Under questioning from Congress on how two Dallas nurses contracted Ebola, Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, ‘While we do not yet know exactly how these transmissions occurred ….’ Right there, at last, Frieden said what he should have been saying all along, that he and everybody else only knew what they thought they knew about Ebola.
It was Ivy Baker Priest, former treasurer of the United States, who once said, “I’m often wrong, but never in doubt.” It is worth remembering the line now as you think of the conga line of famous doctors, led by Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who kept assuring us they knew everything there was to know about transmission of the Ebola virus.
There was Frieden, who sadly starts to look like another government hack, going out night after night on television and offering tutorials on Ebola, even after the late Thomas Duncan had been diagnosed with it at Texas Health Presbyterian.
“We know how to stop Ebola,” Frieden said, with certainty on which cathedrals could be built.
Then two nurses at Texas Health, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, were diagnosed with Ebola; two of more than 70 people at that hospital who came into contact with Duncan before he died. Before long, Frieden was talking about a “breach in protocol,” even though any fool can see that the protocol should have been sending a SWAT team from the CDC to Dallas to monitor Duncan’s treatment.
Finally Frieden, who acted all along as if saying “I don’t know” was an act of treason, had to say this to a House panel on Thursday afternoon, talking about two trained nurses who supposedly followed all of the proper protocols and are sick with Ebola anyway:
“While we do not yet know exactly how these transmissions occurred . . . .”
Really, you could have stopped listening right there. Because at last Frieden, almost as a last resort, had said what he should have been saying all along, that he and everybody else only knew what they thought they knew about Ebola.