By: Mike Morris and John Spink
October 2, 2014
Two days after a man in Texas was diagnosed with Ebola, a Missouri doctor Thursday morning showed up at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport dressed in protective gear to protest what he called mismanagement of the crisis by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Gil Mobley checked in and cleared airport security wearing a mask, goggles, gloves, boots and a hooded white jumpsuit emblazoned on the back with the words, “CDC is lying!”
“If they’re not lying, they are grossly incompetent,” said Mobley, a microbiologist and emergency trauma physician from Springfield, Mo.
Mobley said the CDC is “sugar-coating” the risk of the virus spreading in the United States.
Watch the CDC discuss the Ebola case here.
“For them to say last week that the likelihood of importing an Ebola case was extremely small was a real bad call,” he said.
“Once this disease consumes every third world country, as surely it will, because they lack the same basic infrastructure as Sierra Leone and Liberia, at that point, we will be importing clusters of Ebola on a daily basis,” Mobley predicted. “That will overwhelm any advanced country’s ability to contain the clusters in isolation and quarantine. That spells bad news.”
Mobley, a Medical College of Georgia graduate who had an overnight layover after flying to Atlanta from Guatemala on Wednesday, said that he feels that the CDC is “asleep at the wheel” when it comes to screening passengers arriving in the United States from other countries.
“Yesterday, I came through international customs at the Atlanta airport,” the doctor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The only question they asked arriving passengers is if they had tobacco or alcohol.”
The CDC on Wednesday sent a team to the airport in Monrovia, Liberia, where the Texas patient began his recent trip from Liberia to the United States, to make sure health officials there are screening passengers properly.
“There were no signs of any disease when the gentleman boarded the flight,” said Dr. Tom Kenyon, director of the CDC’s Center for Global Health. “This was not a failure of the screening process at the airport.”
Also Wednesday, customs workers at Hartsfield started handing out Ebola information leaflets to passengers holding passports from West African countries such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Information on Ebola is also displayed on posters and TV monitors in the customs area.
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