Did you know that some Americans are being hit with health insurance rate increases of more than 500 percent? Taking advantage of “the stupidity of the American voter”, the Democrats succeeded in ramming through one of the worst pieces of legislation that has ever come before Congress. The full implementation of Obamacare has been repeatedly delayed, but now we are finally starting to see the true horror of this terrible law. Thanks to Obamacare, millions of American families are losing health plans that they were very happy with, health insurance rates are skyrocketing, millions of workers are having their full-time hours cut back to part-time hours, rural hospitals all over the country are dying, and thousands of doctors are being driven out of the industry thus intensifying the greatest doctor shortage in U.S. history. Obamacare is a slow-motion train wreck of epic proportions, and the full effect of this law is only beginning to be felt. In the end, the economic impact of this law will likely be measured in the trillions of dollars.
One of the primary reasons why Democrats experienced so much pain during the recent elections was because millions of Americans are receiving some very disturbing letters from their health insurance providers. At a time when U.S. incomes are stagnating, health insurance rates are rising to absolutely ridiculous levels.
As the New York Times recently reported, even the Obama administration is admitting that “substantial price increases” are on the way…
The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year — in some cases as much as 20 percent — unless they switch plans.
The data became available just hours before the health insurance marketplace was to open to buyers seeking insurance for 2015.
An analysis of the data by The New York Times suggests that although consumers will often be able to find new health plans with prices comparable to those they now pay, the situation varies greatly from state to state and even among counties in the same state.
Originally, Barack Obama promised that if we liked our current health plans that we could keep them. Well, it turns out that was not true at all. Instead, the vast majority of us will eventually have to move to new plans if we have not done so already. This is particularly true for those that purchase health insurance individually. The following is an excerpt from an NBC News investigation…
Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”
This is something that actually happened to me. I received a letter in the mail informing me that my new health insurance policy which meets the requirements of Obamacare will cost me nearly twice as much as my old one.
Needless to say, I was not too thrilled about that.
Other Americans are being hit even harder. For instance, one family down in Texas got hammered with a 539 percent rate increase…
Obamacare is named the “Affordable Care Act,” after all, and the President promised the rates would be “as low as a phone bill.” But I just received a confirmed letter from a friend in Texas showing a 539% rate increase on an existing policy that’s been in good standing for years.
As the letter reveals (see below), the cost for this couple’s policy under Humana is increasing from $212.10 per month to $1,356.60 per month. This is for a couple in good health whose combined income is less than $70K — a middle-class family, in other words.
These rate increases are coming at a time when the middle class in the U.S. is already steadily shrinking. A lot of families that are already stretched to the breaking point are making the very painful decision to give up health insurance entirely. At this point, there are millions of families that simply cannot afford it.
But Obama is not about to let those people off the hook. In fact, huge tax penalties are on the way for those that do not participate in the new system…
Penalties for failing to secure a health-insurance plan will rise steeply next year, which could take a big bite out of some families’ pocketbooks.
“The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage,” said senior analyst Laura Adams of InsuranceQuotes.com. “This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock.”
In 2014, Obamacare’s first year, individuals are facing a penalty of $95 per person, or 1 percent of their income, depending on which is higher. If an American failed to get coverage this year, that penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015, Adams noted.
While that might be painful to some uninsured Americans who are counting on their tax refunds in early 2015, the penalty for going uninsured next year is even harsher. The financial penalty for skipping out on health coverage will more than triple to $325 per person in 2015, or 2 percent of income, depending on whichever is higher.
Children will be fined at half the adult rate, or $162.50 for those under 18 years old.
No wonder so many people are so angry with the Democrats.
And as Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber has so infamously observed, Obamacare never would have become law if the American people had been told the truth about what it would do to them.
It has been documented that Gruber has visited the White House about a dozen times since 2009, and he has been one of the leading intellectual proponents of Obamacare. A video in which he states that “the stupidity of the American voter” was “really critical” to the passage of Obamacare has gone viral over the past week. I have posted a copy of this video below…
What he is essentially saying is that the Democrats purposely deceived the American people because it was the only way that Obamacare was going to become law.
And this is a man that has become very wealthy advising government on healthcare matters. According to an article in the Washington Post, he has made millions of dollars from “consulting” in recent years…
Not all of the contracts could be found on public Web sites, but here is a sampling. In some cases, Gruber worked with other consultants, so the fees were shared. These figures also might not represent the final payout, and of course these are gross figures, before expenses. But it’s safe to say that about $400,000 appears to be the standard rate for gaining access to the Gruber Microsimulation Model.
Gruber has also earned more than $2 million over the last seven years for an ongoing contract with HHS to assess choices made by the elderly in Medicare’s prescription-drug plan.
If you are Gruber, life is quite good.
But for most of the rest of America, the economic pain continues.
For example, one recent study found that almost half of all Floridians cannot even afford “to pay for basic necessities”…
Nearly half of Florida households do not earn enough to pay for basic necessities, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Way that seeks to cast a light on the large group of state residents who struggle financially but do not meet the official criteria for being in poverty.
While 15 percent of Florida households are below the poverty level, another 30 percent are financially insecure — a figure that also applies to Sarasota and Manatee counties — based on a new measurement developed by the United Way.
If all those people cannot even afford the basics, how are they going to pay for Obamacare?
This law is going to financially cripple millions of American families. It truly is a death panel for the U.S. economy. And because Barack Obama can veto anything that the Republicans in Congress do, we are stuck with it for at least another two years (and probably longer).
So what about you?
Have your health insurance premiums gone up yet?
Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…
We just learned that the homeownership rate in the United States has fallen to the lowest level in 19 years. But of course this is not a new trend. As you will see in this article, the homeownership rate in the United States has been in a continual decline for more than 7 years. Obviously this is not a sign of a healthy economy. Traditionally, homeownership has been one of the key indicators that you belong to the middle class. When people define “the American Dream”, it is usually one of the first things mentioned. So if the percentage of Americans that own a home has been steadily going down for 7 years in a row, what does that tell us about the health of the middle class in this country?
The chart that you are about to view is clear evidence that we are in the midst of a long-term economic decline. It shows what has happened to the homeownership rate in the U.S. since the year 2000, and as you can see it has been collapsing since the peak of the housing market back in 2007. Does this look like a housing recovery to you?…
So many people get caught up in what is happening on Wall Street, but this is the “real economy” that affects people on a day to day basis.
Most Americans just want to be able to buy a home and provide a solid middle class living for their families.
The fact that the percentage of people that are able to achieve this “American Dream” is falling rapidly is very troubling.
There are some that blame this stunning decline in the homeownership rate on the Millennials.
And without a doubt, they are a significant part of the story. They are moving back home with their parents at record rates, and many that are striking out on their own are renting apartments in the big cities.
This is one area where the decline of marriage in America is really hitting the economy. Back in 1968, well over 50 percent of Americans in the 18 to 31-year-old age bracket were already married and living on their own. Today, that number is below 25 percent.
But that is not all there is to this story.
In fact, the homeownership rate for Americans in the 35 to 44-year-old age bracket has been falling even faster than it has for Millennials…
In the first quarter of 2008, nearly 67% of people aged 35-44 owned homes. Now the number is barely above 59%. The percentage of people under 35 owning homes only fell five percentage points, to 36% from 41%.
So why is this happening?
Well, it is fairly simple actually.
In order to buy homes, people need to have good jobs. And at this point, the percentage of Americans that are employed is still about where it was during the depths of the last recession.
In addition, wages in the United States have stagnated and the quality of our jobs continues to go down. As I wrote about the other day, half of all American workers make less than $28,031 a year. Needless to say, if you make less than $28,031 a year, you are going to have a really hard time getting approved for a home loan or making mortgage payments.
Things have been changing for a long time in this country, and not for the better. Our economic problems have taken decades to develop, and the underlying causes of these problems is still not being addressed.
Meanwhile, middle class families continue to suffer. One very surprising new survey discovered that more than half of all Americans now consider themselves to be “lower-middle class or working class with low economic security”. While Wall Street has been celebrating in recent years, economic pessimism has become deeply ingrained on Main Street…
Optimism may be harder to come by these days. More than half of Americans surveyed in a Harris poll released Tuesday identified themselves as being lower-middle class or working class with low economic security. And 75 percent said they’re being held back financially by roadblocks like the cost of housing (24 percent), health care (21 percent) and credit-card debt (20 percent).
And that’s not the kicker.
“The most disappointing aspect is that 45 percent think they’ll never get their finances back to where they were before the financial crisis,” said Ken Rees, CEO of the Elevate credit service company, which commissioned the survey. “And a third are losing sleep over it.”
The only “recovery” that we have experienced since the last recession has been a temporary recovery on Wall Street.
For the rest of the country, our long-term economic decline has continued.
When I was growing up, my father was serving in the U.S. Navy and we lived in a fairly typical middle class neighborhood. Everyone that I went to school with lived in a nice home and I never heard of any parent struggling to find work. Of course life was not perfect, but it seemed to me like living a middle class lifestyle was “normal” for most people.
How times have changed since then.
Today, it seems like we are all part of a giant reality show where people are constantly being removed from the middle class and everyone is wondering who will be next.
So what do you think?
Is there hope for the middle class, or are the economic problems that we are facing just beginning?
Please feel free to share your opinion by posting a comment below…
Why does Barack Obama refuse to take even the most basic steps to protect Americans from Ebola? Even though it has already been demonstrated that Ebola can be brought over to the United States by a passenger on an airplane, Obama refuses to do anything that would even restrict air travel from nations where Ebola is spiraling out of control. Back in September, Obama said that it was “unlikely” that any individual with Ebola could get through the “extensive screening” at our airports and pose a threat to the general population. But he was wrong. That has already happened. And yet the official White House position is that there is “no consideration of a travel ban” at this point. What possible explanation is there for such gross negligence?
All of this talk about “extensive screening” at our airports is just a smokescreen because it does not exist. As Mike Adams of Natural News has pointed out, Thomas Eric Duncan walked freely through our airports and entered the general population without ever being asked by U.S. security personnel about where he was from or if he had any health conditions…
Ebola “patient zero” Thomas Eric Duncan flew right into the United States and walked through the international airports of both Washington D.C. and Dallas-Fort Worth. He was never asked about his country of origin and was never screened for any health conditions.
Why are people whose flights originate in Liberia and Sierra Leone still allowed to openly travel to large U.S. cities?
And nothing changed even after news broke of a confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas. Just consider the following excerpt from a CNN news story that I included in a previous article…
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said when she and two colleagues recently returned from reporting in Liberia, they got a mixed bag of responses from Customs and Border Protection officers.
“We all said we were journalists who had just been in Liberia covering Ebola,” Cohen said. “One of my colleagues was told, ‘Oh, OK, welcome back home, sir’ — and (was) just let in — that was it.”
Cohen herself got a different response.
“I was told, ‘Wait a minute, I think I got an email about this,’ and the border patrol officer went and consulted with his colleagues,” Cohen said.
That officer later told her she should check her system for 21 days.
“I said, ‘What should I be checking?’ And he wasn’t sure,” Cohen said.
Barack Obama is either lying or he is being grossly negligent when he says that we don’t need to be concerned about air travel from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone because of how good the screening at our airports is.
When it comes to his primary fundamental duty, he is completely dropping the ball. The following is from a recent Fox News opinion piece…
The fundamental duty of the nation’s chief executive is to protect its citizens. Under Article II of the Constitution, he is duty-bound to respond to threats and to conduct the country’s foreign affairs. When a crisis presents itself, the president has nearly unfettered power and discretion to act. This includes protecting the health and safety of Americans. Does stopping the deadly spread of Ebola constitute such a crisis?
At this point, a whole host of lawmakers are calling for Obama to restrict air travel from West Africa.
And a petition on Whitehouse.gov to ban all incoming and outgoing flights has more than 10,000 signatures so far.
But the White House is not moving.
In fact, Press Secretary Josh Earnest says that there is “no consideration of a travel ban”…
There’s no consideration of a travel ban at this point. But I can tell you that there is — well, let me explain. There are a couple of good reasons for that. The first is there is in place a very sophisticated, multilayered screening system in place to ensure that the traveling public is safe.
Those screening protocols begins at the point of departure; that in West Africa and these counties, under the supervision of international personnel, there are screening protocols in place to ensure that those individuals who are already exhibiting symptoms of Ebola don’t board aircraft. This includes everything from a visual examination of passengers as they’re preparing to board aircraft, to giving them questionnaires that they have to fill out. In other cases, it even involves taking the temperature of passengers before they board aircraft. So there is screening protocol in place even before individuals enter the transportation system.
As with so many other things, it is hard to tell whether the Obama administration is lying, is being completely incompetent or is pursuing some sort of insidious agenda that we are now aware of yet.
Sadly, the CDC is actually backing Obama up on this. Just check out what the head of the CDC said about a potential travel ban last week…
Barring all incoming flights from Ebola-hit countries in West Africa might seem like the best way to prevent an outbreak of the virus in the United States, but doing so would actually hurt efforts to curb the outbreak in the long run, Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said today (Oct. 2).
“If we take actions that seem like they may work, they may be the kind of solution to a complex problem that is quick, simple and wrong,” said Frieden in a press conference. “The approach of isolating a country is that it’s going to make it harder to get help into that country.”
Of course medical personnel that are fighting this disease should be allowed to fly in and out of those countries.
But why can’t we ban all non-essential personnel from flying back and forth?
Meanwhile, the Obama administration also continues to be negligent in guarding our southern border.
We know that people from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone cross our border with Mexico illegally. In fact, hundreds of such individuals from those countries were caught by border patrol agents during fiscal year 2013…
Government figures indicate that 112 individuals were interdicted illegally crossing into the United States from Guinea, 231 from Liberia, and another 145 from Sierra Leone, the three Ebola hot spots. The period of these apprehensions was one in which we had a larger Border Patrol presence on the actual border than we do now.
And those are just the ones that we were able to apprehend.
The truth is that most of the people that cross our borders illegally we do not catch.
If Obama and his minions continue to refuse to take even the most basic steps to protect us, it is inevitable that more people with extremely deadly diseases such as Ebola will enter this country and circulate among the general population.
If our health system was ready to handle such diseases, that would be one thing.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, one recent survey found that most nurses in the United States do not believe that their hospitals are ready to handle patients with Ebola…
A survey by National Nurses United of some 400 nurses in more than 200 hospitals in 25 states found that more than half (60 percent) said their hospital is not prepared to handle patients with Ebola, and more than 80 percent said their hospital has not communicated to them any policy regarding potential admission of patients infected by Ebola.
Another 30 percent said their hospital has insufficient supplies of eye protection and fluid-resistant gowns.
This Ebola outbreak has the potential to become the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
But Obama absolutely refuses to take even the most basic steps to keep us safe from this disease.
Why won’t Obama do something?
If there is a major Ebola pandemic in America, all of the liberties and the freedoms that you currently enjoy would be gone. If government officials believe that you have the virus, federal law allows them to round you up and detain you “for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary.” In addition, the CDC already has the authority to quarantine healthy Americans if they reasonably believe that they may become sick. During an outbreak, the government can force you to remain isolated in your own home, or the government may forcibly take you to a treatment facility, a tent city, a sports stadium, an old military base or a camp. You would not have any choice in the matter. And you would be forced to endure any medical procedure mandated by the government. That includes shots, vaccines and the drawing of blood. During such a scenario, you can scream about your “rights” all that you want, but it won’t do any good.
In case you are tempted to think that I am making this up, I want you to read what federal law actually says. The following is 42 U.S.C. 264(d). I have added bold for emphasis…
(1) Regulations prescribed under this section may provide for the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease in a qualifying stage and (A) to be moving or about to move from a State to another State; or (B) to be a probable source of infection to individuals who, while infected with such disease in a qualifying stage, will be moving from a State to another State. Such regulations may provide that if upon examination any such individual is found to be infected, he may be detained for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary. For purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes, in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term “qualifying stage”, with respect to a communicable disease, means that such disease—
(A) is in a communicable stage; or
(B) is in a precommunicable stage, if the disease would be likely to cause a public health emergency if transmitted to other individuals.
In addition, as I discussed above, the CDC already has the authority to isolate people that are not sick to see if they do become sick. The following is what the CDC website says about this…
Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.
On a very basic level, we are already starting to see this happen in Texas. Obviously Thomas Eric Duncan has already been “isolated”, and now his family has been placed under mandatory quarantine and ordered not to leave their home for 21 days…
Texas health officials have placed the Dallas family of a Liberian national infected with Ebola under quarantine and ordered them not to leave their home or have any contact with outsiders for 21 days without approval of the local or state health department.
The “control order” also requires the family of Thomas Eric Duncan to be available to provide blood samples and agree to any testing required by public health officials. Officials said Thursday that the four or five family members could face criminal charges for violating the order, which was delivered to them in writing Wednesday evening.
Police have been stationed at the apartment complex to ensure residents’ safety, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told a news briefing Thursday afternoon.
If we could all just stay in our homes during a national Ebola emergency, that wouldn’t be so bad.
But if thousands (or even millions) of cases start popping up it simply will not be possible for law enforcement authorities to monitor so many homes.
This is a point that Mike Adams of Natural News made exceptionally well…
When just one family is suspected of carrying Ebola, they can be easily monitored in a “volunteer home isolation” scenario. But what happens when it’s 100 families? 500? 1,000? At that point, there aren’t enough state or federal workers to keep an eye on these people, and the quarantine effort will almost certainly shift to forced relocation into quarantine camps.
Those camps will, of course, be called something nice-sounding like “Community Health Centers.” No one in government or media will call them camps, even though they are camps. The word “camp” brings up echoes of “concentration camps” and the government definitely wants to avoid that association.
If one particular town or city is hit especially hard with the virus, there is a likelihood of the entire town being quarantined. No one in, no one out. Everybody will be ordered to “shelter in place” in their own homes for at least 21 days while health workers wearing hazmat suits go door to door, identifying Ebola victims and “relocating” them to the “Community Health Centers.”
If that sounds like “martial law” to you, that is because it would essentially be martial law.
For the moment, public health authorities are pledging that nothing like this will ever happen because they have everything completely under control.
Others are not so sure.
For example, on Thursday a doctor from Missouri named Gil Mobley checked in for a flight at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport dressed in a mask, goggles, gloves, boots and a protective white jumpsuit. On the back of the jumpsuit, he had written the following words: “CDC is lying!”
Mobley believes that we are not being told the truth about the spread of Ebola. And he is convinced that as Ebola continues to spread exponentially, that we will eventually “be importing clusters of Ebola on a daily basis”…
“Once this disease consumes every third world country, as surely it will, because they lack the same basic infrastructure as Sierra Leone and Liberia, at that point, we will be importing clusters of Ebola on a daily basis,” Mobley predicted. “That will overwhelm any advanced country’s ability to contain the clusters in isolation and quarantine. That spells bad news.”
Mobley, a Medical College of Georgia graduate who had an overnight layover after flying to Atlanta from Guatemala on Wednesday, said that he feels that the CDC is “asleep at the wheel” when it comes to screening passengers arriving in the United States from other countries.
“Yesterday, I came through international customs at the Atlanta airport,” the doctor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The only question they asked arriving passengers is if they had tobacco or alcohol.”
Earlier on Thursday, there were reports of people being tested for Ebola in Hawaii, Kentucky and Utah. None of those tests has produced a confirmed case of Ebola as I write this article.
Many Americans are still treating this Ebola crisis as if it was just one big joke.
But Ebola is no joking matter. This is a very, very serious disease.
Just consider the experience of one British health worker that witnessed a young brother and sister both die one day apart…
‘The next morning I came in and saw him lying as I had left him, on the bed.
‘He wasn’t breathing. I remember going up to him and looking at his face, his lips were drawn back in a grimace, and his eyes were vacant, lying in a pool of his own diarrhea.
‘I lifted his hand to try, just to confirm things and his whole body turned rigid and cold.
‘I put him in a body bag as his sister looked on.
‘She seemed more baffled than anything, not really understanding what was happening. I carried his corpse outside with the others.
‘The little girl, she deteriorated the next day. Overnight, the following night she had intravenous fluids and the line came out and she bled.
‘I came in the following morning and she was covered in blood. She still had a very puzzled expression on her face and she wasn’t breathing.
‘So I put her in a bag and left her next to her brother. She was a beautiful little girl.’
Hopefully our medical authorities are correct and this virus will not spread easily in this country.
But at this point even some of our top politicians are wondering if we are truly getting accurate information. For example, check out what U.S. Senator Rand Paul had to say on the Laura Ingraham Show just recently…
“I really think that it is being dominated by political correctness and I think because of political correctness we’re not really making sound, rational, scientific decisions on this.” Paul said referring to statements issued by the CDC last week that assured there was little risk of an outbreak occurring in the US.
“We should not underestimate the transmissibility of this,” said Paul, a doctor himself, adding that medical workers have been contracting the virus even though they are taking precautions and covering themselves with gowns and masks.
“My suspicion is that it’s a lot more transmissible than that if people who are taking every precaution are getting it. There are people getting it who simply helped people get in or out of a taxicab.” Paul said.
Let’s pray that this crisis fizzles out, because if it doesn’t, we could truly be looking at the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
And along with countless numbers of people getting sick and dying, we would also have to deal with government-imposed medical martial law.
The stakes are extremely high, and so let us hope that this crisis does not escalate any further.
The day that many of us hoped would never arrive is here. Ebola has come to America. Air travel between the United States and the countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone should have been totally shut down except for absolutely essential personnel but it wasn’t. And now our nation may end up paying a great price as a result. On Tuesday, the CDC announced that there is a confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas. We know that this individual is a male and that he traveled by air from Liberia to Texas on September 19th. At that time, he was not exhibiting any symptoms. It is being reported that he started developing symptoms on September 24th and that he sought out treatment two days later. Incredibly, he was turned away and sent home. Then on September 28th he went to a hospital again and this time he was admitted for treatment. That means that he could have potentially been spreading Ebola to others for at least four full days before finally getting treated at a hospital. Now he is in intensive care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The CDC says that “there is no doubt that we will stop it here” and is promising that “it will not spread widely in this country”. The CDC better be right on both counts.
At this point, the CDC is admitting that it is not known if others have been infected by this individual. The CDC also says that it is tracking down everyone that he has been in contact with. But over four days in a major U.S. city, you can be “in contact” with a whole lot of people. And what about all of the people that those people were in contact with?
If I was in charge of this crisis, I would admit that we don’t know the full scope of the problem yet but that we are dealing with it the best that we can.
Instead, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking an entirely different approach. Dr. Thomas Frieden insists that we have absolutely nothing to worry about…
“I have no doubt that we will control this case of Ebola, so that it does not spread widely in this country. It is certainly possible that someone who has had contact with this patient could develop Ebola. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here.”
Frieden better be right about that.
Other “experts” are being even more dogmatic…
“There is no cause for concern,” says Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “The Ebola virus is not easily transmitted from person to person, and we have an outstanding infrastructure in place both to contain the virus and trace contacts. There will not be an Ebola epidemic in the United States.”
I have no idea how they can say these things when the outbreak over in Africa is completely and totally out of control. Despite extreme precautions, hundreds of health workers have gotten the virus, and so far global health officials have not even been able to slow down the exponential growth of the Ebola pandemic in West Africa.
And our health officials should not be so dogmatic about how this virus spreads either.
In a previous article, I discussed a study that was conducted back in 2012 that demonstrated that Ebola could be transmitted through the air between pigs and monkeys that did not have physical contact with one another…
When news broke that the Ebola virus had resurfaced in Uganda, investigators in Canada were making headlines of their own with research indicating the deadly virus may spread between species, through the air.
The team, comprised of researchers from the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, the University of Manitoba, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, observed transmission of Ebola from pigs to monkeys. They first inoculated a number of piglets with the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. Ebola-Zaire is the deadliest strain, with mortality rates up to 90 percent. The piglets were then placed in a room with four cynomolgus macaques, a species of monkey commonly used in laboratories. The animals were separated by wire cages to prevent direct contact between the species.
Within a few days, the inoculated piglets showed clinical signs of infection indicative of Ebola infection. In pigs, Ebola generally causes respiratory illness and increased temperature. Nine days after infection, all piglets appeared to have recovered from the disease.
Within eight days of exposure, two of the four monkeys showed signs of Ebola infection. Four days later, the remaining two monkeys were sick too. It is possible that the first two monkeys infected the other two, but transmission between non-human primates has never before been observed in a lab setting.
There is much that we don’t understand about this disease.
I can understand the need to keep the public calm, but why don’t these officials just tell us the truth?
At the same time that they are telling us that there is no chance that there will be an Ebola epidemic in the United States, they are also sending out guidelines to funeral homes on how to deal with dead Ebola victims…
CBS46 News has confirmed the Centers for Disease Control has issued guidelines to U.S. funeral homes on how to handle the remains of Ebola patients. If the outbreak of the potentially deadly virus is in West Africa, why are funeral homes in America being given guidelines?
The three-page list of recommendations include instructing funeral workers to wear protective equipment when dealing with the remains since Ebola can be transmitted in postmortem care. It also instructs to avoid autopsies and embalming.
Why are they doing this if there is “no chance” that the disease will spread widely?
Hopefully they isolated this Ebola patient in Dallas in time.
Hopefully he did not infect anyone else.
But we need to be honest about the situation that we are potentially facing. So far, there have been more than 6,000 cases of Ebola in Africa and more than 3,000 of those have died. Unfortunately, even WHO officials admit that those official numbers “great underestimate” the scope of this outbreak. The number of official cases has been doubling approximately every three weeks, and the CDC says that under a “worst case scenario” we could be looking at 1.4 million cases by the end of January 2015.
Right now all of the treatment facilities in Liberia and Sierra Leone are completely full and more than 80 percent of Ebola patients have been turned away and sent home without being treated. It is an absolute nightmare, and now it has come to America.
And as the virus continues to spread, it is inevitable that more carriers of the disease will get on airplanes headed for America.
Unfortunately for us, according to a recent Defense One article the screening done at airports actually does very little to stop the spread of Ebola…
The bad news is that thermal screenings of the international flying population at airports are not likely to yield much by way of improved safety.
Here’s why: fever can be a sign of a lot of different illnesses, not just Ebola. And thermal scanning proved to be a poor method of catching bird flu carriers in 2009 as well. So presenting with an elevated temperature at an airport checkpoint does not indicate clearly enough that the fevered person is carrying the deadly virus. More importantly, the incubation period for Ebola is two days. As many as 20 days can pass before symptoms show up. That means that an individual could be carrying the virus for two weeks or longer and not even know it, much less have it show up via thermal scan. So what good are these scanners?
When I first started writing about Ebola, a few people accused me of “spreading fear”.
Well, now that Ebola has arrived in the United States, perhaps they will take a second look at some of my recent articles…
-“The Pure Hell At The Heart Of The Ebola Pandemic In Africa Could Soon Be Coming To America”
-“Computer Models Tell Us That This Ebola Pandemic Could Soon Kill Millions”
-“16 Apocalyptic Quotes From Global Health Officials About This Horrific Ebola Epidemic”
-“Ebola Among Health Workers: More Than 240 Sick, More Than 120 Dead”
-“It Is Becoming Clear – We Are NOT Prepared For An Ebola Pandemic”
Let us pray that this is just one isolated case and that there will not be a major outbreak in this nation.
Because if cases do start popping up around the country, fear will spread like wildfire and we could potentially be facing the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
One of the individuals that successfully survived this disease was Dr. Kent Brantly. I think that the following quote from him really does a great job of summarizing what we are potentially facing…
“Many have used the analogy of a fire burning out of control to describe this unprecedented Ebola outbreak,” Brantly said. “Indeed it is a fire—it is a fire straight from the pit of hell. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the vast moat of the Atlantic Ocean will protect us from the flames of this fire. Instead, we must mobilize the resources … to keep entire nations from being reduced to ashes.”
A virus like this could change everything if it starts circulating widely.
Like I have said so many times before, let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.
Did you know that the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone is approximately doubling every 20 days? People are dropping dead in the streets, large numbers of bodies are being dumped into the rivers, and gravediggers can hardly keep up with the the number of corpses that are being delivered to the cemeteries. As you read this, life is pure hell in many areas of West Africa, and now the CDC is warning that things may get far, far worse in the very near future. According to the CDC, the number of Ebola cases could potentially soar to 1.4 million by the end of January. Of course the CDC says that this is a “worst-case scenario”, but for our health officials to even suggest that such a huge number is possible is quite chilling. We are now being told that the fatality rate for this Ebola outbreak has risen to 71 percent, and so most of the “cases” will eventually turn into deaths. If we do eventually see 1.4 million cases of Ebola in West Africa, it is incredibly naive to think that it will not spread to other parts of the globe as well.
The World Health Organization has been trying to document the number of cases and deaths that are happening, but at this point even the WHO admits that the official statistics “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”
And for the first time, health officials are conceding that this crisis may never have an end point. A study that was published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine says that Ebola could potentially become endemic to West Africa. In other words, it could become a disease that is continually spread and that we have to deal with on a regular basis like malaria or the flu.
Hopefully this outbreak will be brought under control shortly. But at the moment there are no signs that this is happening. In fact, hundreds of health workers have contracted the disease themselves. And if current trends continue, the CDC warns that we could see up to 1.4 million cases of Ebola by the end of January…
Researchers say the total number of cases is vastly underreported by a factor of 2.5 in Sierra Leone and Liberia, two of the three hardest-hit countries. Using this correction factor, researchers estimate that approximately 21,000 total cases will have occurred in Liberia and Sierra Leone by Sept. 30. Reported cases in those two countries are doubling approximately every 20 days, researchers said.
“Extrapolating trends to January 20, 2015, without additional interventions or changes in community behavior,” such as much-improved safe burial practices, the researchers estimate that the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could be between approximately 550,000 to 1.4 million.
Over the past several weeks, there have been numerous reports of dead bodies lying in the streets of major cities over in West Africa.
And now even the WHO is admitting that many Ebola corpses have been dumped into nearby rivers…
“The true number of deaths will likely never be known, as bodies in the notoriously poor, filthy and overcrowded West Point slum, in the capital, Monrovia, have simply been thrown into the two nearby rivers,” WHO said in a separate statement.
No wonder Ebola is spreading so rapidly.
So far authorities have been able to keep this crisis mostly contained to just a few countries.
But what happens when we have over a million people running around with Ebola?
How in the world do we keep that contained?
There are some in the scientific community that are expressing skepticism that we will be able to…
That sort of exponential increase in cases makes it more likely that Ebola will become entrenched in West Africa, said Robert Murphy, a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Northwestern University.
If there are hundreds of thousands of Ebola cases, then “many more countries will have cases, and it won’t be just West Africa,” Murphy said. “There is so much mobility now, this can spread anywhere.”
If Ebola continues to spread like wildfire throughout West Africa, it is probably just a matter of time before it starts popping up in major cities in other areas of the globe.
If this were to happen in the United States, life would change for all of us almost overnight.
It is hard to put into words that kind of chaos that we are witnessing over in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone right now. Panic and fear are everywhere, and the corpses just keep piling up. The following is an excerpt from a recent New York Times article…
The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone’s densely packed capital – and it may already be far worse than the authorities acknowledge.
Various models of the growth of the epidemic here “all show an exponential increase,” said Peter H. Kilmarx, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team in Sierra Leone. “The conditions are amenable to Ebola spread.”
“Since last month, it’s every day, any minute and hour, and often, they are coming” to bury the Ebola dead, said Desmond Kamara, a police officer.
A cloudy stream drains from the area of the new graves into the slum, further frightening the residents.
“We are at risk, big risk,” said Ousman Kamara, a resident. “We have made many complaints.”
But the bodies, he said, keep coming.
“Even at night,” he said. “You stand here, and you see them coming.”
Could you imagine something like that happening in America?
At this stage of the crisis in West Africa, all existing treatment facilities are absolutely overwhelmed.
Because there are no more beds, large numbers of people with Ebola are being turned away. Many end up dying just outside of the walls of some of these clinics…
A new Ebola clinic opened in Monrovia this week, but bodies lay on the ground outside its walls. Ambulances filled with Ebola patients, some that have traveled seven hours to get there, are not unloaded. Without help to get them inside, the patients fall in the dirt, mere feet away from treatment.
If things are this bad already when we only have thousands of cases, what are things going to look like when we have more than a million cases?
A representative for Samaritan’s Purse admitted the other day that “it’s too late. Nobody’s going to build 100,000 beds.”
And it can be absolutely heartbreaking for health workers to turn away people that are dying.
The following is firsthand testimony from a health worker that is on the front lines of this crisis that is actually having to do this…
The first person I had to turn away was a father who had brought his sick daughter in the trunk of his car. He pleaded with me to take his teenage daughter, saying that whilst he knew we couldn’t save her life, at least we could save the rest of his family from her.
Other families just pulled up in cars, let the sick person out and then drove off, abandoning them. One mother tried to leave her baby on a chair, hoping that if she did, we would have no choice but to care for the child.
I had to turn away one couple who arrived with their young daughter. Two hours later the girl died in front of our gate, where she remained until the body removal team took her away.
Those that are working on burial teams often see things that are even worse. Just consider the following example…
Dressed from head to toe in white protective suits and thick goggles, the burial teams try to stay safe, but nothing can shield them from the unspeakable horrors they’ve seen when they make their regular rounds. On Friday, Kiyee described what he saw when he entered a home:
“I took the key and opened the door and went in and saw a 6-month-old child licking on the mother’s skin,” said Kiyee. The mother was lying on her stomach. She had died from Ebola. The baby was searching for the mother’s milk. “Right away I started shedding tears.”
This is the kind of pure hell that we could see in the United States if Ebola starts spreading here.
Just because we have a more advanced medical system and better living conditions does not mean that we will be able to stop the spread of this virus.
In fact, some medical professionals are already warning that we are not prepared for an Ebola pandemic.
If cases of Ebola do start appearing in major cities throughout America, you will want to be prepared to stay at home as much as possible. There will not be any magic pill that you can pop that will “cure” you of this disease. It is a brutally efficient killer that does not show any mercy.
So let us hope that global health officials know what they are doing and that this pandemic will be brought under control soon.
But it would also be foolish not to prepare for the worst.
We could potentially be on the verge of the greatest health crisis that any of us have ever seen. The number of Ebola cases in Africa has approximately doubled over the past three weeks, and scientific computer models tell us that this Ebola pandemic could ultimately end up killing millions of us – especially if it starts spreading on other continents. At first, many assumed that this Ebola outbreak would be just like all the others – that it would flare up for a little while and then it would completely fade away. But that has not happened this time. Instead, this epidemic has seemed to pick up momentum with each passing week. Despite extraordinary precautions, hundreds of health workers have gotten the virus, and the head of the CDC says that the spread of Ebola is “spiraling out of control” and that it is “going to get worse in the very near future.” For those that have thought that all of this talk about Ebola was just “fearmongering”, it is time for you to wake up.
Right now, the World Health Organization says that we could see the total number of Ebola cases reach 20,000 nine months from now. But computer models created for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense are projecting that Ebola could soon be growing at a rate of 20,000 cases per month…
The Ebola epidemic affecting West Africa is predicted to last a further 12 to 18 months, according to U.S. scientists.
Epidemiologists have been creating computer models of the Ebola epidemic for the National Institutes of Health and the Defense Department.
The model they have created is a far less optimistic estimate than that of the World Health Organization (WHO), which last month said it hoped to contain the outbreak within nine months and 20,000 total cases.
The New York Times reports that various researchers have said the virus could grow at a rate that could be closer to 20,000 per month.
The WHO is sticking to its estimates, a spokesman said Friday.
Other scientists are even more pessimistic.
For example, a model created jointly by a researcher at the University of Tokyo and a researcher at Arizona State University has produced a “worst-case scenario” of 277,124 Ebola cases by the end of this year…
The Eurosurveillance paper, by two researchers from the University of Tokyo and Arizona State University, attempts to derive what the reproductive rate has been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (Note for actual epidemiology geeks: The calculation is for the effective reproductive number, pegged to a point in time, hence actually Rt.) They come up with an R of at least 1, and in some cases 2; that is, at certain points, sick persons have caused disease in two others.
You can see how that could quickly get out of hand, and in fact, that is what the researchers predict. Here is their stop-you-in-your-tracks assessment:
In a worst-case hypothetical scenario, should the outbreak continue with recent trends, the case burden could gain an additional 77,181 to 277,124 cases by the end of 2014.
That is a jaw-dropping number.
If we do see an explosion like that, how many millions of cases will we see by the time 2015 is through?
A different model has produced an even more jaw-dropping number.
An “econometric simulation model” created by Francis Smart at Michigan State University is predicting that a whopping 1.2 million people will die from Ebola in the next six months…
An econometric simulation model based on the assumption the World Health Organization and others will be unable to control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa predicts 1.2 million people will die from the disease in the next six months.
Six months is the minimum time the WHO projects will be necessary to contain the epidemic.
In his analysis, econometrics research assistant Francis Smart at Michigan State University took seriously the conclusions of Canadian researchers who proved the strain of Ebola in the current West African epidemic could go airborne.
The Ebola virus could be transmitted between humans through breathing, Smart says.
In developing the model, Smart began with WHO’s Aug. 28 statement that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could afflict more than 20,000 people before it is brought under control.
That has got to be the worst possible number, right?
The other day a prominent German virologist came forward and declared that “it is too late” to stop Ebola and that five million people will die in Sierra Leone and Liberia alone…
A top German virologist has caused shockwaves by asserting that it’s too late to halt the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia and that five million people will die, noting that efforts should now be focused on stopping the transmission of the virus to other countries.
Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg told Germany’s Deutsche Welle that hope is all but lost for the inhabitants of Sierra Leone and Liberia and that the virus will only “burn itself out” when it has infected the entire population and killed five million people.
“The right time to get this epidemic under control in these countries has been missed,” said Schmidt-Chanasit. “That time was May and June. “Now it is too late.”
So which of the numbers discussed above are accurate?
Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, the U.S. federal government is feverishly preparing for the worst.
This week we learned that Barack Obama is going to ask Congress for 88 million dollars for the purpose of conducting “a major Ebola offensive” in Africa.
Granted, Obama will ask Congress for money at the drop of a hat these days. He wants 500 million dollars to arm the allies of ISIS and his reckless spending has been one of the primary factors why the U.S. national debt has risen by more than a trillion dollars over the past 12 months.
But it is still noteworthy.
Even more noteworthy is the fact that the U.S. State Department has just ordered 160,000 Hazmat suits…
The U.S. State Department has ordered 160,000 Hazmat suits for Ebola, prompting concerns that the federal government is anticipating the rapid spread of a virus that has already claimed an unprecedented number of lives.
In a press release posted by Market Watch, Lakeland Industries, a manufacturer of industrial protective clothing for first responders, announced that it had signaled its intention “to join the fight against the spread of Ebola” by encouraging other suppliers to meet the huge demand created by the U.S. State Department’s order of 160,000 hazmat suits.
“With the U.S. State Department alone putting out a bid for 160,000 suits, we encourage all protective apparel companies to increase their manufacturing capacity for sealed seam garments so that our industry can do its part in addressing this threat to global health,” states the press release.
The huge bulk order of hazmat suits for Ebola has stoked concerns that the U.S. government expects the virus to continue to ravage countries in west Africa and may also be concerned about an outbreak inside the United States.
You don’t order that many Hazmat suits unless you are anticipating an outbreak of apocalyptic proportions.
And the CDC has just issued a six page Ebola checklist to hospitals to help them spot potential Ebola patients in America…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning hospitals and doctors that “now is the time to prepare,” has issued a six-page Ebola “checklist” to help healthcare workers quickly determine if patients are infected.
While the CDC does not believe that there are new cases of Ebola in the United States, the assumption in the checklist is that it is only a matter of time before the virus hits home.
Let us hope and pray that these precautions do not become necessary.
Because if Ebola starts spreading like wildfire in this country, we are going to see pain and suffering beyond anything that most of us have ever imagined.
Just consider what a health worker on the front lines is seeing on a day to day basis…
I wake up each morning – if I have managed to sleep – wondering if this is really happening, or if it is a horror movie. In decades of humanitarian work I have never witnessed such relentless suffering of fellow human beings or felt so completely paralysed and utterly overwhelmed at our inability to provide anything but the most basic, and sometimes less than adequate, care.
I am supervising the suspect tent, which has room for 25 patients who are likely to have Ebola – 80-90% of those we test have the virus. We administer treatment for malaria, start patients on antibiotics, paracetamol, multivitamins, rehydration supplements, food, water and juice while they wait for their results. Sometimes people have arrived too late and die shortly after arriving.
In one afternoon last week I watched five seemingly fit, healthy, young men die. I gave the first a bottle of oral rehydration solution and came back with another for the second. In the half a minute or so in which I had been away the first man died, his bottle of water spilt across the floor. The four others followed in quick succession.
Ebola is truly a terrible, terrible disease.
The moment that cases start popping up in the United States, all of our lives will instantly change.
I hope that you are getting prepared for that.
Ebola continues to spread an an exponential rate. According to the World Health Organization, 40 percent of all Ebola cases have happened in just the last three weeks. At this point, the official numbers tell us that approximately 3,500 people have gotten the virus in Africa and more than 1,900 people have died. That is quite alarming, but the real problem will arise if this disease continues to spread at an exponential pace. One team of researchers has used computer modeling to project that the number of Ebola cases will reach 10,000 by September 24th if current trends continue. And if the spread of Ebola does not slow down, we could be dealing with 100,000 cases by December. Even the WHO is admitting that the number of cases is likely to grow to 20,000 before too much longer, and global health officials are now starting to use apocalyptic language to describe this outbreak.
For people in the western world that have never seen anything like this other than in the movies, it can be difficult to grasp just how horrible this epidemic truly is. In the areas of west Africa where Ebola is spreading, fear and panic are everywhere, food shortages are becoming a serious problem and there have been reports of dead bodies rotting in the streets. People are avoiding hospitals and clinics because of paranoia about the fact that so many health workers have contracted the disease. According to the World Health Organization, more than 240 health workers have gotten the virus so far and more than 120 of them have perished.
We have never seen anything like this in any of our lifetimes, and the scary part is that this might only be just the beginning.
The following are 16 apocalyptic quotes from global health officials about this horrific Ebola epidemic…
#1 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “It is the world’s first Ebola epidemic, and it’s spiraling out of control. It’s bad now, and it’s going to get worse in the very near future. There is still a window of opportunity to tamp it down, but that window is closing. We really have to act now.”
#2 Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders: “Riots are breaking out. Isolation centres are overwhelmed. Health workers on the frontline are becoming infected and are dying in shocking numbers.”
#3 David Nabarro, senior United Nations system coordinator for Ebola disease: “This outbreak is moving ahead of efforts to control it.”
#4 Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO’s assistant director-general for emergency operations: “This far outstrips any historic Ebola outbreak in numbers. The largest outbreak in the past was about 400 cases.”
#5 Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization: “…we hope to stop the transmission in six to nine months”.
#6 Dr. Daniel Bausch, associate professor in the department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University: “You have a very dangerous virus in three of the countries in the world that are least equipped to deal with it. The scale of this outbreak has just outstripped the resources. That’s why it’s become so big.”
#7 Gayle Smith, senior director at the National Security Council: “This is not an African disease. This is a virus that is a threat to all humanity.”
#8 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “The level of outbreak is beyond anything we’ve seen—or even imagined.”
#9 Vincent Martin, head of an FAO unit in Dakar: “This is different than every other Ebola situation we’ve ever had. It’s spreading widely, throughout entire countries, through multiple countries, in cities and very fast.”
#10 Dr. Richard Besser, health and medical editor for ABC News: “Emergency rooms are closed, many hospital wards are as well leaving people who are sick with heart disease, trauma, pregnancy complications, pneumonia, malaria and all the everyday health emergencies with nowhere to go.”
#11 Bukar Tijani, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization regional representative for Africa: “Access to food has become a pressing concern for many people in the three affected countries and their neighbours.”
#12 Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security: “People are hungry in these communities. They don’t know how they are going to get food.”
#13 Dr. Daniel Bausch, associate professor in the department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University: “This is for sure the worst situation I’ve ever seen.”
#14 Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “I could not possibly overstate the need for an urgent response.”
#15 Official WHO statement: “Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”
#16 Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders: “It is impossible to keep up with the sheer number of infected people pouring into facilities. In Sierra Leone, infectious bodies are rotting in the streets.”
Despite all of these warnings, a lot of people in the western world are not too concerned about this epidemic because they have faith that our advanced technology will prevent a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States and Europe.
But I wouldn’t be so certain about that.
So far, the most promising experimental Ebola drug seems to be ZMapp. In clinical trials, it has been doing very well on monkeys.
However, it hasn’t turned out to be a silver bullet for humans so far. Two out of the seven people that have received ZMapp have died, and as CBS News recently explained, current supplies are exhausted and it takes a really long time to make more of this stuff…
ZMapp’s maker, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., of San Diego, has said the small supply of the drug is now exhausted and that it will take several months to make more. The drug is grown in tobacco plants and was developed with U.S. government support.
Kobinger said it takes about a month to make 20 to 40 doses at a Kentucky plant where the drug is being produced. Officials have said they are looking at other facilities and other ways to ramp up production, and Kobinger said there were plans for a clinical trial to test ZMapp in people early next year.
The cold, hard truth is that Ebola is a brutally efficient killer for which we do not have a cure at the moment.
And what makes things even more complicated is that a different strain of Ebola is now spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A treatment that works for one strain of Ebola may not work on another strain.
So let us hope and pray that Ebola does not reach the United States.
If it does, it could potentially spread like wildfire.