Posted: 10:31 am Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Behind the scenes: Tamping down an Ebola panic 

By Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

This Oct. 7, 2013 photo provided by Jeremy Writebol show his mother, Nancy Writebol, with children in Liberia. Writebol is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia that have been diagnosed with Ebola. Plans are underway to bring back the two Americans from Africa for treatment. AP/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol

This Oct. 7, 2013 photo provided by Jeremy Writebol show his mother, Nancy Writebol, with children in Liberia. Writebol is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia that have been diagnosed with Ebola. Plans are underway to bring back the two Americans from Africa for treatment. AP/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol

If you do not know who Nancy Writebol is, it may be time to crawl out from under your rock.

She’s the second Ebola-infected American, a missionary worker from North Carolina, who is now jetting toward Dobbins Air Reserve Base and a very expensive hospital room within Emory University Hospital.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogAnytime you introduce a new virus into a world hemisphere, people tend to get nervous – just ask the Inkas.

But several politicians (and a former one) are stepping up to allay any concerns. For instance, Ed Lindsey of Atlanta, who just resigned his Republican House seat, posted this on his Facebook page:

“Hysteria notwithstanding, as a Georgian I am proud that it is a Georgia air service and a Georgia hospital that have the capability to bring these two American humanitarians safely home and care for their illness. May the Peace of The Lord be with those afflicted and those charged with their care.”

In an interview with Tim Bryant on WGAU (1340AM) this morning, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said he had no doubts that the deadly virus can be properly contained on the Emory/CDC campus:

“I am completely, 100 percent confident that you can do it. Tom Frieden is doing a great job at CDC. This high-containment area that we built after 9/11 is to deal with a contagion virus that might be used by a terrorist. So it’s absolutely secure….

“It is possible for an outbreak like this to be contained and eventually stopped – which is what I think will happen in west Africa. I have no fear whatsoever of it coming to the United States.”

Such support isn’t necessarily impromptu. On Monday, the office of Speaker David Ralston distributed to House members a missive from Emory University, containing educational links on the virus (you can see them here and here), plus the list of Emory’s top lobbyists – Charlie Harman and Linda Womack.

Harman, you’ll recall, is the former chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

***

The Washington Post’s Reid Wilson reports that Ending Spending Action Fund Super PAC spent $160,000 on TV ads bashing Democrat Michelle Nunn last week and dropped $180,000 this week on six broadcast markets and cable in Atlanta. The group also reported $63,000 worth of online ads to the FEC. Nunn, meanwhile, is spending $350,000 on TV ads to run from Aug. 1-11.

***

A new Washington Post/ABC poll offers yet another reason for Jack Kingston’s failure to launch in his U.S. Senate bid last month:

Just over half the public, 51 percent, say they disapprove of the job that their own member of Congress is doing in the new poll, rising above the 50 percent threshold for the first time in the quarter-century of Post-ABC polling on this question. Just 41 percent approve.

That’s a new low, though it’s not significantly different from ratings last October (43 percent), immediately after the end of a 16-day partial government shutdown that sent Republican approval ratings through the floor.

***

The New York Times today has U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reflecting on the inconsistency of her high court colleagues:

In its gay rights rulings, she told a law school audience last week, the court uses the soaring language of “equal dignity” and has endorsed the fundamental values of “liberty and equality.” Indeed, a court that just three decades ago allowed criminal prosecutions for gay sex now speaks with sympathy for gay families and seems on the cusp of embracing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

But in cases involving gender, she said, the court has never fully embraced “the ability of women to decide for themselves what their destiny will be.” She said the court’s five-justice conservative majority, all men, did not understand the challenges women face in achieving authentic equality.

***

On his Facebook page, state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, has confirmed our Monday post:

“Dear Friends,

“I wanted to personally confirm to you that the report from my friend Jim Galloway at the AJC is accurate. After prayerful consideration and the support of both my family and a number of my fellow Senators, I have, with great humility, decided to stand for Majority Leader in the Georgia State Senate.

“Between now and Election Day, 100% of my political effort will be focused on helping to elect David Perdue – U.S. Senate and, of course, to help re-elect Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and our entire statewide Georgia Republican Party ticket….”

***

On WGAU (1340AM) this morning, another state senator – Josh McKoon, the Columbus Republican – played down talk that he would run for the majority leadership. A Facebook page boosting his candidacy, McKoon said, was the work of supporters from outside his south Georgia district.

But McKoon had an interesting response when interlocutors Tim Bryant and Martha Zoller asked the Columbus lawmaker if his advocacy of tougher ethics laws regulating relationships between legislators and lobbyists:

“Over the last four years, I feel very good about the positions I’ve staked out on policy. I think in many cases, later events have confirmed the positions that I’ve taken.

“And I certainly don’t intend on backing off on ethics and other matters that are important to me. In fact, we’re getting ready in the next couple weeks to roll out a series of policy proposals as part of my re-election – and I certainly expect ethics will figure prominently in that.”

***

Republican challenger Rick Allen is kicking up dust over the Washington staff of U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, who has not yet constructed a full campaign infrastructure. Walter Jones at Morris News Service reports, with the typically colorful quote from Allen spokesman Dan McLagan:

For instance, the congressman pays some of his Washington-based congressional staffers to perform campaign tasks also. [Richard] Carbo, for instance was speaking on behalf of the congressional office Monday but will transition to the re-election payroll once Barrow begins campaigning in earnest. Another aide, Ashley Jones, got $32,000 in fund-raising-consultant fees from his campaign in addition to $38,000 in taxpayer funds that quarter as his longtime congressional chief of staff.

McLagan says the fact that Barrow doesn’t have a big campaign staff in Georgia shows he’s more interested in Washington than Georgia.

“John Barrow has been sipping mimosas with his pinky extended to his lobbyist buddies in Washington for more than a decade now — he’s gone native,” McLagan said. “He’s got a million dollar house up there, has his campaign office and staff there and probably hates sullying himself with us great unwashed and the red clay of Georgia when he has to campaign here.”

The campaign-expense reports on file with the Federal Elections Commission show expenditures for out-of-state consultants and vendors and practically no Georgia staff or even office rent. However, the next report will show a campaign office opened last month in Augusta and a team of field representatives canvassing for votes, according to Carbo.

“Just as he always does, Congressman Barrow will run his campaign from his hometown of Augusta,” he said.

***

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has brought in two Georgia hands to run his PAC as he gears up to run for president again. The Dallas Morning News reports that attorney Stefan Passantino of McKenna Long & Aldridge, who advised Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, and Corry Bliss, who managed Karen Handel’s U.S. Senate campaign, will guide RickPAC.

National Journal has a long read this week on Perry laying the groundwork for a presidential run, including the whole tale of why he wears glasses now.

 

113 comments
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KarlijnKeijzer

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anothercomment
anothercomment

I hate seeing the ignorance of some of the bloggers and media. Since, it's initial commissioning in 1988 and 1989 CDC BSL-4 labs in Bldg 4 have been quietly studying the Ebola Virus and Lassa Fever in the T wo Level 4 labs which for the most part of the Last 25 years have been the only Level 4 Lab in the world.

Bernie31
Bernie31

There is NO ONE in Georgia more Nervous about these (2) Two INFECTED PATIENTS than ole Governor Yeall Teeth! For He knows more than anyone, if any type of incident, accident or exposure that results from this EXPERIMENT! in the care of these Patients is NOT Good News for Him!

For Governor Yella Teeth, knows without a DOUBT, He will be Blamed for allowing it to happen on Georgia SOIL! and Rightly so!

Here is an interesting Observation of this Governor's Leadership Ability. The Governor with Yella Teeth DENIES Hundreds Of Thousands of Georgians Healthcare Paid for by the Federal Government at 100% for (3) Three years! Participants whom are overwhelmingly Children,Mothers, Seniors, Disabled,Handicapped, Mentally Handicapped and Veterans.

This sam DISILLUSIONED Yell Teeth Governor Agrees,Approves, ALLOWS "TWO (2) DISEASED INFECTED Republicans" to be flown in at Government expense with round the clock Government paid for Medical CARE, half around the world in a PRIVATE GOVERNMENT PLANE NON- STOP, With Government assisted ESCORTS, to a Private Hospital in Atlanta with ALL Expenses to be Paid by the GOVERNMENT while RISKING the Health of MILLIONS of Georgians STATEWIDE!

This same Yella Teeth Governor Swears and Claims he is For SMALLER GOVERNMENT and that is the reasn for DENYING all of GEORGIA Affordable Healthcare!


Go Figure!

GaPatriot
GaPatriot

The 2 patients were brought here to experiment to create a vaccine, that should have been created at the site of the infection.  The CDC, and Emory, have absolutely no idea how this virus was spread to Nancy because she did not have direct patient care, and Dr. Brantley had extreme precautions - full Tyvek suit, helmet and respirator.  How then did he get the virus?  And, with time these 2 will be well but still carry the virus and capable of transmitting to others, maybe for life.  Look at HIV, always infected, even after symptoms are gone.  No one yet has been cured.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

Rick "Oops" Perry has hired former Gingrich and Handel advisers to run in presidential campaign PAC?  Either his glasses has blurred his judgement or he is getting to get robbed blind.  

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

Breaking News," regarding "some" reactions to the two eboli patients.  Ten  social conservatives were seen  freaking out, scared with fright, with assault weapons, running to Wal-Mart for a case of Depends.  

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

A friend went over to Emory area to have lunch and he said the press (people and trucks) were everywhere. He agreed when I compared the press to sharks in blood infested waters!

notagain
notagain

I see pictures of the tortoise roaming the streets of LA.,and think td.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Republican budget cuts across the country has been deadly to veterans, average Americans and the poor let's house their ideology at the CDC along with the other deadly pathogens.  

JAS0N
JAS0N

“as a Georgian I am proud that it is a Georgia air service and a Georgia hospital that have the capability to bring these two American humanitarians safely home and care for their illness."


You're right, bringing a deadly contagious patient into a city of 6 million people makes perfect sense.  Why would you treat them in a more remote area, like a small town?  That would just be a stupid idea! 

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

Let's all ignore the fact that the CDC has stored specimens of the bubonic plague, pneumonic plague, ebola, anthrax, AIDS, cholera, smallpox and probably stuff we have never even heard of, for decades without their escape into the public realm.

I worry a lot less over this type of thing than I do nuclear power plants built on the San Andreas fault, being monitored by Homer Simpson types, and nuclear waste from the Savannah river plant going across the country by rail to Utah.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

Left keep count.  Michelle is spending $350,000.  On the otherhand, Right Wing PAC $403,000, Perdue $0, and  AM talk radio pro-bono discussions against Nunn...Priceless. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

For ALL of our Personal well being. We had better HOPE & Pray the SUITS are right, in saying they can contain and control this Deadly Virus that is quickly moving through our streets at this very moment. If they are Proven WRONG!

We ALL are about to get a Lesson and Real Understanding for the existence of the I-285 Perimeter. When the Fences start to go UP...there will be NO coming in or going OUT. Fer sure!

I use to think those Dang GOOBER Survivalist were NUTS!

I am now starting to have a different Point of View and am inclined to agree with their Thinking. 

And I am a Black Man.

My Trust is Not that High, with those who will LIE!

Bernie31
Bernie31

@RoadScholar - No you mean..... EBOLA infested hallways!

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser What budget cuts are you talking about? When you do not spend as much this year as the automatic increase was suppose to be then that is NOT a cut. You are still spending more money than was spent the previous year. 

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@JAS0N So every small town has the facilities that the CDC Emory has?

GaBlue
GaBlue

@JAS0N


For one thing, hospitals are closing in small towns in Georgia, because they're having trouble getting paid, because our Governor and legislators fear/loathe our President so much they refuse to accept federal medicaid expansion money that would keep hospitals open for citizens in need. Here in the metro Atlanta area, one cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a doctor. They like living here where the money is. 

Since the best doctors, researchers, and facilities are here, why don't we go ahead and let them do their JOBS, shall we? Yes, treating the sickest people in the world and finding a treatment and hopefully a cure is a good way for them to spend their work day.

thekimmer
thekimmer

@AuntieChrist let's also not forget these agents are not just stored.  They are routinely handled, manipulated, grown, studied and sometimes transported by people who live their lives among us like everybody else.  Don't forget about Marburg and Lassa Fever.

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 

Hey Bernie, Ebola is what the white man is going to use to gentrify the western side of the City of Atlanta, AKA where you stay, to eradicate the coloreds so whites will move in and clean the place up raising the tax base and the QOL.  Kasim sealed this deal by kissing the ring of Gov Deal.  


Uh huh! 

NWGAL
NWGAL

@Bernie31 Remember the complete hysteria over AIDS? It takes very specific forms of contact to spread AIDS. It takes very similar forms of contact to spread Ebola. If the virus mutates to become airborne before the CDC and others can find a cure, we will be in trouble. The facilities are here for doing the tests, not in Africa. So I think moving the two test subjects here is a smart move.

honested
honested

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser 

It is a CUT against the NEED.

The NEED was the basis for the budget allocation.

What did the shrub administration plan to do for those damaged in in the Iraqi War of Choice and the Afghan Fiasco over the long term?

Republiklans will do ANYTHING to prevent raising the revenue necessary to clean up the mess THEY created.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@GaBlue @JAS0N - There are 25,00 Plus, Georgia Licensed Medical Doctors Practicing Medicine within I-285 of the City of Atlanta! All competing with every Hospital and each other for your Healthcare Dollars!

As you Travel further outside of I-285 the number of Georgia Licensed MD's lessens for every mile you travel. These same MD's Bought the Governor and the Georgia Legislature HOOK lINE and SINKER with a few MEASLY MILLIONS Of DOLLARS in campaign contributions and Promises of more to come. To Keep it all this WAY! 

These same MD's also made sure OUR YELLA TEETH Governor complies with their Wishes of Keeping that Way too!

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31  Kasim was kissing all right and it was NO RING! Besides we FIRED Kasim Years ago! 

When ALL saw KASIM was Governor Yella Teeths WATERBOY! it was Over for US!

He was LIKE OJ to US, before Yer TRIBE started loving on him....

It was Yer Tribe who gave KASIM the second Term....Not Southwest Atlanta!

We tend to SHY away from KNOWN WATERBOY's!

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31 - Nope! I was actually Hoping it WIPES OUT a LOT of your TRIBE FIRST!

That whole Emory, Inman park, Morningside area and surroundings for at least 25 miles in all directions will be Up for SALE for the LOW,LOW Price of FREE!

Everything!  LOL!..rofl!

The LOOK on yer Faces will be PRICELESS!

Bernie31
Bernie31

@NWGAL @Bernie31 - Until it is not contained and out of control...you will have second thoughts when those Hooded green Military suits arrive at your front door with plastic ties for everyone in the house. As you are being led away, thinking How can this be?, yer wife and kids in tears.

The last thing you will hear is that single SLUG that is going to be FIRED into the Heads of all of your remaining Pets and animals.

At that Point you are going to WAKE- UP...But it will be too Late. You are like a RAT in a TRAP!

Do not be Like SHEEP being led to Slaughter....Think fer yourself!

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@NWGAL @Bernie31 Yes, I too remember the very similar hysteria during the mid-1980s when AIDS was first discovered, but worse because at first no-one knew how it was spread. I can remember that men on the street who were very thin were suspected of having it, and shunned as taboo. The two diseases are very similar in that they're only spread by intimate contact with a victim....but there is the same panic being senselessly spread.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@honested @td1234 @StraightNoChaser 


"THEY created." A true statement. Now let's add the rest of the facts:


1. Many democrats supported both Afghanistan and Iraq. 


2. Obama said Afghanistan is the "good war". It must be, he has continued it for almost six years. Far more soldiers were killed in Afghanistan under Obama than Bush.


3. It took four years for Obama to end the bad war in Iraq.


4. Obama has sent combat forces back into Iraq.


5. Obama fully supported the overthrow of the government in Libya, without Congressional authorization. 


6. Obama drew a red line in Syria, it was ignored.


7. Obama has told Putin to stop in Ukraine or...your hand will be spanked. Result, a downed civilian aircraft.


Just a few additional facts that you might want to consider.

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 @Andy123 

Sorry to disappoint but I don't live in a 100 year old crappy way over-priced house in a yuppie neighborhood across the street from a slum.  

NWGAL
NWGAL

@Bernie31 @NWGAL Do you know anyone who has been to that region of Africa in the past couple of months? If so, get them to the doctor for a test. There are treatments which are helpful early on. If you don't know anyone who has traveled or lived in that region, you are much much more likely to die driving to the grocery store.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Bernie31 Calm down. If you and yours just stay away from any contact with the blood, saliva, phlegm, vomit, or semen of an Ebola victim, you will have nothing to worry about.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Retired-Soldier @honested @td1234 @StraightNoChaser - George W. Bush and his Merry MISCREANTS started it ALL.

W. in his A.D.D. State of MIND, Led by a GREEDY and selfish UN-AMERICAN VP's Quest for OIL... that CHINA Now has exclusive Rights too.... Paid in FULL for by American BLOOD and American Treasure. Trillions of American Treasure!

Thank-you Republican Leadership where would WE Be without YOU?

Better OFF!

uh..huh.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Retired-Soldier 

1. Many democrats supported both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Most democrats in congress voted against the invasion of Iraq.

Just remindin'.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@Retired-Soldier @honested @td1234 @StraightNoChaser 1. yes based on Cheney's lies, 2. he got Osama ., 3. And he was accused by the cons of cutting and running, 4. military advisers and protection of the embassy- are you for not protecting our Embassy-Benghazi?, 5. And Sen McCain and other cons wanted our troops to go in, 6. they should put a wall around Syria and let the last man stand!. 7. Rebel Idiots practiced the Repub doctrine...Ready...shoot...aim! Unfortunately they hit the airliner. Sanctions has Putin worried. He is closing Russia airspace to commercial flyovers....all countries should stop allowing planes in/out of Russia.

Any more drivel?

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Andy123 @Bernie31 - Well Andy, you must be one of those LOW LIFERS who live in a tuna can called a Trailer. I bet yer car is parked crossways to yer Front Door too!


I bet you do not know what a good BRIE Cheese taste like or an expensive bottle of wine. Surely you do not see Movies where you have to read. Besides how is yer daddyunclenephewbrothersister doin? tell her I said, Hey!

EdUktr
EdUktr

@OriginalProf @Bernie31

Calm down? Sounds dismissive—and very much as though you're giving Bernie orders!

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@RoadScholar @Retired-Soldier @honested @td1234 @StraightNoChaser 


1. not true, bad intel by every intel agency in the world.

2. Not germane.

3. Is he that thin skinned? Not all republicans are neo-cons.

4. Mission creep and numbers have already begun.

5. So Obama was only sort of bad?

6. Then why are we funding there?

7. I see Putin crying every night on the news.


Any more drivel?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Retired-Soldier @StraightNoChaser @honested @td1234 Stop lying the president has submitted his budget request each year he has been in office.   The president doesn’t "pass" a budget. That’s Congress’ job.  The obstructionist refuse to pass his budget unless one more average American is taken hostage.

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 @Andy123 

Hey Bernie, I bet my swimming pool alone costs more than what you make in TWO years.

Uh huh!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser


@Retired-Soldier @StraightNoChaser @honested @td1234 NOT TRUE ...The Senate budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 8) was introduced on March 15, 2013, the resolution was sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Along with setting forth the congressional budget for the federal government for fiscal year 2014, it proposed budget levels for fiscal 2015 through 2023 with respect to federal revenues, new budget authority, outlays, deficits, public debt, and debt held by the public.  The Senate passed the FY2014 budget resolution on March 23, 2013 - 23 days before the deadline.