A physician who recently returned to New York from Ebola-ravaged west Africa has tested positive for the disease, officials announced.
Craig Spencer, 33, a doctor who lives in the Harlem neighbourhood of Manhattan, was taken to hospital in New York City on Thursday after displaying symptoms consistent with those caused by Ebola.
A preliminary test confirmed that Spencer has the virus.
Health officials had already said they were tracing the doctor’s contacts, which the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, said were not numerous.
“It is our understanding very few people were in direct contact with him,” de Blasio told a news conference before the diagnosis was confirmed. “Every protocol has been followed. We’re hoping for a good outcome for this individual,” he said.
City health officials said Spencer worked in one of the three west African countries affected by Ebola, which has killed more than 4,500 people since the current outbreak began. They said he returned to the US within the last 21 days, which is the maximum incubation period for the virus. It is believed he had been working in Guinea.
The physician was transported by a team wearing protective gear to Bellevue hospital with a fever and “gastrointestinal symptoms” on Thursday. Though the city’s statement did not specify, severe diarrhoea is a common Ebola symptom.
“A person in New York City, who recently worked with Doctors Without Borders in one of the Ebola-affected countries in west Africa, notified our office this morning to report having developed a fever,” Doctors Without Borders said in a statement.
The aid organisation, known internationally as Médecins Sans Frontières, said Spencer reported his fever immediately to the agency, in accordance with its guidelines for returning field workers. It was unclear whether the doctor had been quarantining himself.
Spencer’s public Facebook page, which has since been taken down, showed a photo of him dated 18 September wearing protective gear announcing he was heading to Guinea with Doctors without Borders. It showed him checking into a location in Brussels on 16 October.
His LinkedIn profile identified him as a fellow of international emergency medicine at Columbia University-New York Presbyterian hospital.
New York Presbyterian hospital released a statement in which it did not identify Spencer by name but called the patient “a dedicated humanitarian on the staff of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University medical centre who went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population”.
It said he has not returned to work at the hospital or seen any patients since returning from west Africa.
Leaders have attempted to reassure New Yorkers that the city and state are safe. City health officials repeated that Ebola is difficult to contract, since people must come into direct contact with body fluids of an infected and symptomatic person.
Many fears about the disease have swirled around New York’s status as a transport hub. Airports in the metropolitan area process the majority of passengers arriving from west Africa everyday, and John F Kennedy international airport and Newark, New Jersey’s airport, are now among the only airports in the US accepting such passengers. Starting on Monday, passengers from the worst affected countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – will be monitored for 21 days after arriving in the US.
As part of the governor’s Ebola preparedness plan, two ambulances are being regularly stationed at JFK and Newark airports, the city’s transit authority was provided with protective gear and training, and unannounced drills are being conducted at airports, college campuses and in subways. The governor designated eight hospitals in the state to handle Ebola patients.
To abate healthcare workers’ fears about the disease, New York City held an Ebola educational session on Tuesday.
At least seventy-one illegal immigrants from Ebola affected countries in West Africa were captured at the US southern border this year.
FOX News Latino reported:
With a number of prominent conservative politicians raising fears that the Ebola outbreak could spread to the U.S. via the country’s porous borders with Mexico and Canada, Customs and Border Protection and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sought to reassure a worried public that they are doing everything they can to monitor people entering the U.S. – whether legally or illegally – for the virus.
“CBP and the CDC have closely coordinated to develop policies, procedures, and protocols to identify travelers that are known by U.S. public health officials to have a communicable disease and to handle in a manner that minimizes risk to the public,” Jennifer Evanitsky, a spokeswoman for the CBP told Fox News Latino in an emailed statement.
The CBP’s statement comes after Republican senator and prospective GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul raised fears that infected individuals could enter the country through the U.S.-Mexico border, stoking more concern in states like Texas where Thomas Eric Duncan became the first American to bring the virus to the country.
The “border is not only a danger for national security purposes, it is also a danger for a worldwide pandemic should it occur,” Paul told talk show host Glenn Beck.
A CBP report published online earlier this week on Breitbart.com broke down where undocumented immigrants are coming from and, between January and July of this year, at least 71 people reportedly arrived from the three West African nations hit with the current Ebola outbreak.
This news should not be so surprising considering we now know even children can cross over into the United States from Mexico.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to seek a vendor to produce as many as 34 million blank work permits and ‘green cards’ – the paperwork that authorizes illegal immigrants to live in the United States – as the White House prepares to issue an executive order after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.
According to a draft solicitation published online, the government agency will look for a company that can produce a minimum 4 million cards per year for five years, and 9 million in the early stages.
President Barack Obama has pledged that he will make a move on immigration reform this year. His original timetable called for a decision by the end of the summer.
Republicans have decried the plan as an ‘amnesty’ for millions of illegal immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors who have come across the U.S.-Mexico border this year.
A draft RFP – a Request For Proposal – is typically published in advance so government contractors can prepare to submit their bids when the final version is published.
The draft came complete with photos of what the finished cards will look like.
Breitbart.com first reported on the planned solicitation.
Obama’s high numbers of illegal immigration ‘removals’ – what used to be called ‘deportation’ – has earned him the nickname ‘deportation president,’ but most of those ejected border-crossers never get to the interior of the U.S.
Still, activists have protested his policies, including some who heckle his speeches. One yelled at him Sunday in the middle of a campaign stump speech supporting Democratic Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown.
A USCIS official told MailOnline on Monday that the draft was published ‘in case the president makes the move we think he will,’ but added that the agency’s Document Management Division (DMD) is by no means committed to buying the materials.
A second official at the agency said the proposal was drafted as a contingency in case immigration reform legislation passes in Congress, not in anticipation of action from the White House.
Either way, the online draft explains that ‘DMD requires card consumables for the production of USCIS’ Permanent Resident Card (PRC) and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) cards.’
‘These cards and related consumables, when assembled, become highly specialized and secure identification documents.’
And a successful bid, the draft solicitation says, will be able to support a ‘potential “surge” in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M (9 million) cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.’
Former State Department foreign service officer Jessica Vaughan, now an immigration expert at the Center for Immigration Studies, told Breitbart that the RFP ‘seems to indicate that the president is contemplating an enormous executive action that is even more expansive than the plan that Congress rejected in the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill.’
That legislation, which passed in the U.S. Senate last year only to be stalled in the House of Representatives, was a broad reboot of American immigration policy that won support from a handful of Republicans.
In included a provision to provide a pathway to citizenship for so-called ‘dreamers’ – people living in the country illegally who were brought to Americans as children before June 15, 2007.
Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which he ultimately enacted without congressional support, uses the EAD cards as part of its implementation.
USCIS says it processed 862,000 EADs overall between January and June of this year.
But ‘the guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards,’ according to the draft RFP.
‘The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards.’
The company that ultimately wins the contract will also be required to store the blank cards until the government needs them.
On Sept. 16, President Barack Obama assured the American people that the risk of an Ebola outbreak within the United States was “extremely low.” As subsequent events proved, he was wrong.
But an alarming new revelation from Israel’s Arutz Sheva proves that Obama was more than just wrong; he was dishonest.
The report says that a federal study by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the federal Models of Infectious Disease Agency released on Sept. 2 found a nearly 25 percent chance of the deadly hemorrhagic fever reaching America’s shores within three to six weeks, according to The Daily Caller.
Despite the reported “probability of Ebola virus disease case importation,” Obama lied to the American people, downplaying the threat.
“First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low,” Obama said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also assured the nation on multiple occasions that the Ebola risk was low since the publication of the government-funded study.
As it turns out, even the official estimate was optimistic, as Thomas Eric Duncan arrived in Dallas only 18 days later.
We wish that we could be shocked by yet another revelation of incompetence, dishonesty, and blatant disregard for the safety of the American people from the Obama White House, but at this point, we’ve come to expect no less from this president.
Why would he lie? Because this president must downplay the threat of Ebola in order to continue with his number one policy agenda — open borders. An America concerned about Ebola is an America that will demand strict controls on who enters the country.
After the 2014 midterm elections, Congress should have a little more leeway to rein in the lawless and reckless actions of this president, who is clearly more concerned with enacting his own liberal policies than protecting the American people.
After all, chances of Democrats holding on to Senate control are “extremely low,” right Mr. President?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has spent more than $39 million on obese lesbians, origami condoms, texting drunks, and dozens of other projects that could have been scrapped in favor of developing an Ebola vaccine.
“Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, blaming budget cuts for his agency’s failure to develop a vaccine for the deadly virus.
However, the Washington Free Beacon has uncovered $39,643,352 worth of NIH studies within the past several years that have gone to questionable research.
For instance, the agency has spent $2,873,440 trying to figure out why lesbians are obese, and $466,642 on why fat girls have a tough time getting dates. Another $2,075,611 was spent encouraging old people to join choirs.
Millions have gone to “text message interventions,” including a study where researchers sent texts to drunks at the bar to try to get them to stop drinking. The project received an additional grant this year, for a total of $674,590.
The NIH is also texting older African Americans with HIV ($372,460), HIV and drug users in rural areas ($693,000), HIV smokers ($763,519), pregnant smokers ($380,145), teen moms ($243,839), and meth addicts ($360,113). Text message interventions to try to get obese people to lose weight have cost $2,707,067.
The NIH’s research on obesity has led to spending $2,101,064 on wearable insoles and buttons that can track a person’s weight, and $374,670 to put on fruit and vegetable puppet shows for preschoolers.
A restaurant intervention to develop new children’s menus cost $275,227, and the NIH spent $430,608 for mother-daughter dancing outreach to fight obesity.
Sexual minorities have received a substantial amount from the NIH. The agency has now spent $105,066 following 16 schizophrenic LGBT Canadians around Toronto for a study on their community experiences.
The total for a project on why gay men get syphilis in Peru is now $692,697 after receiving additional $228,425 this year. The NIH is also concerned about postpartum depression in “invisible sexual minority women,” with a study that has cost $718,770.
Millions went to develop “origami condoms,” in male, female, and anal versions. The inventor Danny Resnic, who received $2,466,482 from the NIH, has been accused of massive fraud for using grant money for full-body plastic surgery in Costa Rica and parties at the Playboy mansion.
How transwomen use Facebook is the subject of another NIH study worth $194,788.
The agency has also committed $5 million to “mine and analyze” social media to study American’s attitudes toward drug abuse, and $306,900 to use Twitter for surveillance on depressed people.
The NIH has also spent $15,313,372 on cessation studies devoted to every kind of smoker imaginable. Current studies are targeted at American Indians ($2,899,954); Chinese and Vietnamese men ($424,875); postmenopausal women ($4,151,850); the homeless ($558,576);Korean youth ($94,580); young schizophrenics ($397,802); Brazilian women smokers ($955,368);Latino HIV-positive smokers($471,530); and the LGBT community ($2,364,521).
Yale University is studying how to get “Heavy Drinkers” to stop smoking at a cost of $571,799. Other projects seek to use Twitter to provide “social support to smokers” ($659,469), and yoga ($1,763,048) as a way to quit.
An NIH project studying sighs cost taxpayers $53,282.
On Tuesday, Health and Human Services (HHS) had to outsource efforts at an Ebola vaccine to the Baltimore-based Profectus BioSciences Inc. The company will receive $8.6 million to research and test their vaccine, a fraction of NIH funding that went to the above projects.
Over 22,000 Coloradoans have had their health insurance canceled by Obamacare in the past month – and 200,000 are slated to be shut down in 2015, the state insurance department announced Friday.
The Colorado Division of Insurance wrote to state Senate Republicans Friday, notifying them that five more insurance carriers have ended plans for 18,783 more Coloradoans in just the last month. By far, the most canceled plans will come from Humana Insurance Company and Humana Health Plan.
That brings the state’s Obamacare total to almost 340,000 canceled plans, according to Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s in a tight race for Senate with incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall.
“Coloradoans continue to pay the price for Senator Udall’s broken promise,” Gardner said in a statement Friday. “It’s unfortunate that Senator Udall has been so eager to please President Obama that he has forgotten thousands of Coloradoans across our state.”
Widespread Obamacare cancellations have been a political loser for Obamacare-supporters across the country, but the issue is especially fraught in Colorado.
Udall, who voted for Obamacare and made the same debunked promises as President Obama that Americans could keep their health insurance plans, took heat earlier this year when emails suggested that his office tried to interfere with a state analysis of the number of plans cancelled by Obamacare. He was cleared of wrongdoing by a panel that refused to document its hearing.
But while over 18,000 people will be losing their coverage this month, that’s nothing compared to next year.
The Obama administration said it would allow states to extend health care plans that aren’t compliant with Obamacare through the end of 2016 and pushed the political responsibility for deciding when the plans should be canceled onto state officials. Colorado decided to extend plans through Dec. 31, 2015 – the remaining 192,942 Coloradoans that still purchase non-complaint health plans will have those canceled next November.
Far from being an unknown glitch in the health-care law, the Affordable Care Act provision that outlaws certain insurance plans was in part intended to help drive healthier, previously-insured customers to Obamacare exchanges so that insurers’ pools of customers were less populated by people with a pent-up need for health care.
The Obama administration’s several administrative fixes, which allowed states to decide whether they’d allow insurers to keep offering the plans for up to three years, make it more difficult for insurers to be profitable in Obamacare exchanges. The changes were likely part of the administration’s reasoning in its decision to open the door to using taxpayer funding to bail out companies on the exchange who suffer losses on Obamacare exchanges.
Udall’s campaign said that the Senator had pushed for Colorado to extend canceled plans for another year.
“There’s nobody more upset about the bungled roll out of the health care law than Mark,” Udall spokesman James Owens said. “That’s why he pushed the governor to use the authority to allow folks to keep their plans.”
Under the Obama administration’s current policy, all noncompliant plans will be canceled by Dec. 2016.