A Liberian man with Ebola was able to fly to the U.S., causing many Americans to question the government’s ability to keep the disease from spreading. Perceived confusion about who’s in charge of the response, concerns that healthcare professionals missed warning signs and worries that procedures to prevent infected passengers from flying to the U.S. have all eroded government trust. But others have raised concerns that Texas’ limited-government approach is to blame. Who is ultimately responsible for protecting the American public, and is too little or too much government to blame?
Americans need to calm down about this Dallas Ebola case.
Yes, it’s a deadly disease. Yes, it has wiped out entire families.
That’s scary to think about. But don’t let fear cloud your perception.
The frightening stories we’ve heard about a rapidly spreading virus happened in the crowded slums of West Africa. Not America. Here, we have things like sewer systems, sanitation, healthcare facilities and near-instant information diffusion.
Don’t touch the fluids of infected people.
Ever heard the term “worried sick?” Think about it.
— Benjamin Guthrie, Dallas
The federal government is paralyzed by elected representatives who vote for narrow interests and refuse to compromise.
We Americans must reclaim our rights and responsibilities to govern ourselves for the good of us all. For our democracy to be strong, everyone must share the benefits.
We must also be willing to pay for solutions with fair taxes. Elect representatives who say, “We can solve problems, including Ebola, together.”
— Nesha Morey, Arlington
Without a quick cure or remedy for an outbreak of an uncontrollable disease, the typical protection is to isolate the disease and quarantine those with it.
Some airlines in Britain have stopped flights from countries with Ebola outbreaks.
This seems to be the logical thing to do; ban entry by any person coming from an Ebola country. That includes American citizens. They should be placed in a holding cell until such time that they are proven free of the virus.
Our government seems to be taking the policy of doing nothing and hoping the problem will go away.
— Grady Fuller, Kennedale
Big government — full of ineptitude and finger-pointing — is probably to blame.
The Liberian man with Ebola flew to Europe and D.C. No one along the way questioned him properly, and it has been reported that he had lied on some questionnaire.
Common sense dictates that incoming people from anywhere such a deadly disease is rampaging be held during the incubation period to prevent outbreaks here.
Our leaders are not to be trusted.
They refer to Ebola as a deadly disease, but then they say there is no need to panic.
They say it is not that easily transmitted, then they again refer to it as deadly and say it can be transmitted on droplets from a sneeze!
How are we the people to react?
Competence is what we need. It is difficult to hold anyone responsible in a big government where responsibility gets lost in bureaucracy.
— Eva Snapka, Arlington
We need protection from the government instead of expecting the government to protect us.
The case of Ebola is just another bungle from beginning to end, and we are all vulnerable to any disease that aliens bring in.
— Clista Hancock, Arlington
My concern was just how Ebola would be handled by a country where the healthcare system is run for profit.
Mr. Duncan arrived from Africa and went to an emergency room feeling unwell; he stated he had come from Africa.
Sadly, a lack of world geographic knowledge common in Americans sent Duncan home, coupled with his inability to pay for his treatment.
We know the rest; his family languished in their apartment with soiled bed linens, etc.
Seemingly no one knew what to do.
The bottom line was who is going to pay for all this?
— Alexandra Wolf, Fort Worth
The only major mistake made in the treatment of Mr. Duncan was of his own doing.
He entered this country under false pretense, having lied about his recent activity and exposure before boarding the aircraft. He was not directly forthcoming regarding his personal activity and health history on his first visit to the hospital.
By the time the truth was known, his chances for recovery were severely reduced.
Doctors can work wonders. But without full disclosure and a complete picture of what has happened, they are working with one hand tied behind their back. The more they know and the earlier they know it, the better the patient’s chance of full recovery.
I, too, am angry and filled with sorrow at the death of Mr. Duncan.
But that anger is not directed in any way toward the care and treatment he received from the medical community.
— Charles C. Gaines D.D.S., Fort Worth
All Points each Monday features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. With each week’s responses comes the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, firstname.lastname@example.org.