Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Best and Brightest

Is public confidence in our public officials dependent on the public not retaining what was said a moment earlier?

Because this reassurance by Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control does not fill me with confidence in the competency of the federal government that President Obama said he'd demonstrate during his presidency:

I think there are two different parts of that equation. The first is if you're a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone. The answer is no. Second if you're sick, and you may have Ebola should you get on a bus, the answer to that is also no. You might become ill; you might have a problem that exposes someone around you..

I readily concede in a bow to the wonders of science that if you are sitting on a bus full of healthy bus riders, you won't get sick by sitting next to someone on said bus. And sure, in America right now, simple odds dictate that even in an Ebola world where infection by proximity is 100% certain, that getting on a bus should not be a worry because there are so few infected people riding on buses at any given moment.

But how is it possible to make the second statement about the risk of infecting someone else in a manner that implies you already forgot the first statement? He sounded like an idiot.

This ability starts at the very top. See the first update.

Clearly, the first statement should have simply said "Yes, you could get Ebola from someone on the bus who has the illness. But there are so few sick in America that it is not a worry if you are currently healthy. Should circumstances change, we will update our advice."

We are so screwed.