Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently boasted that they’ll be getting 50 trained experts to Ebola-stricken regions in West Africa — “within 30 days.”
“Within 30 days.”
On the one hand, certainly, there are many creepy outbreaks of creepy diseases in the world each year, and most of those outbreaks soon resolve themselves. But public health authorities have been battling the Ebola virus outbreak for months. Efforts to control the spread of the disease seem to be getting much weaker, not stronger.
On the other hand, the idea that a combination of summer vacation schedules, bureaucratic quicksand, and the effects of tight budgets on CDC operations could force the countries most affected by Ebola to wait for a small team of U.S. outbreak specialists to arrive seems to reflect the idea that officials in Washington are just going through the motions. They seem to be giving up on the idea that it’s even possible to keep civilization as we know it going.
They churn out paper after paper about chronic conditions, but then don’t bother to respond promptly to an outbreak of an infectious disease that’s killing large numbers of people now and seems to have the potential to blow up and kill many more people.
Sellers of long-term care insurance (LTCI) and retirement planning products often complain that consumers have a short-term outlook. They have a hard time grasping the possibility that the future exists, and hence fail to plan for it.