Archives for FUBAR

Ebola fears easing for some

Ebola fears began to ease for some Monday as a monitoring period passed for those who had close contact with a victim of the disease and after a cruise ship scare ended with the boat returning to port and a lab worker on board testing negative for the virus. Federal officials meanwhile ramped up readiness to deal with future cases. A top government official said revised guidance instructs health workers treating Ebola patients to wear protective gear “with no skin showing.” The Pentagon said it is forming a team to support civilian medical staff in the U.S. In Dallas, Louise
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Threatened by Ebola? Use hospital, not a clinic

When a Dallas County sheriff’s deputy who had entered the apartment of the first patient to die from Ebola in the U.S. started feeling ill himself, he didn’t rush to the nearest hospital. He chose an urgent care clinic. So did a man who recently traveled to West Africa and was complaining of flu-like symptoms, prompting the suburban Boston urgent care practice where he went to briefly shut down last week. The deadly virus’ arrival in the U.S. has put the spotlight on weak spots in American hospitals, but those facilities are not the only ones who have suddenly found
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Kerry says aid to Kurds is necessary, moral

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the Obama administration decided to airdrop weapons and ammunitions to “valiant” Kurds fighting Islamic State extremists in the Syrian border town of Kobani because it would be “irresponsible” and “morally very difficult” not to support them. Speaking in the Indonesian capital, Kerry told reporters that the administration understood ally Turkey’s concerns about supplying the Kurds, who are linked to a Kurdish group that Ankara fiercely opposes. But, he said the situation is such in the besieged town of Kobani that the resupplies were deemed absolutely necessary in a “crisis moment.” “Let me
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Police fear remains found are those of Hannah Graham

The weekslong search for a missing University of Virginia student appears to have come to a sad end with the announcement by police officials that they have discovered human remains that could be hers. Further forensic tests are needed to confirm whether the remains are those of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, but Graham’s parents were notified of the preliminary findings, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo told a news conference Saturday, shortly after the discovery was made. A volunteer search for Graham that had been planned for Sunday has been canceled so law enforcement can turn their attention to the new evidence,
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Police killer of Michael Brown feared for his life

The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old in a St. Louis suburb last summer has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as they struggled over his gun, The New York Times reported. Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson has told authorities that Michael Brown reached for the gun during a scuffle, the Times reported in a story posted on its website Friday night. The officer’s account to authorities did not explain why he fired at Brown multiple times after emerging from his vehicle, according to the newspaper. The Times
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World Health group blamed for Ebola crisis

The World Health Organization bungled efforts to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa, an internal report revealed Friday, as President Barack Obama named a trusted political adviser to take control of America’s frenzied response to the epidemic. The stepped-up scrutiny of the international response came as U.S. officials rushed to cut off potential routes of infection from three cases in Texas, reaching a cruise ship in the Caribbean and multiple domestic airline flights. Republican lawmakers and the Obama administration debated the value of restricting travelers from entering the U.S. from countries where the outbreak began, without a resolution.
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Ebola spread fueled by inconsistent monitoring

The top administrator in Dallas County rushed to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital this week responding to urgent news: One of its nurses had caught Ebola from a patient. He quickly asked for the hospital’s watch list to find out who else might be at risk. “It was explained to me that this person, (nurse) Nina Pham, was not on a monitoring list because she was self-monitoring,” said Judge Clay Jenkins, who is overseeing the county’s emergency response. Simply put, she and her co-workers, who were handing fluids, inserting IVs and cleaning Thomas Eric Duncan in his dying days, were supposed
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Another tiny COLA for Social Security users

For the third straight year, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect historically small increases in their benefits come January. Preliminary figures suggest the annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will be less than 2 percent. That translates to a raise of about $20 a month for the typical Social Security beneficiary. The government is scheduled to announce the COLA on Wednesday, when it releases the latest measure of consumer prices. By law, the COLA is based on inflation, which is well below historical averages so far this year. For example, gas prices are down from
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The ‘Spin Machine’ in overtime on Ebola blame game

Less than three weeks before the midterm elections, Washington’s Ebola blame game has spread to the arcane world of the federal budget. Republicans claim credit for boosting the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year while charging President Barack Obama with trying to cut it now. Democrats counter that the GOP-controlled House is behind cuts to the National Institutes of Health, which researches drugs to fight Ebola and vaccines to prevent it. First, some basics. The budgets for the CDC and health research have indeed been flat or have shrunk slightly in recent years as House
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Did CDC director ignore his own advice with Ebola?

Last May, as Ebola crept across West Africa, America’s top infectious disease expert told a group of Harvard students in a commencement speech to always second-guess their assumptions because “overconfidence can kill.” Five months later in a hearing room on Capitol Hill, Tom Frieden was accused of not following his own advice — repeatedly assuring the nation it was safe from an Ebola outbreak even as two U.S. nurses became infected and one was allowed to board a commercial airline, each following safety protocols Frieden helped put in place. “By underestimating both the severity of the danger and overstating the
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