The NYT did a smash up job of retracing Thomas Eric Duncan’s escape from microbe-infested Liberia straight into a welcoming Dallas emergency room last week as he writhed in the throes of deathly Ebola infection. Great timeline, great maps, Gray Lady!
On September 15 in Monrovia, Liberia, Mr. Duncan, in a fit of altruistic charity, carried a young girl to a hospital as her life slowly drifted away while the last stages of Ebola ravaged her soft tissues. The hospital, decidedly less altruistic, but more African, turned her away. Duncan brought her back home, where she later died. Five days later, he boarded several airborne tin cans that would bring him to Dallas by way of Brussels and Washington D.C. In Dallas, he began a short-lived stay with relatives before he began displaying the gory symptoms of initial Ebola infection (and contagiousness).
I don’t know what to make of this chain of events.
Duncan quit his Liberian job in early September, decided to carry a girl who was dying from Ebola around, just short of a trip to the United States. Don’t most people just pack for their trip? The level of ignorance in Africa leaves the rest of this story (which is yet to play out) up to anyone’s wild, speculative imagination and paranoia.
Even the dirtiest public ER in the United States must seem a paradise compared to the dirt infested hovels where sick people must seek treatment in the poor areas of Africa. Who can blame someone for fleeing to the U.S. when the beacon of free, effective, health care awaits, no questions asked (until after you’ve puked all over EMT’s and exuded microbe laced dander all over some young children as they run off to school for the day)? Free ER rooms have long been the cynical draw for all manner of Third Worlders here in Los Angeles.
Texas is sickeningly fond of endless recitation about what a great draw that state is for business; of its free-wheeling, free-market Utopian dust vision. And the Texas Chamber of Commerce especially loves to rub their anarchic prosperity in the face of Californians.
Well take this, Texas. Have a virus.
Perhaps it’s time that Texas surrenders the facade of EBT payments from its lowest, most destitute leeches, and simply re-brands the “We Accept EBT” moniker for hospital emergency rooms. If businesses flee to Texas, why not the Ebola African hordes seeking cheap health care? Unlike their homeland, American hospitals will not turn them away.
All Texas hospitals can now post this familiar icon: