Smith: Government response to Ebola uninspiring

Paul W. Smith

“Outta’ My Mind on a Saturday Moanin’”

Not exactly comforting in “Ebola-gate” aka the latest CNN ratings savior (“All Ebola, All the Time”) but at least the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now admitted its mistakes.

A little late, but then we’ve learned to expect it to be a little late on everything it does.

Still, its propensity to blame everyone else for everything it didn’t do, is, at the very least, annoying. And probably worse.

I salute all of the people in various positions of power and ability who are approaching this potential problem with clear-headed, nonhysterical, (mostly) nonpolitical suggestions and plans of action to protect as many people as possible, should this problem be bigger than the CDC and the government wants us to believe.

One example would be what U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, told us on my show this week. She is requesting that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry suspend visas to people from West African countries impacted by Ebola.

Now, before you go running through the streets screaming about another politician politicizing this issue (like, say, the White House), understand that former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona is also now saying it’s time for a serious discussion about restricting travel from West Africa. It’s time to weigh the benefits and unintended consequences of all of our actions in dealing with Ebola.

And for those of you still bringing up the flu deaths statistics — over 33,000 people die from the flu each year, only 4,000 have died from Ebola — even if the World Health Organization is wrong with its prediction of the coming “10,000 new cases per week” estimate, I remind you that all of us have known many people with the flu. In fact, most all of us have had the flu, and lived to tell about it.

More than 70 percent of people who contract Ebola die.

That’s the difference.

Paul W. Smith is host of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.