If Ebola were as potent as Congressional hearings we'd all be in the clear

Congress is holding hearings on Ebola. Oh boy. We might finally learn something new and take much needed action, right?


Here’s a snapshot as good as any that highlights the absurdity of the entire charade:

In this video clip, Congressman Thomas Massie asked the panel of experts if a person could contract Ebola, even if unlikely, sitting next to someone on a bus.

It seemed a simple enough hypothetical, right?


The first person Massie addressed was Mr. Rabih Torbay, who is a senior VP with the International Medical Corps. This organization is serving hot spot regions and has established protocols for individuals living in these areas according to their level of risk (low, medium, or high). For example, low risk individuals are prevented from taking public transportation.

Torbay confirmed that in order to contract Ebola a person must come in contact with bodily fluids, which includes perspiration. This fact has already been well established, but ok. Now we’ve got one more person stating what most already know. Moving on.

Massie posed his hypothetical question again, citing the organization’s protocol that prevents low risk individuals from taking public transportation -- a protocol that suggests there is a risk of contracting the virus if exposed to an infected person in a public setting such as mass transit. Torbay said there are no known cases of contracting Ebola in this way, but that “with Ebola it could be possible,” noting there was no scientific evidence to prove or disprove the possibility.

Massie appeared surprised about the comment about scientific evidence, and rightfully so, given what we know about Ebola. So he probed further asking how long Ebola can live on inert surfaces. Torbay, who is not a doctor, was unable to answer the question so Massie redirected to Dr. Nicole Lurie of the Department of Health and Human Services.

After she confirmed that Ebola can survive on inert surfaces for varying levels of time, Massie again asked if it’s possible, even if not likely, for a person to contract Ebola sitting next to an infected person on a bus. The doctor stated that the healthy individual would have to come in contact with bodily fluids of an infected person, confirmed such fluids include perspiration, but stopped short of directly answering Massie’s question.

Again, reiteration of facts we already know. Answer the question, please.

Massie then directed his question to Major General James Lariviere, but not before Lurie appeared to laugh under her breath (a hallmark of arrogant, passive-aggressive, non-verbal communication so common among progressives).

Massie asked the Major General how he would respond if a soldier were to ask him if Ebola could be contracted sitting next to someone on a bus. The Major General said he would defer to the medical professionals, confirmed the list of bodily fluids that can transmit the virus, and eventually, seemingly reluctantly, responded to the bus question by saying, “It could possibly happen.” He finished up the round of questioning with a coy answer prompted by a gentleman sitting behind him: “For the record, they’re [soldiers] not getting on buses with Liberian citizens.”

If I could make this very simple, as in A + B + C = D.

  • Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids, including perspiration.
  • Such fluids live on inert surfaces for varying lengths of time.
  • If a healthy person comes in contact with such fluids and the virus is still active, they can contract it if the virus enters the body through an opening in one’s skin (via a cut or open wound, or contact from a contaminated hand to eyes, nose, or mouth).

In other words: Yes. You can contract Ebola from sitting next to someone on a bus. (Or, I would add, coming in contact with bodily fluids recently left behind from an infected person who had recently been on the bus.)

Four and a half minutes of questioning -- with the same question posed no fewer than 7 times -- could have been synthesized into less than one minute. Imagine how much more we might learn and how much more Congress could get done with all the free time made available if expert witnesses would just answer the questions posed to them without hemming, hawing, beating around the bush, deferring to others, contradicting the facts, and obfuscating.

The bottom line is: If you come in contact with active virus, which includes virus left behind on surfaces, you run the risk of contracting Ebola.

Is it likely? At this point in the United States, probably not.

Let’s make sure we keep it that way.

Unfortunately, I’m not convinced Congressional hearings are going to impact public policy for the better, if at all. Instead, as with hearings on other topics, they seem to involve a whole lot of talk with little action when it’s all over. So with or without hearings, the situation remains the same. Our government is rolling the dice and putting every single American in harm’s way.

And if all this weren’t enough, the stakes are about to get higher as the Obama administration seems poised to import people with Ebola to the United States.

The administration denies, of course.

What’s new?

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

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