ordinary gloves so they have an extra pair to work with patients.
Entering and exiting the room becomes an elaborate production because putting on and taking off all the gear can take more than 10 minutes each way. A second person assists to make sure every piece of equipment is put on right and there are no rips or tears in any of the protective gear. Afterwards, every piece of equipment is wiped down to kill the pathogen; in the case of Ebola, simple bleach is enough to do the trick. The full-body suit is discarded after each use.
Training and training and training. Having fancy technology is great but not if you don’t know how to use it properly. “They have to go through really extensive training,” says Hewlett of the the 30-person team that works in the unit. They get 80 hours of training before they can begin, followed by monthly meetings and quarterly drills, where the photos in this post were taken.
It’s worth reiterating that most of this equipment and these procedures go above and beyond protecting for Ebola. The air systems and full-body suits are really there to guard against possible airborne diseases, like smallpox or SARS or some highly contagious avian flu viruses that may emerge in the future.
In fact, the CDC’s current guidelines for treating Ebola in U.S. hospitals require only gloves, goggles, a facemask, and a gown in most situations. Even if someone inadvertently brings Ebola to other hospitals, it’s highly unlikely to spread in the U.S. The situation is different in Africa, where inadequate equipment and fear of healthcare workers has contributed to the worsening situation.
A State Department official did visit Nebraska to see whether the unit would be ready to accept any Ebola patients in the future, though the facility hasn’t yet been used despite being open for nine years. There hasn’t been a disease serious enough to merit it. “This is good thing,” says Dr. Hewlett, “However with world travel the way it is, it is inevitable these things are going to come eventually.” If and when Ebola does come to the U.S. again, we are definitely prepared, which is not something we can say about what else may be coming down the line.
Pictures: University of Nebraska Medical Center
Obama names Ron Klain as Ebola ‘czar’
President Obama tapped veteran government insider Ron Klain to coordinate his administration’s efforts to contain the Ebola virus Friday.
Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, is well-known by Obama and White House aides. He was selected for his management experience and contacts throughout the government, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
“He is the right person for the job,” Earnest said, particularly the challenge of “integrating the interagency response.”
Klain’s appointment marks a swift turnabout for Obama, who until Thursday had resisted calls to appoint a single official to run the government’s response to Ebola.
Asked Thursday about the prospect of an “Ebola czar,” Obama said, “It may make sense for us to have one person, in part just so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process just to make sure that we’re crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s going forward.”
From recounts to stimulus to Ebola: Ron Klain’s resume
Obama did not mention Klain’s appointment during a speech Friday to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but he said his administration is taking an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to fighting Ebola.
The administration has come under increased pressure to name an anti-Ebola coordinator in the wake of news that two nurses in Dallas contracted the deadly virus. Both had treated a man who died of Ebola.
Klain played a high-profile file in Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey portrayed him in an HBO movie on that year’s Florida recount.
The Ebola response includes efforts to screen travelers from West African nations where Ebola has reached epidemic proportions and killed more than 4,500 people. Klain will help coordinate the assistance the U.S. military provides in West Africa.
Some Republican lawmakers criticized Obama for entrusting the job to a former government manager rather than a professional.
Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., tweeted, “Worst ebola epidemic in world history and Pres. Obama puts a government bureaucrat with no healthcare experience in charge. Is he serious?”
Members of the public health community expressed surprise.
“When are they going to stop making mistakes?” said Robert Murphy, the director of the Center for Global Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “We need a czar, but optimally a strong public health expert. I am so disappointed. This is not what we need.”
Physician Amesh Adalja, a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said, “It’s clear that there’s a desperate desire for an organized approach to dealing with this outbreak. I don’t necessarily think we need a disease-specific czar — we have one for HIV — but more of an emerging infectious diseases/biosecurity coordinator who reports to the president.”
The Ebola position is designed to be more managerial in nature, involving an array of government agencies ranging from the Pentagon to Health and Human Services.
“This is much broader than a medical response,” Earnest said.
As for Republican criticism, Earnest joked, “That’s a shocking development.” He noted that national elections are less than three weeks away.
Klain may weigh in on another question facing the administration: the prospect of a U.S. travel ban from West African nations where there have been Ebola outbreaks.
Obama and aides have disputed the need for a travel ban, questioning whether it would work and arguing that it might create unintended problems.
Thursday, Obama said experts in infectious diseases have told him “a travel ban is less effective than the measures that we are currently instituting that involve screening passengers who are coming from West Africa.”
Klain is likely to take a low key role publicly.
Earnest said Obama wasn’t looking for an Ebola expert but “an implementation expert.”
He confirmed Klain’s title: “Ebola response coordinator.”
Klain will report to two officials involved in the anti-Ebola effort: homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and national security adviser Susan Rice.
Obama is pleased with the work of Monaco and Rice, but “given their management of other national and homeland security priorities, additional bandwidth will further enhance the government’s Ebola response,” a White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The president has long known Klain, who helped prepare him for debates with Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Klain has been out of government since leaving Biden’s staff during Obama’s first term.
The administration’s Ebola evasions reveal its disdain for the American people.
The administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis continues to be marked by double talk, runaround and gobbledygook. And its logic is worse than its language. In many of its actions, especially its public pronouncements, the government is functioning not as a soother of public anxiety but the cause of it.
An example this week came in the dialogue between Megyn Kelly of Fox News andThomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control.
Their conversation focused largely on the government’s refusal to stop travel into the United States by citizens of plague nations. “Why not put a travel ban in place,” Ms. Kelly asked, while we shore up the U.S. public-health system?
Dr. Frieden replied that we now have screening at airports, and “we’ve already recommended that all nonessential travel to these countries be stopped for Americans.” He added: “We’re always looking at ways that we can better protect Americans.”
“But this is one,” Ms. Kelly responded.
Dr. Frieden implied a travel ban would be harmful: “If we do things that are going to make it harder to stop the epidemic there, it’s going to spread to other parts of—”
Ms. Kelly interjected, asking how keeping citizens from the affected regions out of America would make it harder to stop Ebola in Africa.
“Because you can’t get people in and out.”
“Why can’t we have charter flights?”
“You know, charter flights don’t do the same thing commercial airliners do.”
“What do you mean? They fly in and fly out.”
Dr. Frieden replied that limiting travel between African nations would slow relief efforts. “If we isolate these countries, what’s not going to happen is disease staying there. It’s going to spread more all over Africa and we’ll be at higher risk.”
Later in the interview, Ms. Kelly noted that we still have airplanes coming into the U.S. from Liberia, with passengers expected to self-report Ebola exposure.
Dr. Frieden responded: “Ultimately the only way—and you may not like this—but the only way we will get our risk to zero here is to stop the outbreak in Africa.”
Ms. Kelly said yes, that’s why we’re sending troops. But why can’t we do that and have a travel ban?
“If it spreads more in Africa, it’s going to be more of a risk to us here. Our only goal is protecting Americans—that’s our mission. We do that by protecting people here and by stopping threats abroad. That protects Americans.”
Dr. Frieden’s logic was a bit of a heart-stopper. In fact his responses were more non sequiturs than answers. We cannot ban people at high risk of Ebola from entering the U.S. because people in West Africa have Ebola, and we don’t want it to spread. Huh?
In testimony before Congress Thursday, Dr. Frieden was not much more straightforward. His answers often sound like filibusters: long, rolling paragraphs of benign assertion, advertising slogans—“We know how to stop Ebola,” “Our focus is protecting people”—occasionally extraneous data, and testimony to the excellence of our health-care professionals.
It is my impression that everyone who speaks for the government on this issue has been instructed to imagine his audience as anxious children. It feels like how the pediatrician talks to the child, not the parents. It’s as if they’ve been told: “Talk, talk, talk, but don’t say anything. Clarity is the enemy.”
The language of government now is word-spew.
Dr. Frieden did not explain his or the government’s thinking on the reasons for opposition to a travel ban. On the other hand, he noted that the government will consider all options in stopping the virus from spreading here, so perhaps that marks the beginning of a possible concession.
It is one thing that Dr. Frieden, and those who are presumably making the big decisions, have been so far incapable of making a believable and compelling case for not instituting a ban. A separate issue is how poor a decision it is. To call it childish would be unfair to children. In fact, if you had a group of 11-year-olds, they would surely have a superior answer to the question: “Sick people are coming through the door of the house, and we are not sure how to make them well. Meanwhile they are starting to make us sick, too. What is the first thing to do?”
The children would reply: “Close the door.” One would add: “Just for a while, while you figure out how to treat everyone getting sick.” Another might say: “And keep going outside the door in protective clothing with medical help.” Eleven-year-olds would get this one right without a lot of struggle.
If we don’t momentarily close the door to citizens of the affected nations, it is certain that more cases will come into the U.S. It is hard to see how that helps anyone. Closing the door would be no guarantee of safety—nothing is guaranteed, and the world is porous. But it would reduce risk and likelihood, which itself is worthwhile.
Africa, by the way, seems to understand this. The Associated Press on Thursday reported the continent’s health-care officials had limited the threat to only five countries with the help of border controls, travel restrictions, and aggressive and sophisticated tracking.
All of which returns me to my thoughts the past few weeks. Back then I’d hear the official wordage that doesn’t amount to a logical thought, and the unspoken air of “We don’t want to panic you savages,” and I’d look at various public officials and muse: “Who do you think you are?”
Now I think, “Who do they think we are?”
Does the government think if America is made to feel safer, she will forget the needs of the Ebola nations? But Americans, more than anyone else, are the volunteers, altruists and in a few cases saints who go to the Ebola nations to help. And they were doing it long before the Western media was talking about the disease, and long before America was experiencing it.
At the Ebola hearings Thursday, Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) said, I guess to the American people: “Don’t panic.” No one’s panicking—except perhaps the administration, which might explain its decisions.
Is it always the most frightened people who run around telling others to calm down?
This week the president canceled a fundraiser and returned to the White House to deal with the crisis. He made a statement and came across as about three days behind the story—“rapid response teams” and so forth. It reminded some people of the statement in July, during another crisis, of the president’s communications director, who said that when a president rushes back to Washington, it “can have the unintended consequence of unduly alarming the American people.” Yes, we’re such sissies. Actually, when Mr. Obama eschews a fundraiser to go to his office to deal with a public problem we are not scared, only surprised.
But again, who do they think we are? You gather they see us as poor, panic-stricken people who want a travel ban because we’re beside ourselves with fear and loathing. Instead of practical, realistic people who are way ahead of our government.
Klain’s early experience on Capitol Hill included serving as Legislative Director for U.S. RepresentativeEd Markey. From 1989 to 1992, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, overseeing the legal staff’s work on matters of constitutional law, criminal law, antitrust law, and Supreme Court nominations. In 1995, Senator Tom Daschle appointed him the Staff Director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Committee.
Klain joined the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992. He ultimately was involved in both of Bill Clinton‘s campaigns, oversaw Clinton’s judicial nominations, and was General Counsel to Al Gore’s recount committee in the 2000 election aftermath. Some published reports have given him credit for Clinton’s “100,000 cops” proposal during the 1992 campaign; at a minimum, he worked closely with Clinton aide Bruce Reed in formulating it. In the White House, he was Associate Counsel to the President, directing judicial selection efforts, and led the team that won confirmation of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Klain left the judicial selection role in 1994 to become Chief of Staff and Counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno. In 1995, he became Assistant to the President, and Chief of Staff and Counselor to Al Gore.
During Klain’s tenure as Gore’s Chief of Staff, Gore consolidated his position as the likely Democratic nominee in 2000. Still, Klain was seen as too loyal to Clinton by some longtime Gore advisors. Feuding broke out between Clinton and Gore loyalists in the White House in 1999, and Klain was ousted by Gore campaign chairmanTony Coelho in August of that year. In October 1999, he joined the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. A year later, Klain returned to the Gore campaign, once Coelho was replaced by William M. Daley. Daley hired Klain for a senior position in the Gore campaign and then named him General Counsel of Gore’s Recount Committee.
In 1994, Time named Klain one of the “50 most promising leaders in America” under the age of 40. In 1999, Washingtonian magazine named him the top lawyer in Washington under the age of 40, and the American Bar Association’s Barrister magazine named him one of the top 20 young lawyers nationwide. The National Law Journal named him one of its Lawyers of the Year for 2000.
Klain helped Fannie Mae overcome “regulatory issues”.Lobbying on “regulatory issues concerning Fannie Mae” in 2004, as disclosure forms indicate Klain did, involved convincing Congress and Fannie Mae’s regulators that Fannie Mae wasn’t doing anything dangerous, and wasn’t exposing taxpayers to risk. In other words, Ron Klain got paid to help fuel the housing bubble up until a couple of years before it popped.
During the 2004 Presidential campaign, Klain worked as an adviser to Wesley Clark in the early primaries. Later, during the General Election, Klain was heavily involved behind the scenes in John Kerry‘s campaign and is widely credited for his role in preparing Senator Kerry for a strong performance in the debates against President George W. Bush, which gave Kerry a significant boost in the polls. He then acted as an informal adviser to Evan Bayh, who is from Klain’s home state of Indiana. Klain has also commented on matters of law and policy on televised programs such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Capital Report,NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and Crossfire.
In 2005, Klain left his partnership at O’Melveny & Myers to serve as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of a new investment firm, Revolution LLC, launched by AOL co-founder Steve Case.
Klain was mentioned as a possible replacement for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, but opted to leave the White House for a position in the private sector in January 2011.
Klain apparently signed off on President Obama’s support of a $535 million loan guarantee for now-defunct solar-panel company Solyndra. Despite concerns about whether the company was viable, Klain approved an Obama visit, stating, “The reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few will be belly-up by election day 2012.”
Dr. Lurie is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The mission of her office is to lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters, ranging from hurricanes to bioterrorism.
Dr. Lurie was previously Senior Natural Scientist and the Paul O’ Neill Alcoa Professor of Health Policy at the RAND Corporation. There she directed RAND’s public health and preparedness work as well as RAND’s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services; in state government, as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health; and in academia, as Professor in the University of Minnesota Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Lurie has a long history in the health services research field, primarily in the areas of access to and quality of care, mental health, prevention, public health infrastructure and preparedness and health disparities.
Dr. Lurie attended college and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency and MSPH at UCLA, where she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. She is the recipient of numerous awards, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.
Finally, Dr. Lurie continues to practice clinical medicine in the health care safety net in Washington, DC. She has three sons.
The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response serves as the Secretary’s principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The ASPR also coordinates interagency activities between HHS, other Federal departments, agencies, and offices, and State and local officials responsible for emergency preparedness and the protection of the civilian population from acts of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. The mission of her office is to lead the nation in preventing, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters. Dr. Lurie was nominated to the position by President Obama on May 12, 2009 and her confirmation by the U.S. Senate was announced by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on July 10, 2009.
Dr. Lurie has served as the Senior Natural Scientist and the Paul O’ Neill Alcoa Professor of Health Policy at the RAND Corporation. There she directed RAND’s public health and preparedness work as well as RAND’s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She has previously served in federal government, as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services; in state government, as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health; and in academia, as Professor in the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Dr. Lurie has a long history in the health services research field, primarily in the areas of access to and quality of care, managed care, mental health, prevention, public health infrastructure and preparedness and health disparities.
Lurie has served as the Senior Editor for Health Services Research and has served on editorial boards and as a reviewer for numerous journals. She has served on the council and was President of the Society of General Internal Medicine, and on the board of directors for Academy Health, and has served on multiple other national committees.
Story 1: Breaking News — Third Confirmed Case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas, Airborne Ebola Spreading Through Tiny Aerosolized Droplets in Sneezes and Coughs — Time To Send Ebola Patients to A Biosafety Level 4 Safety Hospitals with A Total of 19 Beds — Videos
“We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.”
Friedrich August von Hayek
Obama Calls for CDC ‘SWAT’ Team for Ebola Virus
Response Team to Be Sent for Any Ebola Case: Obama
Experts: Ebola Could Go Airborne, Kill Millions
Expert Doctor says CDC is lying about Ebola virus
Ebola strain appears to be different
Second Health Care Worker Tests Positive For Ebola In Texas
Dallas Mayor: ‘It May Get Worse Before it Gets Better’
Texas officials confirm second healthcare worker has Ebola
CDC: Ebola patient flew on plane before diagnosis
CDC Set To Slow Large Ebola Outbreak by Placing Doctors At Risk
BioContainment Unit at The Nebraska Medical Center
USAMRIID The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease
Activation- A Nebraska Medical Center Biocontainment Unit Story
US Army: Ebola like FLU needs Winter Weather to go AIRBORNE
Max Alert! EBOLA Bodily Fluids Readily Airborne Weaponizable
Aerosolizing ONE DROP of EBOLA = 1/2 MILLION DEAD
Ebola – The Truth About the Outbreak (Documentary)
Why Do Viruses Kill
MicroKillers: Super Flu
The Influenza Pandemic of 1918
We Heard the Bells: The Influenza of 1918 (full documentary)
In 1918-1919, the worst flu in recorded history killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The U.S. death toll was 675,000 – five times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I. Where did the 1918 flu come from? Why was it so lethal? What did we learn?
RED ALERT: TOP GENERAL WARNS EBOLA WILL NOT STAY IN WEST AFRICA!!!!
Dallas Mayor: ‘It May Get Worse Before it Gets Better’
“There are two things that I harken back to this. The only way that we are going to beat this is person by person, moment by moment, detail by detail. We have those protocols in place, the city and county, working closely with the CDC and the hospital. The second is we want to minimize rumors and maximize facts. We want to deal with facts, not fear. And I continue to believe that while Dallas is anxious about this and with this news this morning, the anxiety level goes up a level, we are not fearful and I’m pleased and proud of the citizens that I talk to day in and day out knowing that there is hope if we take care and do what is right in these details. It may get worse before it gets better. But it will get better.”
The comments were given at a news conference in Dallas this morning announcing that another hospital worker in Dallas has been diagnosed with Ebola.
Nurses’ Union: Ebola Patient Left In Open Area Of ER For Hours
A Liberian Ebola patient was left in an open area of a Dallas emergency room for hours, and nurses treating him worked without proper protective gear and faced constantly changing protocols, according to a statement released by the nation’s largest nurses’ union.
Among those nurses was Nina Pham, 26, who has been hospitalized since Friday after catching Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with the virus in the U.S. He died last week.
Public-health authorities announced Wednesday that a second Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital health care worker had tested positive for Ebola, raising more questions about whether American hospitals and their staffs are adequately prepared to contain the virus.
The CDC has said some breach of protocol probably sickened Pham, but National Nurses United contends the protocols were either non-existent or changed constantly after Duncan arrived in the emergency room by ambulance on Sept. 28.
Medical records provided to The Associated Press by Duncan’s family show that Pham helped care for him throughout his hospital stay, including the day he arrived in intensive care with diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and the day before he died.
When Pham’s mother learned she was caring for Duncan, she tried to reassure her that she would be safe.
Pham told her: “Mom, no. Don’t worry about me,” family friend Christina Tran told The Associated Press.
Duncan’s medical records make numerous mentions of protective gear worn by hospital staff, and Pham herself notes wearing the gear in visits to Duncan’s room. But there is no indication in the records of her first encounter with Duncan, on Sept. 29, that Pham donned any protective gear.
Deborah Burger of National Nurses United, who convened a conference call with reporters to relay what she said were concerns of nurses at the hospital, said they were forced to use medical tape to secure openings in their flimsy garments and worried that their necks and heads were exposed as they cared for Duncan.
RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of Nurses United, said the statement came from “several” and “a few” nurses, but she refused repeated inquiries to state how many. She said the organization had vetted the claims, and that the nurses cited were in a position to know what had occurred at the hospital. She did not specify whether they were among the nurses caring for Duncan.
The nurses allege that his lab samples were allowed to travel through the hospital’s pneumatic tubes, possibly risking contaminating of the specimen-delivery system. They also said that hazardous waste was allowed to pile up to the ceiling.
Wendell Watson, a Presbyterian spokesman, did not respond to specific claims by the nurses but said the hospital has not received similar complaints.
“Patient and employee safety is our greatest priority, and we take compliance very seriously,” he said in a statement. He said the hospital would “review and respond to any concerns raised by our nurses and all employees.”
The nurses’ statement said they had to “interact with Mr. Duncan with whatever protective equipment was available,” even as he produced “a lot of contagious fluids.” Duncan’s medical records underscore that concern. They also say nurses treating Duncan were also caring for other patients in the hospital and that, in the face of constantly shifting guidelines, they were allowed to follow whichever ones they chose.
When Ebola was suspected but unconfirmed, a doctor wrote that use of disposable shoe covers should also be considered. At that point, by all protocols, shoe covers should have been mandatory to prevent anyone from tracking contagious body fluids around the hospital.
A few days later, however, entries in the hospital charts suggest that protection was improving.
“RN entered room in Tyvek suits, triple gloves, triple boots, and respirator cap in place,” a nurse wrote.
The Presbyterian nurses are not represented by Nurses United or any other union. DeMoro and Burger said the nurses claimed they had been warned by the hospital not to speak to reporters or they would be fired.
The AP has attempted since last week to contact dozens of individuals involved in Duncan’s care. Those who responded to reporters’ inquiries have so far been unwilling to speak.
David R. Wright, deputy regional administrator for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which monitors patient safety and has the authority to withhold federal funding, said his agency is going to want to get all of the information the nurses provided.
“We can’t talk about whether we’re going to investigate or not, but we’d be interested in hearing that information,” he said.
CDC officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Duncan first sought care at the hospital’s ER late on Sept. 25 and was sent home the next morning. He was rushed by ambulance back to the hospital on Sept. 28. Unlike his first visit, mention of his recent arrival from Liberia immediately roused suspicion of an Ebola risk, records show.
The CDC said 76 staff members at the hospital could have been exposed to Duncan after his second ER visit. Another 48 people who may have had contact with him before he was isolated are being monitored. Pham remained hospitalized Tuesday in good condition and said in a statement that she was doing well.
The Rev. Jim Khoi, pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Fort Worth, which Pham’s family attends, said the 2010 Texas Christian University nursing school graduate appeared to be in good spirits when she spoke to her mother via video chat.
Pham’s mother, Ngoc Pham, is “calm,” Khoi said. “She trusts in God. And she asks for prayers.”
CDC: Ebola Patient Traveled By Air With “Low-Grade” Fever
The CDC has announced that the second healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola — now identified as Amber Joy Vinson of Dallas — traveled by air Oct. 13, with a low-grade fever, a day before she showed up at the hospital reporting symptoms.
The CDC is now reaching out to all passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth. The flight landed at 8:16 p.m. CT.
All 132 passengers on the flight are being asked to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636). Public health professionals will begin interviewing passengers about the flight Wednesday afternoon.
“Although she (Vinson) did not report any symptoms and she did not meet the fever threshold of 100.4, she did report at that time she took her temperature and found it to be 99.5,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. Her temperature coupled with the fact that she had been exposed to the virus should have prevented her from getting on the plane, he said. “I don’t think that changes the level of risk of people around her. She did not vomit, she was not bleeding, so the level of risk of people around her would be extremely low.”
Vinson first reported a fever to the hospital on Tuesday (Oct. 14) and was isolated within 90 minutes, according to officials. She did not exhibit symptoms while on the Monday flight, according to crew members. However, the CDC says passenger notification is needed as an “extra level of safety” due to the proximity in time between the flight and the first reported symptoms.
“Those who have exposures to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline,” said Dr. Frieden. “The CDC guidance in this setting outlines the need for controlled movement. That can include a charter plane; that can include a car; but it does not include public transport. We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement.”
Frieden specifically noted that the remaining 75 healthcare workers who treated Thomas Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital will not be allowed to fly. The CDC will work with local and state officials to accomplish this.
Frontier Airlines is working closely with the CDC to identify and notify all passengers on the flight. The airline also says the plane has been thoroughly cleaned and was removed from service following CDC notification early Wednesday morning.
However, according to Flighttracker, the plane was used for five additional flights on Tuesday before it was removed from service. Those flights include a return flight to Cleveland, Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL), FLL to Cleveland, Cleveland to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), and ATL to Cleveland.
While in Ohio, Vinson visited relatives, who are employees at Kent State University. The university is now asking Vinson’s three relatives stay off campus and self-monitor per CDC protocol for the next 21 days out of an “abundance of caution.”
“It’s important to note that the patient was not on the Kent State campus,” said Kent State President Beverly Warren. “She stayed with her family at their home in Summit County and did not step foot on our campus. We want to assure our university community that we are taking this information seriously, taking steps to communicate what we know,” said Dr. Angela DeJulius, director of University Health Services at Kent State.
Vinson is a Kent State graduate. She received degrees from there in 2006 and 2008.
Cleveland’s Public Health Director, Toinette Parrilla, said Vinson was visiting in preparation for her wedding. While there, she visited her mother and her fiance.
The latest Ebola diagnosis was announced by the Texas Department of State Health Services early Wednesday morning.
Vinson is the second worker at Presbyterian Hospital to be diagnosed after providing health care to Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. He died last week.
Medical records provided to The Associated Press by Thomas Eric Duncan’s family show Amber Joy Vinson was actively engaged in caring for Duncan in the days before his death. The records show she inserted catheters, drew blood, and dealt with Duncan’s body fluids.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings addressed the media on Wednesday, saying the patient lives alone and has no pets.
“It may get worse before it gets better,” Rawlings said, “but it will get better.”
Crews worked to decontaminate the common areas of Vinson’s Dallas apartment building Tuesday morning. The apartment unit will be decontaminated by contractors starting early Wednesday afternoon.
The CDC announced that Vinson will be transported to Emory Hospital in Atlanta for further treatment. Two previous American Ebola patients, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, were treated at Emory and were the first Ebola patients to be treated in the United States. They were released in August.
Nina Pham was diagnosed with the virus over the weekend and remains isolated in good condition. Pham’s dog — a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Bentley — has been taken into custody and is being cared for at an undisclosed location.
Frontier Airlines released the following statement:
“At approximately 1:00 a.m. MT on October 15, Frontier was notified by the CDC that a customer traveling on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13 has since tested positive for the Ebola virus. The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 p.m. local and remained overnight at the airport having completed its flying for the day at which point the aircraft received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures which is consistent with CDC guidelines prior to returning to service the next day. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland last night. Previously the customer had traveled from Dallas Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142 on October 10.
Customer exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier responded immediately upon notification from the CDC by removing the aircraft from service and is working closely with CDC to identify and contact customers who may traveled on flight 1143.
Customers who may have traveled on either flight should contact CDC at 1 800 CDC-INFO.
The safety and security of our customers and employees is our primary concern. Frontier will continue to work closely with CDC and other governmental agencies to ensure proper protocols and procedures are being followed.”
Frontier jet made 5 flights before taken out of service in Ebola scare
The Frontier Airlines jet that carried a Dallas healthcare worker diagnosed with Ebola made five additional flights after her trip before it was taken out of service, according to a flight-monitoring website.
Denver-based Frontier said in a statement that it grounded the plane immediately after the carrier was notified late Tuesday night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the Ebola patient.
Ebola patient flew day before symptoms surfaced
Amber Joy Vinson of Dallas, traveled by air on Oct. 13, the day before she first reported symptoms.
Flight 1143, on which the woman flew from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth, was the last trip of the day Monday for the Airbus A320. But Tuesday morning the plane was flown back to Cleveland and then to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., back to Cleveland and then to Atlanta and finally back to Cleveland again, according to Daniel Baker, chief executive of the flight-monitoring site Flightaware.com.
He said his data did not include any passenger manifests, so he could not tell how many total passengers flew on the plane Tuesday.
The airline said it is working with the CDC to contact all 132 passengers on the Monday flight that carried the Ebola patient.
Frontier could not be reached to confirm the FlightAware data, and it was unclear if passengers on the additional flights were being contacted.
The passenger “exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on Flight 1143, according to the crew,” Frontier said.
The plane went through a routine but “thorough” cleaning Monday night, Frontier said. Airline industry experts said routine overnight cleaning includes wiping down tray tables, vacuuming carpet and disinfecting restrooms.
The healthcare worker also had flown to Cleveland from Dallas three days earlier on Frontier Flight 1142, the airline reported.
In response to the news that another Ebola patient flew on a commercial flight, the union that represents 60,000 flight attendants on 19 airlines is asking the CDC to monitor and care for the four flight attendants who were on flight from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth.
whats it going to take to close the border to people from africa? 10 dead? 100 dead? 1000 dead? we know obumma doesnt give a flying fluke about the american citizens, but isn’t there someone in the government with an ounce of brains? or is this part of obumma’s scheme to declare martial law?…
The Assn. of Flight Attendants “will continue to press that crew members are regularly monitored and provided with any additional resources that may be required,” the group said.
The Ebola scare prompted the union last week to call for better measures to protect flight attendants from exposure to the deadly virus.
The group’s international president, Sara Nelson, suggested that flight attendants are being asked to do too much in the fight against Ebola.
“We are not, however, professional healthcare providers and our members have neither the extensive training nor the specialized personal protective equipment required for handling an Ebola patient,” she said in a statement.
Earlier this month, United Airlines was rushing to contact passengers who flew on two flights that carried a Liberian man infected with Ebola from Brussels to Washington, D.C., and then to Dallas.
The Ebola-stricken healthcare worker who flew on Frontier had been treating the Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, who has since died.
Airline-industry stock prices have taken a beating in recent weeks, with some analysts blaming the Ebola scare.
On Wednesday, stocks of Delta Air Lines and American Airlines fell more than 6% in early trading before partially recovering. With less than 90 minutes remaining in the regular trading session, the two stocks were each down about 2% from Tuesday’s closes. Frontier is privately held.
There are only 19 level 4 bio-containment beds in the whole of the United States…and four in the UK
The UK is well set for an Ebola outbreak (sarcasm alert) We have TWO isolation units, but one is getting ‘redeveloped’ so it’s not available right now. Called High Security Infectious Diseases Units there are two in the country, each capable of taking two patients. One is at The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead North London, the other, the one getting a bit of a make-over, is at The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, up in the north-east of England.
Four level 4 bio-containment beds between 69,000,000 people
In the US there are 4 units geared up to handle Ebola. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, has 3 beds. Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, has 10 beds. Emory Hospital, Atlanta has 3 beds and St Patricks Hospital, Missoula has 3 beds (source)
19 level four biocontainment beds for 317,000,000 people
I think we just found out why the government(s) are under-playing the situation. They simply do not have the facilities to cope with even a small outbreak. They are, in fact in exactly the same position as the dirt-poor hospitals in West Africa…there are not enough facilities to stop the spread of the disease if it gets out. The quality of care is better, but the availability of containment most likely isn’t.
I am sure ‘regular’ isolation units will be pressed into use but they are not designed to handle level 4 biohazards, they are nowhere near as secure medically speaking, as biocontainment units.
A couple of days ago I explained how exponential spread works. You can read that article here if you like. As a quick recap. Once a disease is at the point where every carrier infects 2 more people,(exponential spread) it will continue until it:
A) runs out of hosts
B) is stopped by medical science or
C) mutates into something less harmful.
What follows will show you how woefully inadequately our governments have prepared for something as lethal as Ebola.
In the flu pandemic of 1918-1920 28% of Americans were infected with the disease…try to remember I am talking numbers here not HOW disease spreads or any medical similarities between diseases, 625,000 Americans lost their lives out of some 29,400,000 infections. The population of the United States at that time was 105,000,000 people. (source)
Fast forward to today. If that flu pandemic had hit the United States in 2014, when the population stands at 317,000,000 people 88,760,000 people would have been infected and 2,130,240 of them would have died.
Now, let’s try this with Ebola. I have picked Liberia just because it is in the news due to the Thomas Duncan case.
Liberia has a population of 4,290,000 people, as of the latest figures there have been 3692 cases of Ebola, this represents 0.0086% of the population.Of those infections, 1998 people have died that’s a fatality rate of 54%. (source)
If that same infection and death rate were applied to the United States Ebola would infect 269,000 people and of those 156,281 would die.
Now, if as doctors and scientists fear the basic reproduction rate rises to 2 in Liberia the numbers change very quickly. Using the mean average incubation time of 9 days it would take around 13 weeks for the entire population of Liberia to become infected. (10 doublings starting with 3692 = just under the population of Liberia. This multiplied by 9 days gives us 90 days which divided by 7 gives 12.85 weeks.) Of the 4,290,000 people infected 2,316,000 would lose their lives.
This is just Liberia, not the other affected countries in West Africa.
Translated to an equivalent outbreak in the United States, where the basic reproduction rate is also 2, the numbers are horrifying. Starting with patient zero it would take around 245 days, 35 weeks for every person in the United States to become infected. Of those 17,118,000 people would die. (27.17 doublings x 9 days = 245 days =35 weeks)
Please remember the figures for Liberia are pulled from the CDC website, the percentages are correct.
United States was based on exactly the same parameters as for Liberia…a like for like comparison.
The CDC could be spending their time educating people, advising people to stock up, get ready for the possibility of staying in their homes. Self imposed isolation, or if need be state imposed isolation, that may last for an extended time period may become a reality. They’re not doing it though are they? They are sprouting figures and applying them to West Africa, and they can’t even get that right. They are saying that there could be 1.4 deaths in West Africa in a worst case scenario. When actually applying the figures they supplied with some simple mathematics we can see that 1.4 million deaths is a gross understatement.
Even a basic reproduction rate of 1.7, the latest figure for Liberia it will only take around 30 weeks to get to the same point as the above scenario, over 2,000,000 dead.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the UK government is any better, if anything they are worse, they don’t even try to do the maths. Most of them went to Eton (a very expensive school that churns out politicians) so it’s unlikely they would be capable of it even if they wanted to. You only have to look at our national finances to see they are no good at sums. They send out press briefings that there will be an emergency COBRA meeting, do you have any clue what that stands for? Let me enlighten you, Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. COBRA is not an emergency planning group, it’s an effing office.
Although I am loathed to say it, it’s time that our governments started worrying about the facilities at home rather than worrying about the facilities abroad. Stopping the disease in Africa does not mean we are out of the woods. There are so many unreported cases, people turned away from medica facilities in West Africa that nobody has the slightest idea how many cases of Ebola are actually out there. The porous borders of the region mean that people move around without the controls that are usually exercised in the west. There has to be a travel ban on non-US citizens entering the United States from these areas, the same applies from the UK.
Border control has to be improved in both countries if we have any hope of halting the spread of this terrible disease. The west is going to be the destination for anyone from Ebola hit areas that can afford to make their way from Africa. Many West Africans have contacts in the west who will help them get out, and shelter them when they arrive. As harsh as it seems this has to be stopped, it’s time for governments to put their own citizens first. Repatriation of your own is one thing, risking millions of lives at home because you won’t man up and prevent foreigners entering is quite another.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been struggling since March to stop what has become the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded. The disease is causing widespread fear and disruption in West Africa, and shows no signs of being brought under control.
CHRONOLOGY OF COVERAGE
OCT. 15, 2014
Spain’s ad hoc, improvisational response to citizens infected by Ebola virus and brought back to the country underscores holes in West’s readiness to confront wider outbreak; cases of Ebola in Spain have raised urgent questions about risks of disease spreading even in developed countries, particularly among health care workers. MORE
OCT. 15, 2014
Doctors Without Borders criticizes lack of reliable evacuation systems from West Africa, saying that more would volunteer to fight Ebola in region if it were not so difficult to leave in case of emergency; cites fact that it took 50 hours to evacuate French nurse to Paris after she tested positive for virus. MORE
OCT. 15, 2014
Bellevue Hospital is designated as center for treatment of the Ebola virus should it emerge in New York City; announcement comes amid widespread concerns that disease may not be so easily contained by every hospital that has an isolation unit. MORE
OCT. 15, 2014
World Health Organization warns new cases of Ebola virus could reach 10,000 a week in West Africa by December, nearly 10 times the current rate; reports none of the three most heavily affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, are adequately prepared for epidemic; comments come in report before the United Nations Security Council, which voices fear that epidemic could renew the risk of political instability in a region barely recovering from civil war.MORE
OCT. 15, 2014
Dr Thomas R Frieden, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, acknowledges for first time that quicker and more concerted action on agency’s part might have kept Dallas nurse from contracting Ebola virus; says agency plans a more robust response to any future Ebola cases in American hospitals. MORE
OCT. 15, 2014
Frank Bruni Op-Ed column contends other, more common ailments deserve more concern and attention in United States than Ebola; points out influenza kills between 3,000 and 50,000 Americans per year, and skin cancer kills 10,000 per year; lists other common, and much-researched, illnesses that Americans should vaccinate and protect themselves against. MORE
OCT. 15, 2014
Jere Longman On Soccer column examines plight of SIerra Leone’s national soccer team, caught amid self-destructive feud between nation’s soccer federation and sports ministry; observes that team was already exhausted from playing road-only games due to Ebola outbreak. MORE
OCT. 14, 2014
Transmission of Ebola virus to Dallas nurse Nina Pham forces Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reconsider its approach to containing the disease; state and federal officials are re-examining whether equipment and procedures are adequate or too loosely followed, and whether more decontamination steps are necessary when health workers leave isolation units. MORE
OCT. 14, 2014
Experience of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in caring for three Ebola patients calls into question oft repeated assurances from federal health officials that most American hospitals can safely treat disease; transmission of virus to Dallas nurse Nina Pham has also raised questions about general level of preparedness in hospitals around the country; medical experts have begun to suggest it may be better to transfer patients to designated centers with expertise in treating Ebola. MORE
OCT. 14, 2014
Public health concerns about Ebola virus have spread to both political parties, which are engaged in finger-pointing debate that could jar midterm elections; Republicans blame the Obama administration for failing to protect the United States, and Democrats are saying it is GOP budget cutting that has put Americans at risk. MORE
OCT. 14, 2014
Experts rule out notion that Ebola virus has become a super-pathogen and raise doubts that it will evolve into one; say virus is not fundamentally different from those in previous outbreaks dating back to 1976, and it is highly unlikely that natural selection will give it ability to spread more easily, particularly by becoming airborne. MORE
OCT. 14, 2014
Friends of Dallas nurse Nina Pham describe the 26-year-old, part of the team that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, as conscientious and caring, and from a very private family. MORE
OCT. 14, 2014
Editorial warns effort to combat the Ebola virus in Western Africa is lagging dangerously behind; contends the international community must dramatically step up aid if epidemic is to be controlled; holds obligation is particularly strong for the United Sates as it faces first case of patient who contracted the virus domestically. MORE
OCT. 14, 2014
Sierra Leone’s national soccer team is enduring a series of demeaning and discouraging indignities since outbreak of Ebola in West Africa; team is barred from playing in its own stricken country and it must play every match on the road as it struggles to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, continent’s biennial championship. MORE
OCT. 14, 2014
World Bank president Dr Jim Yong Kim, frustrated with slow global response to Ebola outbreak, has made fighting epidemic his mission, driving bank to act on Ebola with uncharacteristic speed; bank has committed $400 million to fighting disease. MORE
OCT. 13, 2014
The topic everyone on Wall Street is discussing urgently but quietly isn’t the volatile stock market. It is Ebola. MORE
OCT. 13, 2014
News that a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has contracted Ebola virus transforms part of Dallas into scene of concern and contamination; residents in victim’s neighborhood are filled with anxiety, while hazardous-materials crews scramble to clean her apartment building. MORE
OCT. 13, 2014
Nurse at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas becomes first person to contract Ebola within United States; development prompts local, state and federal officials to scramble to determine how she became infected, despite wearing protective gear, and to monitor others potentially at risk; news further stokes fears among health care workers across country. MORE
OCT. 13, 2014
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say agency will take new steps to help hospital workers protect themselves, providing more training and urging hospitals to practice dealing with potential Ebola patients. MORE
OCT. 13, 2014
Op-Ed article by Prof Siddhartha Mukherjee contends Ebola case of Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas shows that medical community must rethink concept of quarantine, in light of the absence of any established anti-viral treatment; calls for development of pilot program for rapid-testing quarantine. MORE
OCT. 12, 2014
Liberian Army has suddenly become linchpin in fight against Ebola virus rampaging the country; for decades, Liberians viewed the armed forces with fear due to atrocities committed during civil war. MORE
OCT. 11, 2014
Doctors Without Borders, first to respond to Ebola crisis in West Africa, remains primary international medical aid group battling disease there; strained and overworked charity has erected six treatment centers in West Africa, with plans for more, and has treated the majority of patients, just as they have in previous Ebola outbreaks and some other epidemics in the developing world. MORE
OCT. 10, 2014
Health workers at International Medical Corps treatment center in Liberia face dilemma of how to care for newborn whose mother may have died of Ebola; many health workers have contracted Ebola while attending to births and being exposed to blood and other body fluids, provoking fears of providing maternity care; doctors speculate that Ebola can be transmitted from mother to baby (Series: The Ebola Ward). MORE
OCT. 10, 2014
Britain says it will introduce measures at airports and rail terminals to screen passengers from affected countries as concerns over Ebola grow in Europe. MORE
OCT. 10, 2014
Presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, nations most affected by the Ebola outbreak, implore world leaders to increase their support to fight the disease; speak at meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington. MORE
OCT. 10, 2014
Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit in Omaha, with arrival of two Ebola patients in last six weeks, is at forefront of the nation’s response to the disease; unit’s 10 beds sat empty for years. MORE
OCT. 10, 2014
Dallas officials say Sgt Michael Monnig, local shefiff’s deputy examined for possible infection with Ebola virus, has tested negative and is sent home from hospital; many in city remain uneasy. MORE
OCT. 9, 2014
Thomas Eric Duncan dies of Ebola in Dallas, renewing questions about whether delay in receiving treatment could have played a role in his death and what role it played in the possibility of his spreading the disease to others; it remains unclear why, and how, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital did not initially view the Liberian man as a potential Ebola case; nearly 50 people who came into contact with Duncan when he was experiencing active symptoms are being monitored. MORE
OCT. 9, 2014
Federal health officials will require temperature checks for the first time at five major American airports for people arriving from three West African countries hardest hit by Ebola epidemic; however, health experts say measures are more likely to calm worried public than to prevent people with Ebola from entering country; move comes after death of Thomas Eric Duncan, Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. MORE
OCT. 9, 2014
Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan shows off its isolation rooms and its leave-no-skin-cell-uncovered precautions in an attempt to reassure New Yorkers that should the Ebola virus arrive in the city, its premier public hospital could handle it. MORE
OCT. 9, 2014
European leaders are scrambling to upgrade their response to Ebola crisis after Pres Obama’s announcement that he will send 3,000 troops to West Africa to build hospitals and otherwise help in fight against the disease. MORE
OCT. 9, 2014
Spanish health officials explain how auxiliary nurse Maria Teresa Romero Ramos became the first Ebola case in Western Europe, saying that it was likely she became infected when she touched her face with the gloves she had worn while tending to a Spanish missionary with Ebola at a Madrid hospital. MORE
OCT. 9, 2014
Dog named Excalibur who belonged to Ebola-infected nurse Maria Teresa Romero Ramos is destroyed by Spanish health officials, even as protesters and animal rights activists surround Madrid home of the nurse and her husband; online petition calling for dog’s life to be spared drew hundreds of thousands of signatures. MORE
OCT. 9, 2014
Editorial notes new screening procedures directed at travelers entering United States from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, center of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa; holds screenings, while burdensome and possibly of little practical value, may ease public anxieties about keeping virus out of country and assure people that risks are being minimized. MORE
OCT. 8, 2014
Schedule for a single day at newly opened Ebola treatment center in Suakoko, Liberia, run by International Medical Corps charity, offers portrait of efforts to halt spread of virus; center is both ordinary and otherwordly, where health workers tend to those infected and those quarantined while awaiting test results (Series: The Ebola Ward).MORE
OCT. 8, 2014
Spain’s government comes under heavy criticism for its handling of Western Europe’s first Ebola case, as health care workers argue that they have not been given proper training or equipment to handle the disease; government quarantines three more people and monitors dozens who had come into contact with infected nurse. MORE
OCT. 8, 2014
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scrambles to address concerns from health workers nationwide as anxiety mounts over Ebola virus; agency has scheduled two nationwide conference calls, but has so far not changed its recommendations on protective gear.MORE
OCT. 8, 2014
Doctors report first positive signs in recovery of Thomas Eric Duncan, Liberian man battling Ebola virus in Dallas hospital; Duncan’s temperature and blood pressure have normalized, though he remains on a ventilator and is still receiving kidney dialysis. MORE
OCT. 8, 2014
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials promise additional measures to screen airline passengers arriving in United States for Ebola virus; remain opposed to draconian travel restrictions such as outright bans, saying that they would cause more problems than they would solve. MORE
OCT. 7, 2014
Nurse in Spain becomes first health worker to be infected with Ebola virus outside West Africa, raising serious concerns about how prepared Western nations are to safely treat people with the deadly illness; nurse contracted the illness while treating a Spanish missionary who was infected in Sierra Leone and flown to Madrid, where he died; infection exposes weak spots in Spain’s highly praised health care defense systems. MORE
OCT. 7, 2014
Adel Faqih, Saudi Arabia’s acting health minister, says this year’s hajj has been free of Ebola and other contagious diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome because of measures taken to protect more than two million Muslim pilgrims. MORE
OCT. 7, 2014
Pres Obama says screening for Ebola virus at airports both in the United States and West Africa will increase, but does not offer specifics; Dallas residents remain on edge as they await to learn if those who came into contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan became infected. MORE
Story 1: Stop The Ebola Illegal Alien Invasion/Pandemic — Secure The U.S./Mexican Border — Videos
USA Invaded by Central America….
RED ALERT: TOP GENERAL WARNS EBOLA WILL NOT STAY IN WEST AFRICA!!!!
Why Do Viruses Kill
MicroKillers: Super Flu
The Influenza Pandemic of 1918
We Heard the Bells: The Influenza of 1918 (full documentary)
In 1918-1919, the worst flu in recorded history killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The U.S. death toll was 675,000 – five times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I. Where did the 1918 flu come from? Why was it so lethal? What did we learn?
After Armageddon (when deadly virus strikes)
SOMETHING ‘NEVER SEEN BEFORE’ IS COMING TO AMERICA (GLOBAL PANDEMIC)
Video: Ebola patient escapes quarantine, spreads panic in Monrovia (Liberia)
Judge Jeanine Pirro – Hidden Danger? – Could Illegal Immigrant Kids Bring Diseases To U.S.?
Obama Triggers a Massive Surge of Illegal Immigrant Children(90,000!)
Reporters Confront U.S. Border Patrol Over Illegal Immigration Stand-Down
Pestilence : Illegal Aliens bringing serious diseases across the U.S. Border (Aug 01, 2014)
immigrants bring in serious, contagious diseases
PJTV – Illegal Immigrants Being Illegally Dumped in Arizona…Illegally
Story 1: Breaking News: Second Confirmed Ebola Case of Health Care Worker in Dallas Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital — Ebola Is Airborne and Spreading — Center for Disease Control (CDC) Blames It on Breach of Protocol — CDC’s Deep Denial Delusions — World Health Organization (WHO): Aerosolised Ebola Virus droplets produced from coughing or sneezing. –Videos
I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.
What Happens When You Are Infected With The Ebola Virus? Common Cold,Bleeding Out The Ears And Eyes
Ebola Outrage as Outbreak Officially Begins In U.S.
Dallas Dog Raises Questions About Animals And Ebola
Ebola: The Undocumented Pandemic
#Ebola outbreak: Texas nurse tests positive & Suspected Case in Boston
CDC investigating Ebola protocol, as second U.S. patient confirmed
SouthCom Issues Stark Ebola Warning: “Katie Bar the Door”
Marine Corps general who leads America’s Southern Command warned Tuesday that the U.S. could face an unprecedented flood of immigrants from the south if the Ebola virus epidemic hits Central America.
‘If it breaks out, it’s literally, “Katie bar the door”,’ Gen John Kelly told said during a public discussion at the National Defense University. ‘And there will be mass migration into the United States.’
US Army: Ebola like FLU needs Winter Weather to go AIRBORNE
CDC Warns On AIRBORNE EBOLA
Max Alert! EBOLA Bodily Fluids Readily Airborne Weaponizable
Second CONFIRMED Case Of Ebola In The U.S. Texas hospital worker tests positive for Ebola
Pestilence : Health Care worker at Dallas Texas Hospital tests positive for Ebola (Oct 12, 2014)
Ebola Health care worker tests positive at Texas hospital
Pestilence : Press Conference of Second Confirmed Diagnosed Case in Texas (Oct 12, 2014)
Ebola – The Truth About the Outbreak (Documentary)
What Pisses Me Off About Ebola
Science Today: Virus Mutation | California Academy of Sciences
Influenza: Get the (Antigenic) Drift
Flu Shift and Drift
Introduction to Viruses and Viral Replication
Antigenic Shift – the Spread of a New, Mutated Virus
Ebola: The world’s most dangerous Virus (full documentary)
Texas nurse fighting Ebola receives blood transfusion from survivor Dr Kent Brantly – who also matched blood types with two others struck by the deadly virus in the U.S.
Nina Pham, 26, has received blood transfusion from Dr Kent Brantly
Survivor Brantly also donated to Dr Nick Sacra and NBC’s Ashoka Mukpo
Antibodies in his blood could help the patients fight the disease
Pham caught the Ebola virus while treating Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas
Second person who some identified as Miss Pham’s boyfriend is being monitored for symptoms
Miss Pham raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth and graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with Bachelor of Science in Nursing
HazChem teams spent the weekend fumigating her Dallas apartment
Authorities have blamed a ‘breach of protocol’ – but nursing leaders have criticized the CDC for making her a scapegoat
About 70 staff members at Texas hospital were involved in the care of first Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan after he was hospitalized
By NICK FAGGE IN DALLAS, TEXAS FOR MAILONLINE and MIA DE GRAAF FOR MAILONLINE
The Texan nurse diagnosed with Ebola has received a blood transfusion from survivor Dr Kent Brantly.
It is the third time Dr Brantly has donated blood to an Ebola victim after medics discovered he had the same blood type as previous patient Dr Nick Sacra and NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, who is still being treated.
Incredibly, nurse Nina Pham, 26, has also matched with Dr Brantly and on Monday received a transfusion of his blood in a move that doctors believe could save her life.
Lifeline: Dr Kent Brantly (left), who has been cleared of Ebola, has match blood types with Nina Pham (right) and donated so she can receive a blood transfusion to battle the deadly virus she caught treating a patient
Miss Pham has been in quarantine since Friday after catching the disease from ‘patient zero’ Thomas Eric Duncan – the man who brought the deadly virus to America.
About 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were involved in the care of Mr Duncan after he was hospitalized, including the 26-year-old.
Brantly is believed to have traveled to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Pham worked, to make the donation on Sunday night.
Miss Pham’s condition was described as ‘clinically stable’ on Tuesday morning. She is believed to be in good spirits and had spoken to her mother via Skype.
A second person who came in contact with the nurse is being monitored for Ebola symptoms in an isolation unit at Texas Presbyterian. He is reportedly Miss Pham’s boyfriend according to Dallas News.
The individual works at Alcon in Fort Worth, according to a staff email seen by CBS. MailOnline was awaiting confirmation from the global eye care products company.
Those who have survived Ebola have antibodies in their blood which can help new sufferers beat the disease.
Dr Kent Brantly was flown back from Liberia to the U.S. after contracting Ebola during his missionary work for Samaritan’s Purse.
He survived after receiving a dose of the experimental serum Z-Mapp and round-the-clock care at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
On September 10, Dr Brantly donated blood to a fellow doctor, Dr Rick Sacra, who also contracted Ebola during his work in West Africa and survived the disease.
Last Tuesday, he was on a road trip from Indiana to Texas when he received a call from Ashoka Mukpo’s medical center in Nebraska telling him his blood type matched Mukpo’s.
He also offered his blood to Thomas Eric Duncan but their blood types didn’t match.
Being treated: On Tuesday, Dr Brantly pulled over during a road trip to give blood to NBC’s Ashoka Mukpo
Within minutes, he stopped off at the Community Blood Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and his donation was flown to Omaha.
Pham was diagnosed after admitting herself to hospital on Friday when her temperature spiked – one of the first symptoms of the deadly virus.
HOW COMMON IS IT FOR TWO PEOPLE TO MATCH BLOOD TYPE?
There are four major blood types: A, B, AB, and O. They divide into positive and negative categories.
It is not known what blood type the four Ebola patients have in common.
The most common blood type in the US is O positive, although ethnic groups normally differ.
The majority of African Americans and Hispanics have O positive.
Around 37 per cent of Caucasians do too, but 33 per cent have A positive.
There is more variety among Asian people. A quarter are listed as B positive, according to the Red Cross, but many also have a high number of Os and As.
A blood test confirmed she had the disease and she is now being treated in an isolation ward.
The Emergency Room where she was admitted was cleared and decontaminated.
Nina Pham’s uncle confirmed to MailOnline that she is the nurse who has contracted Ebola while treating patient zero Thomas Eric Duncan.
Jason Nguyen told MailOnline: ‘Nina has contracted Ebola, she is my niece. Her mother called me on Saturday and told me; ‘Nina has caught Ebola.’
‘My sister is very upset, we all are. She said she was going up to the hospital in Dallas and I haven’t heard from her since. I’ve tried to call but I can’t get through. It’s very shocking. I don’t know any of the details, only what I hear on the news. It’s frightening.’
He added: ‘Nina is very hard working. She is always up at the hospital in Dallas.’
A friend added: ‘You always hear it on the news, but you don’t expect someone you know so well to have it.’
HazChem teams spent the weekend fumigating her apartment in Dallas while health officials have ordered an investigation into how she contracted the disease.
Texas nurse with Ebola identified as 26-yr-old Nina Pham
Tragic: Nina Pham, 26, is fighting for her life after contracting Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan. Here she is pictured with her beloved King Charles Spaniel clled Bentley who is not expected to be destroyed
Kind-hearted: Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, Miss Pham graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Her beloved King Charles Spaniel Bentley will not be destroyed and is being quarantined, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings has assured.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) Dr Thomas Frieden has blamed a ‘breach in protocol’ of infection control lead Miss Pham to catch Ebola.
Mr Duncan arrived in Texas from Liberia on September 20. He began showing symptoms of Ebola three days after his arrival and was admitted to Texas Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday 28. He died on Wednesday October 8.
Presbyterian’s chief clinical officer, Dr Dan Varga, said all staff had followed CDC recommended precautions – ‘gown, glove, mask and shield’ – while treating Mr Duncan.
CDC chief backtracks after blaming nurse who got Ebola
And on Monday the CDC said that a critical moment may have come when Miss Pham took off her equipment.
Ebola victims suffer chronic diarrhea and bleeding. But blood and feces from an Ebola patient are considered the most infectious bodily fluids.
Mr Duncan also underwent two surgical procedures in a bid to keep him alive but which are particularly high-risk for transmitting the virus – kidney dialysis and intubation to help him to breathe – due to the spread of blood and saliva.
Nurses’ leader Bonnie Castillo has criticized the CDC for blaming the nurse for the spread of the disease.
Ms Castillo, of the National Nurses United, said: ‘You don’t scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak. We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct.’
In response to the criticism, Frieden clarified his comments to say that he did not mean it was an error on Miss Pham’s part that led to the ‘breach of protocol.’
Clean up: A man in full hazmat clothing walks in front of Pham’s home after disinfecting the front porch
The CDC said on Monday it has launched a wholesale review of the procedures and equipment used by healthcare workers.
Dr Frieden added that the case ‘substantially’ changes how medical staff approach the control of the virus, adding that: ‘We have to rethink how we address Ebola control, because even a single infection is unacceptable.’
When she got accepted into nursing school she was really excited. Her mom would tell how it’s really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful. But she was like, “This is what I want to do”
- Friend of Miss Pham
Friends and well-wishers have paid tribute to Miss Pham and praised her as a big-hearted, compassionate nurse dedicated to caring for other.
Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, she graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
She obtained her nursing license in August 2010 and recently qualified as a critical care nurse.
A friend told the Dallas Morning News: ‘When she got accepted into nursing school she was really excited. Her mom would tell how it’s really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful. But she was like, “This is what I want to do”.’
A devout Christian she regularly attends mass at the Lady of Fatima Church.
Tom Ha, who taught her bible class, told the paper: ‘The family is very dedicated and go out of their way to help people. I expect, with the big heart she has, she went beyond what she was supposed to do to help anyone in need.’
Aid: Miss Pham had treated Mr Duncan multiple times after he was diagnosed with the disease and the CDC has claimed that a ‘breach of protocol’ meant the nurse contracted Ebola. However, nursing leaders attacked the authorities for apparently making Miss Pham a scapegoat
Hung Le, who is president and counselor at Our Lady of Fatima, said parishioners are uniting in prayer for Miss Pham.
He said: ‘Our most important concern as a church is to help the family as they are coping with this. As a parish, we are praying for them.’
Ha, who taught the woman in Bible classes, said he and others are translating health information into Vietnamese to help others learn about the illness.
‘People are more worried for the family than for themselves, but some have questions because they don’t really understand what it is or how it is transmitted.’
SPREAD OF A DEADLY PLAGUE: HOW WILL AMERICA CONTAIN EBOLA?
WHEN IS EBOLA CONTAGIOUS?
Only when someone is showing symptoms, which can start with vague symptoms including a fever, flu-like body aches and abdominal pain, and then vomiting and diarrhea.
HOW DOES EBOLA SPREAD?
Through close contact with a symptomatic person’s bodily fluids, such as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen. Those fluids must have an entry point, like a cut or scrape or someone touching the nose, mouth or eyes with contaminated hands, or being splashed. That’s why health care workers wear protective gloves and other equipment.
The World Health Organization says blood, feces and vomit are the most infectious fluids, while the virus is found in saliva mostly once patients are severely ill and the whole live virus has never been culled from sweat.
WHAT ABOUT MORE CASUAL CONTACT?
Ebola isn’t airborne. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said people don’t get exposed by sitting next to someone on the bus.
‘This is not like flu. It’s not like measles, not like the common cold. It’s not as spreadable, it’s not as infectious as those conditions,’ he added.
WHO GETS TESTED WHEN EBOLA IS SUSPECTED?
Hospitals with a suspected case call their health department or the CDC to go through a checklist to determine the person’s level of risk. Among the questions are whether the person reports a risky contact with a known Ebola patient, how sick they are and whether an alternative diagnosis is more likely. Most initially suspicious cases in the U.S. haven’t met the criteria for testing.
HOW IS IT CLEANED UP?
The CDC says bleach and other hospital disinfectants kill Ebola. Dried virus on surfaces survives only for several hours.
The World Health Organization on Monday called the Ebola outbreak ‘the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times’.
It added that economic disruption can be curbed if people are educated so they don’t make any irrational moves to dodge infection.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, citing World Bank figures, said 90 per cent of economic costs of any outbreak ‘come from irrational and disorganised efforts of the public to avoid infection.’
‘We are seeing, right now, how this virus can disrupt economies and societies around the world,’ she said, but added that adequately educating the public was a ‘good defense strategy’ and would allow governments to prevent economic disruptions.
Ebola screening of passengers arriving from three West African countries began at New York’s JFK airport on Saturday.
Medical teams equipped with temperature guns and questionnaires are monitoring arrivals from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – countries at the centre of the Ebola outbreak.
Screening at Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta will begin later this week.
These are professionals and this is the United States, where the best conditions and protective gear are available, unlike in West Africa, where the Ebola epidemic is raging in much poorer conditions.
The health worker wore protective gear while having extensive contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died Wednesday of Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Officials say she has not been able to pinpoint any breach in infection control protocols, although there apparently was a breach, they say.
Experience shows that health workers can safely care for Ebola patients, “but we also know that it’s hard and that even a single breach can result in contamination,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
The situation also raises fresh concerns about whether any U.S. hospital can safely handle Ebola patients, as health officials have insisted is possible.
“A breach in protocol could be anything from not taking your gloves off the right way to taking a dialysis catheter out of a dialysis patient and not disposing of it the right way,” explains Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, Chair of Internal Medicine UNT.
According to Dr. D’Agostino those are just some of the multitude of scenarios.
He says these incidents don’t happen often, but accidents do occur.
“We can be as diligent and meticulous as we want to be but occasionally things happen that expose to risk,” said Dr. D’Agostino.
While the fight to eradicate Ebola in Dallas and internationality Dr. D’Agostino is reminding us the battle will be long.
“The fact of the matter is that we do have a lot to learn about this virus and all the viruses that are in this family…this one is particularly infectious.”
Despite the uncertainty Dr. D’Agostino says he is confident that we have the proper infrastructure and resources to handle these cases.
Some questions and answers about the new case.
Q: What protection do health workers have?
A: The exact gear can vary. A hazardous material type suit usually includes a gown, two sets of gloves, a face mask, and an eye shield. There are strict protocols for how to use it correctly.
“When you put on your garb and you take off your garb, it’s a buddy system,” with another health worker watching to make sure it’s done right, said Dr. Dennis Maki, University of Wisconsin-Madison infectious disease specialist and former head of hospital infection control.
Q: How might infection have occurred?
A: Officials are focusing on two areas: How the garb was removed, and the intensive medical procedures Duncan received, which included kidney dialysis and a breathing machine. Both involve inserting tubes — into blood vessels or an airway. That raises the risk a health worker will have contact with the patient’s bodily fluids, which is how Ebola spreads.
“Removing the equipment can really be the highest risk. You have to be extremely careful and have somebody watching you to make sure you remember all the steps,” said Dr. Eileen Farnon, a Temple University doctor who formerly worked at the CDC and led teams investigating past Ebola outbreaks in Africa.
“After every step you usually would do hand hygiene,” washing your hands with antiseptic or being sprayed with a chlorine spray, she said.
Q: How else could infection have happened?
A: Some of the garb the health worker takes off might brush against a surface and contaminate it. New data suggest that even tiny droplets of a patient’s body fluids can contain the virus, Maki said.
“I can have on the suit and be very careful, but I can pick up some secretions or body fluids on a surface” and spread it that way, he said.
Q: Can any U.S. hospital safely treat Ebola patients?
A: Frieden and other health officials say yes, but others say the new case shows the risks.
“We can’t control where the Ebola patient appears,” so every hospital’s emergency room needs to be prepared to isolate and take infection control precautions, Maki said.
That said, “I don’t think we should expect that small hospitals take care of Ebola patients. The challenge is formidable,” and only large hospitals like those affiliated with major universities truly have enough equipment and manpower to do it right, Maki said.
“If we allow it to be taken care of in hospitals that have less than optimal resources, we will promote the spread,” he warned.
The case heightens concern for health workers’ safety, and nurses at many hospitals “are alarmed at the inadequate preparation they see,” says a statement from Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the trade union, National Nurses United.
Q: Should Ebola patients be transferred to one of the specialized centers that have treated others in the U.S.?
A: Specialized units are the ideal, but there are fewer than half a dozen in the nation and they don’t have unlimited beds. “It is also a high-risk activity to transfer patients,” potentially exposing more people to the virus, Farnon said.
Q. What is CDC recommending that a hospital do?
A. Training has been ramped up, and the CDC now recommends that a hospital minimize the number of people caring for an Ebola patient, perform only procedures essential to support the patient’s care, and name a fulltime infection control supervisor while any Ebola patient is being cared for. Frieden also said the agency was taking a new look at personal protective equipment, “understanding that there is a balance and putting more on isn’t always safer — it may make it harder to provide effective care.”
A Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital health care worker in Dallas who had “extensive contact” with the first Ebola patient to die in the United States has contracted the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirmed the news Sunday afternoon after an official test.
The infected person detected a fever Friday night and drove herself to the Presbyterian emergency room, where she was placed in isolation 90 minutes later. A blood sample sent to the state health lab in Austin confirmed Saturday night that she had Ebola — the first person to contract the disease in the United States.
The director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that the infection in the health care worker, who was not on the organization’s watch list for people who had contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, resulted from a “breach in protocol.”
“We have spoken with the health care worker,” who cannot “identify the specific breach” that allowed the infection to spread, said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden. The CDC has sent additional staff members to Dallas to “assist with the response,” he said.
Frieden said exposure can result from a “single inadvertent slip.” He cautioned: “Unfortunately it is possible in the coming days we will see additional cases of Ebola” in health care workers.
Texas health commissioner David Lakey said the health care worker had “extensive contact” with Duncan. The nurse, who missed two days of work before going to the emergency room, is believed to have had contact with one person while symptomatic. Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person, can only be transmitted from infected people showing symptoms.
“We have been preparing for an event like this,” Lakey said.
Presbyterian chief clinical officer Daniel Varga said the exposure occurred during Duncan’s second visit to the hospital. Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the United States, went to the Presbyterian emergency room Sept. 25 and was sent home with antibiotics only to return to the hospital on Sept. 28. He was diagnosed with Ebola and died Oct. 8.
It is not clear how the health care provider contracted Ebola. According to Duncan’s patient records released by the family to The Associated Press, this is what happened at Presbyterian:
— On Sept. 28, an ambulance with Duncan arrived at the hospital’s emergency bay shortly after 10 a.m.
— Doctors performed tests on Duncan, who told them he had recently arrived from Africa, and determined he had sinusitis.
— Now in isolation, Duncan was projectile vomiting, having explosive diarrhea and his temperature was 103.1 degrees.
— On Sept. 29, as his condition worsened, Duncan asked the nurse to put him in a diaper.
— On Sept. 30, tests results confirmed Duncan had Ebola. Only then did staff treating Duncan trade their gowns and scrubs for hazmat suits, and the room was cleaned with bleach.
Varga at Presbyterian said the worker was wearing protective gear, including a gown, glove, mask and shield, when she came into contact with Duncan. “This individual was following full CDC precautions,” Varga said
Officials haven’t released the name of the health care worker or her job description. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he has spoken to the health care worker’s parents, who have asked for privacy.
“Let’s remember that this is a real person who is going through a great ordeal. So is that person’s family,” Jenkins said.
The second Ebola patient lives in the 5700 block of Marquita Avenue in East Dallas, where the person’s apartment was going to be decontaminated Sunday. While the CDC didn’t consider the person to be at “high risk” of contracting Ebola, the health care worker had been monitoring for signs of the disease, including checking for fever twice daily.
The person’s car was decontaminated and the common area of an apartment complex was going to be cleaned by a hazardous-material team Sunday.
A crew of 15 people from the Cleaning Guys was going to decontaminate the person’s apartment Sunday afternoon, said company owner Erick McCallum. “Our main objective is for this to go away and to be eradicated,” he said.
Staff writers Melissa Repko, Sherry Jacobson, Claire Cardona, Eva-Marie Ayala and Matthew Haag contributed to this report.
Update at 2:59 p.m.
Brad Smith, Vice President of CG Environmental-Cleaning Guys, a hazardous material company, was hired to clean the apartment unit of the ill health care worker.
He said the hazmat crew will begin cleaning in the next hour or two. They are not sure how long it will take. The crew will include up to 15 people.
He said he’s not concerned about the safety of the crew. He heard the health care worker contracted Ebola after “there was something that went wrong in her PPE” or “personal protective equipment.”
“I’m not sure how it happened,” he said. “But we will not let that happen to our guys.”Smith said the company was hoping not to get any more calls about an Ebola case.
“I was speechless. I don’t know what my thoughts were,” he said. “I just knew we had to react and gear up and do it again.”
Smith said the crew plans to clean the exterior today and clean the interior tomorrow. It will be similar to the cleanup of the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan stayed.
“We won’t do anything different,” he said. “We think the last time we went out we were successful in cleaning it up. We will continue to so the same thing.”
Update at 12:21 p.m.
At the end of Marquita, morning services were underway at Skillman Church of Christ. The congregation first became aware of the deadly disease when medical missionary Dr. Kent Brantly, who many congregants know, contracted the illness.
Then many became close to the son of Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of the disease. Now pastor Joel Sanchez was telling the church that a healthcare worker just a few blocks away has Ebola.
“As much as we are connected to the world, it’s easy to see something on the television and think of it as happening over yonder, over there,” he said. “But when it hits close to home, it becomes real.”
The congregation prayed for the healthcare worker who Sanchez said put another in front of herself because he had a need. They prayed for the family of Duncan. But then Sanchez asked his congregation not to forget the thousands suffering in West Africa, an area with limited medical resources where nearly 4,000 people have died from Ebola.
“We can’t forget those people whose only course of action is to pray that they don’t get it,” Sanc