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A picture or two...or more are worth more than a thousand words. Take a look at the picture of multiple biker gang members detained after the Waco, Texas shoot out at the Twin Peaks restaurant taken by Rod Aydelotte of AP.

ROD AYDELOTTE/AP
Nothing to see here. Just a few detained white guys keeping themselves occupied with their smart phones. Detained after shooting at each other, fighting with each other with about 100 guns plus multiple chains, clubs and brass knuckles. Looks kinda cozy, doesn't it? Do you like the image of the officer casually holding his rifle with his back turned to the detained bikers?

Contrast this with Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore on April 29th, a few days into the protests. I would credit the Gawker photo, but Gawker didn't list the photographer, so I can't either.

Gawker
Twice as many police as unarmed protesters. True, no guns drawn or held casually, but a billy club was at the ready. The Ferguson photos are spectacular in their callous brutality. In Baltimore, it seemed the police could not tell the difference between the protesters and the press. It's hard to see the photographer J.M. Giordano underneath that mass of inhumanity, but you can read and watch the full video of what happened to him before and after the picture below here.
CityPaper
These are two different types of issues. Different jurisdictions. One was an out and out shoot out between confirmed gang members that started over a parking dispute and escalated into mayhem caused by brandished chains, guns, knives and brass knuckles. The other a mostly peaceful protest against police brutality with mostly unarmed protesters. The difference in police presence is jarring. You would think in Waco, that after eight killed and one more who died at the hospital plus 19 more injured via guns, clubs, knives, brass knuckles and such; that perhaps the alleged violent suspects should be zip tied? forced to sit on the ground or maybe forced to lay on their stomachs? I'd think the broken glass, bullet holes and broken bodies would be proof enough that prudent restraints would be warranted in this situation.

No, no zip ties and uncomfortable waiting positions are reserved for protesters against unnecessary violence in Baltimore, Ferguson, and supportive protests in New York, but not at a full blown shoot out and violence with callous disregard for life at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas.

Did I want to see some police officers crack some biker gang members' heads? Not especially. I'd rather see unarmed protesters treated better. I'd like black and brown unarmed people to be treated like they are human beings....afforded some courtesies, like the ability to retain their life, limbs and faculties. People should be allowed to sit waiting for transport to jail without fear of having a cracked head, without fear of permanent injury or death.

Oh, I'm sure the apologists will be out in force defending the bikers benign treatment by the police. It's not like the bikers want to kill police officers or anything....Oh, wait.

Tit for tat is like Tic Tac Toe in that the "game" usually ends up in a draw, but this isn't a game. We've seen the media callously go after victims like Trevon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and John Crawford. Not that blaming the victim(s) is right, but we've seen the media blame the victims countless times before. We've seen the media blow up petty crime into a twisted justification for execution deadly force, but what about these characters and their alleged crimes of drug running and human trafficking? Why stop now? What makes these white guys so special? Why isn't the media pointing out the privileges and comforts afforded to these alleged killers while detained? Why aren't there more stories about the biker victims' criminality? Why aren't we hearing about their arrest histories? Why aren't these biker gang member victims being blamed for their own deaths? Where's the media's righteous indignation? Where's the character assassination? Why the romance? Is it because these are predominantly white bikers? or is it the motorcycles?

This wasn't a fracas. It was an organized event that led to criminal rioting, mayhem and loss of life. It terrorized innocent people near the fight. Biker gangs like The Banditos, Cossacks, Scimitars, Outlaws (Florida and Chicago) and The Hell's Angels are killer gangs involved with drug and human trafficking (and who knows what other crimes). They can be nice and polite, but make no mistake, these are not nice people. They have a code of conduct of sorts, but that can be discarded as needed as survival dictates. How do I know this? My first husband used to hang out with the Florida Outlaws. Yeah, trust me, guys like this and worse were welcomed to my house by my ex-husband and I was expected to be a good hostess (i.e. kiss their sorry asses and wait on them) and I didn't like it one bit - they aren't nice people. They may seem like nice people upon acquaintance, but it can turn deadly ugly right quick. Do/did these bikers' deserve to die? No, certainly not without due process; but I wouldn't turn my back on them while they were detained and I wouldn't leave their hands free and able to use their smart phones. That's just dumb and I suspect it's not consistent with police procedure and protocol, either. I wonder if anyone is going to get around to asking the Waco PD why they used kid gloves on these guys?

Discuss

It looks like this email story about HRC has got some legs. Most of it is because it's about Hillary Clinton and gosh! She could be president some day, or not. Feinstein faults HRC's silence. It's going to hurt her. Why isn't HRC saying anything about this controversy? Well, think about it, what could she possibly say that won't get picked apart, slammed, criticized or ridiculed? There is no explanation she could make that will satisfy an insatiable press or her salivating political opponents. Any explanation she offers will simply be twisted against her, so I understand her silence. Not that silence is much better than an attempt at an explanation. By not talking she leaves the door open to supposition, insinuation, fairy tales, fables and boogie man horror stories of what could have happened.

What could have happened.

Not what did happen.

Fear trumping actuality.

I'm not buying it.

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Fri Feb 20, 2015 at 11:42 AM PST

I Said No to a Job (Sigh)

by JDWolverton

I was asked to apply for a job a couple days ago. I turned it down. I want a full time job, but .... This was a tough call, but I think it's the right one.

Here's The Back Drop

It's not in the papers anywhere, but last Monday, this for profit school that bought over 10 campuses from bankrupt Anthem Colleges, (dba Florida Career College) announced to their Miami campus staff that they were moving toward 90% part time staffing in all positions. Effective immediately, almost all new hires will be for 20 hour week positions. Part time admissions reps, part time financial aid, part time everything. The entire campus is reeling. For now the full-timers are "safe" whatever that means. It turns out taking over a bankrupt school is more difficult than they anticipated. They laid off about 150 people last year, wiped out all PTO when they took over and renegotiated all vendor contracts there isn't much more that can be cut. Maybe it's a combination of factors from being asked to refund the $350,000 Anthem conned out of the State of Florida and City of Ft. Lauderdale, or maybe it's lackluster new enrollments due to a sluggishly improving economy or the horrendous student reviews they are getting, but apparently it's more difficult to make money with the for-profit college business model these days.

Making more profits by avoiding paying benefits packages is old news. Doing it on the backs of the employees that turn out your work product is what corporate life is these days. Expanding part time staffing from the academic staff to career services, financial aid, IT techs and registrar employees is relatively new. I don't see it working well. For profit education already has exploitation problems. Making everyone part-time won't improve that scenario. Having a campus full of part time employees with only a few full time supervisors will be awful for campus supervisors. It won't serve the students very well either.  

If it works out (for IEC, not the employees), this policy will likely be rolled out to the rest of the campuses, too. The Academic Dean (Director of Education) at a nearby campus gave her 2 week notice last week because she's had enough. She and her husband wanted to retire in a couple years. Rather than deal with this new circus, she's packing it in early. In her words, "This job used to be both gratifying and enjoyable. Now,..... I just want out. I used to feel good about turning out successful students." Another good friend who used to teach future medical assistants lab skills before they made her a "Team Leader" and now is always under at least 2 feet of paperwork, is actively looking for a medical billing and coding job at a hospital. Yet, another friend who was a good Career Services rep who was constantly pressured to falsify his paperwork (but wouldn't), sold everything and emigrated to Australia while he was out on medical leave.

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Sun Feb 08, 2015 at 05:39 PM PST

Challenging the Anti-Vaxxer

by JDWolverton

Remember last fall when people were crazy over Ebola? There were lots of stories about a possible Ebola vaccine in the near future and people seemed to think that was a great idea. Then, the election happened and Ebola dropped off the 24/7 news cycle.

It's months later and now it seems measles is in the news along with the anti-vaxxer controversy. There are tons of diaries out there posting the rebuttals to the anti-vaxxer rhetoric. My personal experience with anti-vaxxers was that they simply don't make any sense and I didn't waste much time attempting to cajole them into deciding to use vaccines.

While anti-vaxxers talk about personal freedoms, I'm thinking about personal responsibility and wondering if it's worth it to try and challenge the anti-vaxxer.

While they talk about quack science, I'm thinking how to cut them off and demand peer reviewed, published factual data from a respected source and wondering if they comprehend just how nonsensical their position is.

Somehow, the anti-vaxxers got a toe hold on respectability. Too many medical professionals get "squishy" when talking to patients about their immunization fears because they fear they will lose their patients to a more "sympathetic" doctor. Not all, some. Too many don't give enough push back when parents to opt out of immunizations. The number of anti-vaxxers is growing not shrinking. I'm just as bad. As a trained health care risk manager, I should promote vaccination, but I usually say something like, "What did the doctor tell you to do?" and change the subject if I think the anti-vaxxer is about to make a scene. Why? Because, I don't want the medical staff angry with me overstepping my boundaries.

In some ways those of us who chose to get our immunizations on time and get our children inoculated have allowed the anti-vaxxers within our social circles more than a toe hold. We've respected their position enough to let them endanger the rest of us and allowed them to grow in numbers without challenge. We don't demand honest argument from anti-vaxxers. I don't challenge my friends when they spew anti-vaxxer hog wash, but maybe I should rethink that. I would never drive my car unless everyone is buckled in, then maybe I should have a similar approach to immunization.

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Like what happened in Steubenville young women in Norman, Oklahoma were sexually assaulted by a classmate. Like Steubanville gossip about the assaulted spread throughout the student body nearly immediately after each assault. There is (allegedly) a video of one of the assaults. There's audio confession to one of the assaults on Jezebel.

Like Steubenville the school administrators have largely FUBAR'd the situation. Like Steubenville the assaulted have been...are being brutally assaulted again both by in person bullying and via social media. It's been intolerable for these young women. These girls have been chased out of their schools. The entire situation is covered by Jezebel and they have done an excellent job in telling the details of what up to now is a typical story of high school sexual assault.

But, this is where the situation departs from what happened in Steubenville.

On a positive note.

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For those of us who were young adults in the 1980s, today's War on Women seems quaint. The Bill Cosby meme disaster is so last week, but I am struck by what the trolls are saying about what happened 30 years ago. I've heard, "Where's the police report?", "Where's the evidence of an HR investigation?", "Where's the proof?", "Where's the DA report?".

I had a front row seat in the working world of the 1980s. It's true you can't take these 6 or 7 anecdotes and say that's the way it was everywhere for everyone in the 1980s, but I think my experiences are fairly typical for the time. Here's (IMO) why there's no police, DA, or HR reports and not enough proof to satisfy all who ask.

UPDATE: This diary needs a trigger warning. If you are sensitive to sexual harassment and/or rape narratives, the stories I tell in this diary may be disturbing to you.

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The newsers are all over covering Michael Brown's family testifying at the U.N. Committee Against Torture about police brutality in the United States which is great. That story needs to get out that the U.S. has a police brutality problem in St. Louis. What you aren't hearing about is that We Charge Genocide is also testifying in front of the committee and that the committee is going to focus on the United States for today and tomorrow on multiple issues. From the U.N. Committee Against Torture's web site:

Among the possible issues to be discussed: extraterritorial application of the Convention;  CIA’s secret detention, extraordinary rendition and interrogation programme; Guantanamo Bay detainees held indefinitely without charge or trial; investigation and prosecution of those responsible for torture or ill-treatment of detainees; immigration enforcement abuses; death penalty, alleged administration of untested lethal drugs; police brutality; prolonged solitary confinement; protection of prisoners against violence; sexual violence in US military.
That's quite a list. Each one is a diary, but I'm going to focus on police brutality and it's impact on the U.S. If you're white, you don't think much about police brutality until you see it happen to someone you love. That's wrong, but accurate for many people.

You know about Michael Brown and St Louis. You may have seen the recent movie, Fruitvale Station, but did you know about the group from Chicago who went to testify in front of the U.N Committee Against Torture, too? No? I'm not surprised. It's not covered by the Chicago media, so the national news didn't pick up the story. They should, because Chicago has quite a problem with police brutality and We Charge Genocide makes a compelling case about it.

When the mainstream media covers the violent death toll of Chicago, it usually focuses on gun violence and blames the victim(s) both directly and indirectly. The media doesn't look into the stats or anything under the surface of any other problems associated with violent crime in Chicago. The mainstream media certainly doesn't cover institutional violence of the Chicago Police Department (pdf) against the people of color within the Chicago community. We know about the record 500 murders in Chicago a few years ago. What we don't know much about is Chicago PD's record of brutality and the millions they pay out in court settlements for their brutal treatment of the community they serve. The mainstream media doesn't cover how the Chicago PD exacerbates and obstructs investigation into police brutality.

Let me introduce you to the organization behind Chicago's U.N. Delegation. They are known as We Charge Genocide and they gave me permission to use and share their images from their web site.

We Charge Genocide (WCG) took their name from a 1951 petition that detailed the atrocity of 153 racial killings and other human rights abuses mostly perpetrated by the Chicago police. Their position is that over 60 years later, the Chicago PD is not much better.

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The aftermath of the midterm elections is still raw. I'm siding with Jon Stewart's assessment that it was a chickenshit gambit. Howard Dean put it more politely, "You can't win if you're afraid".

The DNC? They are going to rearrange their deck chairs on their Titanic problem.

If you haven't heard Chairman Wasserman Schultz on this subject you have an opportunity to do so here:


I only transcribed the last minute. Starting around the 1:50 mark:

...within the next couple of weeks, I'm going to name a committee of key party stakeholders and experts who will spearhead an examination of what went wrong and how the Democratic Party can do a better job connecting midterm elections. We're gonna look at where we fell short. We're going to identify our mistakes. And we're going to talk to the smartest people in our party and the most dedicated Democrats in the country to build on what we've done that works and find solutions for things that are broken. That's where you come in, because we are committed as a party to inclusiveness. We're gonna ask you to be part of this conversation. We're going to ask you for your best ideas and we're going to ask you for your patience as we test out new theories and try new ways of doing things. I'm going to report our findings by a DNC winter meeting early next year with measures by which you can hold accountable. If we're going to be successful, we need you to be part of this effort and to bring to this project the same dedication you've shown again and again this year. If you want to add your voice to this discussion take a minute to let us know. Thank you again. You will hear more from us soon.
Mr. Wolverton has a phrase for this type of speech and it isn't very nice, but since the DNC is asking nicely; I'll respond nicely as I can after the fluer de Kos.
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While we were sleeping one of Thomas Eric Duncan's care givers tested positive for Ebola. The care worker saw Duncan on his second visit to the hospital and was fully geared up when administering to him. The difference between Ebola with the flu, Hepatitis B or measles is that although the flu, Hepatitis B and measles are far more contagious and do kill, Ebola has a much higher mortality rate and is absolutely unforgiving of any safety protocol errors. Hospitals see Hep B often and it's a devastating disease, but there's no pandemic of Hep B.  

From HuffPo:

"We knew a second case could be a reality, and we've been preparing for this possibility," Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in a statement Sunday. "We are broadening our team in Dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread."
The Dallas response to Ebola is more than disappointing. All hospital systems have infection control protocols and plan for it.... but it looks like some ....complacency (for a lack of a better word) set in. I'll use my local hospital for an example. Memorial Healthcare Systems in Hollywood, Florida, added a question to their triage form asking patients if and where they traveled outside the U.S within the last 30 days months if not years ago, but no one really looked at that information unless they had a weird case and a lot of workers were unaware that it was on the triage form. That changed as of last week. Memorial runs infectious disease drills regularly and all personnel undergo regular PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in-service training. Protocol mistakes are noted, but don't require more retraining. That's likely to change. I haven't heard from Jackson, University of Miami or Baptist hospital systems, but I suspect they are reviewing their readiness, too.

Interestingly, the emergency managers in South Florida have met regularly ever since Hurricane Andrew that showed just how unprepared we were for emergencies. Up until watching Dallas fumble their way through Ebola in their city, quarantine foibles, and biohazard decontamination mishaps, and now PPE mistakes; I am concerned that South Florida emergency management starts and ends with hurricane planning. Do we know how to humanely initiate a quarantine?

The U.S. knows how to contain infectious disease; detect, isolate, prevent, control, and protocol are drilled into medical personnel. For example, MRSA an antibiotic resistant staph infection is listed as a "never event" (a condition so egregious, that it should never occur). It was good training for our hospitals. The infection control mechanisms work and MRSA rates are dropping. Hep B rates are dropping. We do know how to control for infectious disease.

Despite the errors, there's no doubt in my mind that the U.S. health system is up to this challenge. Meanwhile, you can feel the fear mounting in the U.S. as it is fed by a media and politicos wanting to score points.

I went to Twitter to see how the world was reacting to the latest news about Ebola and as you can see below, the reactions run the gamut from the good, the bad, the absurd to the ugly.

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Thu Oct 09, 2014 at 07:49 AM PDT

Michael McKenna For FL District 10

by JDWolverton

Michael McKenna is running for Congress in Florida's District 10. It's a Central Florida district that slices a section out of the Southwest side of Orlando, loops to the South and then goes West to a "block that runs from Winter Haven in the South to what looks like the middle of Lady Lake, part of Leesburg and part of Mount Dora. This district is said to be a swing district that leans Republican. The changing demographics of the area is changing the district to be bluer every day. The Villiages, where the Republicans out number the Democrats 2 to 1 are in district 11. District 10 is an opportunity for a hard working Democrat to win.

Michael McKenna decided to run a grassroots campaign and is treating District 10 like it's in Iowa. Get out there and talk and listen to your voters. Michael McKenna knocked on 57,000 doors by the end of August.

Impressive.

Michael McKenna is up against Daniel Webster who beat Alan Grayson in 2010 in what is now District 9. Rather than face Alan Grayson again in 2012 in District 9, Daniel Webster filed for District 10 in 2012. Michael McKenna left the Navy last spring and went straight into campaigning for a Congressional seat.

McKenna is a candidate with nearly fourteen years of Naval experience. District 10 includes parts of Orlando and a great deal of the fast shrinking open spaces of Florida's farm land. McKenna's a better fit for Florida District 10 than Daniel Webster.

This is his first election. He's largely being ignored by the Democratic Party (probably due to his lack of public office experience, but that appeals to many in this district). McKenna supports the Democratic Party Platform. He believes in a pathway to citizenship for people here without documentation. He believes in LGBTQ rights and he's Pro-Choice. McKenna supports pay check fairness, the ACA and promotes mandated benefits for mental health care. McKenna wants to lower interest rates on student loans, higher education standards and supports special education. McKenna is pro-wind and solar energy.

McKenna is head and shoulders above Daniel Webster.



Daniel Webster is a forced birther who would support personhood legislation that would likely outlaw the birth control pill and the IUD.  He's against embryonic stem cell research, but surprisingly, he voted for the Violence Against Women Act. He wants to repeal the ACA despite his constituent's support of the ACA. Daniel Webster wants to strengthen penalties for illegal immigration and no pathway to citizenship. Webster wants looser rules for selling guns across state lines. And, Boy! oh Boy! Does he love drilling for oil and Hate the EPA. Webster rounds out his policy positions with being a member of the "but, but, but Benghazi!" brigrade.

The choice Central Florida has to make is if they want to be saddled for another 2 years with an out of touch, far right conservative, career politician, who doesn't believe in abortion in cases of rape or incest and would vote for legislation that would repeal the ACA for the gazillionth time or vote for a man with 14 years military experience who is new to federal politics, but not new to making things work.

Michael McKenna listens to people. The fact that he went to 57,000 doors proves that. Here's a link to his volunteer page and a place to contribute to his campaign if you are so inclined.

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Gwen Graham, is running one the most competitive races for Congress this year. If she gets the Democratic vote out, she can win her race. She released a video today of her debating her opponent, Steve Southerland why he didn't follow through on his pledge. IMO, she got him and she got him to concede her point.

Well done, Ms. Graham.



Transcript:

Steve Southerland

The last debt ceiling I voted for was, no budget, no pay. If you do not do your responsibility as a congressman you should not get paid.
Gwen Graham
During the shut down, the government shut down; which he voted for twice and then voted to default on our debt. I called upon congressman Southerland to donate his salary to charity, because I did not feel that, while the government was shut down, while people were suffering because they were not being paid; that congress should be paid. He did not do so. I just want you to answer the question. Why didn't you donate your salary to charity? Why didn't you?
Southerland
Let's go ahead. Let's Let's go ahead
Tea party associated Steve Southerland is a sexist guy who told constituents that his $174,000 salary is nothing to write home about. He's a forced birther who voted against the Violence Against Women Act. To wrap up his philosophy, he is pro-oil and gas whatever they want and pro-fracking, too. Southerland is a bit concerned about Gwen Graham's chances and slams her the best way he knows how, by dismissing her as Bob Graham's daughter the popular, former Governor and Senator from Florida.

Gwen Graham is a lawyer who has the support of Emily's List. Southerland attacked her as a lobbyiest, but even Politifact found the accusation to be mostly false (it's Politifact, a "mostly false" on a statement like this is their idea of sticking their neck out). Bill Clinton is helping her out, too. Gwen Graham is running for a seat that's been in the GOP's hands for too long a time. It was held by Democrats, Pete Peterson and Allen Boyd from 1991 through 2011. This seat can flip. Let's restore it back to blue. Here's her sites for funding and volunteering if you are so inclined to help her win.

May she win this November.

Discuss

Twitter, of course has a lot to say about Ebola in Texas. Lots of schadenfreude. Some Snarking about Texas expanding Medicaid after all (which would be a good idea, but to do it only because of Ebala fears....Well, I'll take it.) Anyway. Lots of Twitter derision over the mistake that the nurse knew of the patient's travel to Liberia, but it wasn't communicated to the doctors.

That last one got me thinking. So far all the news coverage is that Ebola won't be a problem in the U.S. I agree, it shouldn't be a huge problem. That doesn't mean we won't see some cases of it, but I have confidence that our hospitals and public health departments are up to this challenge. A New York hospital suspected a case last February and within 7 minutes they fully implemented their infectious disease protocol. It was a false alarm, but the system worked. Conversely, it's looks like the people caring for the patient in Dallas didn't have Ebola on their radar, which based upon all the fear mongering about Ebola; that doesn't make sense. Even so, surely, they have a similar infectious disease protocol as a hospital anywhere. Ebola may be an unlikely diagnosis in the U.S. That said, there is a neighborhood within Texas Health Presbyterian hospital service area that is full of global immigrants including a lot of people from West Africa. We have similar neighborhoods like it in South Florida. Hospitals here are aware of these neighborhoods and plan to serve the people in these neighborhoods. How did Texas Health Presbyterian mess this up?

Ebola needs to land on the agenda of hospital staff meetings over the coming weeks reminding everyone about what the protocol is for something like Hep B, tuberculosis or Ebola. You may be wondering if they have a protocol. In short, yes, all hospitals must have an infectious disease protocol and no, they aren't preparing for a possible Ebola case because hospitals are supposed to always be prepared for a serious infectious disease case. Texas Health Presbyterian hospital did use an Ebola check list and it had red flag answers. They were supposed to go to a second level of a screening protocol, but we are to believe that didn't happen? With Ebola? No one entered it into the data base? No one told the doctor? They are saying a red flag survey got disregarded? Ignored? I call bullshit. HIPAA be damned. I know how gossip flies through a hospital and there's no way the concern trolls at the hospital weren't all over a story as good as Ebola. So, what went wrong in Dallas?

The details of the Dallas case are dripping out. The patient started feeling bad on Wednesday the 24th and went to the hospital on Friday. He not only wasn't tested, but because all he had was a low grade fever he was discharged. He told his nurse he came from Liberia on his first trip to the U.S. from Monrovia, Liberia to visit family in Dallas. Because the symptoms didn't exactly match a more advanced case of Ebola, ...like DALLAS HAS EXPERIENCE WITH EBOLA AND KNOWS?, he was LET GO? He wasn't advised to isolate himself? No follow up protocol? Somehow the doctors didn't comprehend what was happening? Come on! Srsly!?! If this story is true, and Texas Health Presbyterian cared enough to put an Ebola checklist in place, but didn't care enough to regard a positive result; this hospital has a serious culture and leadership problem.

The patient came back to the hospital 48 hours later via ambulance. Possibly because the family was screaming facts at them from the time they arrived to evaluate him, or maybe it was because he was staying in the "Ellis Island" of Dallas, it appears the EMT crew had an idea they needed an isolation unit. Or, maybe they clued in because, by then, the patient was vomiting "all over the place" and were able to connect the dots between Liberia and severe flu symptoms. They get there and the hospital staff still didn't think it was Ebola. Their behavior was cavalier enough that an associate of the patient called the CDC because they thought the hospital wasn't taking this seriously. That made me suspicious, you'd have to be seriously cut off from the world to not be able to connect the dots with early flu symptoms, Monrovia and Ebola. I said as much to a co-worker. She mused out loud if his insurance situation influenced the discharge. Man! I hadn't thought of that! Should've, but didn't.

If any journalist asks if the patient has insurance, they'll get a HIPAA response of "I can't say", but the story is coming out in dribs and drabs. Right now the hospital brass seems to think it's safest for the hospital to have people think the doctors made an error based on not getting good information. In today's age of the Electronic Health Record, I doubt if the record was that anemic. No doctor will admit to not reading the record, but I bet there is more than a fever in his chief complaint. The mysterious uncommunicated positive survey? It's on a piece of paper floating around ...somewhere? No one scanned it in? Typed it in? It got mistagged? what? I see in the coming days this man's friends and fiance talking about that doctor's visit last Friday and I won't be surprised if it doesn't come out the man sought treatment because he feared he had Ebola and wanted them to test him for it and he said so to everyone treating him. No this story is looking less credible by the hour.

Was this a possible EMTALA violation? Did they think his insurance wasn't going to pay? Did he admit to not having insurance? Travel insurance? I ...we know how this game is played. He was stable on Friday, so they could make the case for discharge and claim innocence, hope he goes elsewhere if he got sicker. I can only speculate, but I simply can't believe a doctor and nurse (even in Texas) wouldn't act in an abundance of caution when presented with a patient from the Ebola Zone with a fever and his claimed subjective complaints. Good grief, they had a patient come in from Monrovia, Liberia with vague symptoms, a slight temperature and they kicked him to the curb! That is either gross incompetence or worse.

I'm not buying this as a simple, but colossal screw up. There are undertones of the same old health care system screw ups we've been talking about around here for years. I think this patient had "bad" insurance or no insurance and so the hospital documented a record that could fly for justifying his discharge and if Texas expanded their Medicaid, maybe this diary would never been written. This hospital's accreditation authority and the OIG needs to come in and investigate for both EMTALA compliance and patient dumping. The city of Dallas has an interest in this too. They are incurring a lot of unnecessary costs because Texas Health Presbyterian didn't do their job.

It turns out there may a lot of exposure in Dallas, Texas. About 80 people are being monitored. We get to wait 6-9 weeks (2 cycles of the 21 day incubation period with no new cases) to see if they got this.

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