“Hello? CDC? Yeah. Quick question. I just took care of a guy with Ebola. Maybe you heard of that virus. Anyway, I was wondering — should I fly on a commercial airplane? And I should let you know that I have a fever.”
CDC: “Oh, fever, schmever. Sure. Why not? Enjoy the friendly skies. What’s the big deal?”
* * *
This conversation is obviously a parody of the real call that took place between a nurse that had direct contact with Ebola patient Thomas Duncan, and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
Unfathomably, the CDC, did, in fact, give the thumbs up to Amber Vinson to fly commercially, despite having full knowledge that A.) she had been caring for an Ebola patient, B.) her colleague, nurse Nina Pham, had already contracted Ebola from Duncan, even though she had worn protective gear, and C.) Vinson had a fever — a symptom of the disease.
How is that possible? It is so immensely stupefying that, for once, this writer is at a loss for words, except to say that the American government is, undeniably, broken.
Its handling of the Ebola crisis — or, more accurately, the lack thereof — was, and remains, pathetic. Despite knowing that this Ebola outbreak, which began almost a year ago, was bound to come to America, the CDC made mistake after inexcusable mistake. One would think the “pregame” jitters would have subsided by now, and with it, the incompetence.
But it hasn’t.
In fact, the Dumb And Dumber show continues unabated.
* * *
The problem isn’t just with the CDC. And it’s not just the Obama Administration and Congress. It’s the entire government, at all levels.
Once upon a time, America solved its problems by rolling up its sleeves and getting the job done. From putting a man on the moon to foiling the Soviets during the Cold War, and from passing Civil Rights legislation to building a world-class transportation infrastructure, our leaders used common sense and an iron will to keep America moving forward.
But that has changed.
Somewhere along the way, we fell, and are now stuck in a malaise of stagnation, with far too many comfortable with mediocrity. Gone is the pioneering spirit that embodied what America was — a nation with an unbreakable self-confidence, and a people who innately understood that with a bold vision, and the courage to see it through, nothing was impossible. Whereas once we would never settle for second-best, now we are content with simply being “better than most.”
Which, as this writer has pointed out many times, is like being valedictorian of summer school.
Nowhere is that more apparent than the government’s failures. And before the partisan barbs fly, let’s not forget that it isn’t Obama’s government, nor was it Bush’s. It’s ours. We alone are responsible for picking the captain of our ship, and have no one to blame but ourselves for the course we have taken.
From the DMV to the White House, the failures of government have taken a serious toll on Americans’ optimism, the hallmark that, above all, has set us apart from every other nation.
Common sense has gone out the window. It has been replaced by politicians jockeying for the 30-second sound bite to gain cheap points and throw red-meat to their bases, with zero regard for actually coming up with a real solution.
The result is an America that either charges headlong into a situation before considering the ramifications, or, on the opposite end, sits idle and does nothing, paralyzed to act. When we do emerge from the fog, the crisis is already upon us, forcing us more often than not to make ill-fated decisions.
–America ended its space shuttle program despite having no replacement; now, we must rely solely on the Russians to ferry us to our space station.
–Educational achievement levels continue to decline, yet no innovative solutions are offered; instead, we throw more money at the problem, despite knowing it won’t fix anything.
–We invade country after country with absolutely no clue about how to proceed once regime change is achieved; the results speak for themselves.
— Both Parties talk incessantly about reforming immigration, yet neither has any interest in doing so, creating a huge crisis on the southern border.
–Our onerous tax structure and unfavorable trade policies harm America’s companies, while foreign competitors continue to woo American jobs overseas.
— Despite full knowledge that America’s health care system was not equipped, let alone trained, to deal with the Ebola crisis, the government continues to drop the ball. Now, Americans routinely reject government reassurances that all will be okay. Instead, panic has set in, causing major volatility in the markets.
* * *
Whether it’s the miles of red tape, unaccountable bureaucrats, the bowing to political correctness, an overall aloofness to the concerns of Main Street USA — or all of the above — the causes for Americans’ growing pessimism must be addressed. Quickly.
The alternative is ever so bleak.