Among the institutions that have always been beyond reproach for me are the Secret Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of course, I was a child of the 70’s that grew up idolizing Pete Rose and O.J. Simpson. While discussing my childhood heroes is a fun conversation, there’s nothing funny about the recent mistakes made in securing the White House and addressing Ebola.
On Wednesday this week, a man scaled the fence outside of the White House for the latest security breach. The country got to watch this idiot kick one of our dogs and reportedly injuring a second on video. The dogs, named Hurricane and Jordan respectively, were released from the veterinarian hospital the same day, and the fence jumper was charged with assault on them. Now I rarely advocate violence, but who among us disagrees that the jumping of the White House fence should bring immediate and certain gunfire from America’s finest?
I always thought we called the service “Secret” for a reason. There has been way too much media coverage of this group, and all of it has been a description of a group that somehow has gone soft. How do ex-cons get on an elevator with the President? How does the fence jumper last month get all the way into the building? Please, I’m begging you, if your job performance is suddenly no longer secret, try erring on the side of overprotection. We need to know that our power structure is safe, and we need everyone else to know it as well.
Now let’s move south from the nation’s capital to our Georgia HQ of the CDC. My late sister spent the bulk of her nursing career in Atlanta at Emory University Hospital and much of it doing research on diseases in the global capital of those things. Again, I grew up thinking the CDC was the ultimate authority on diseases, contagions, and responses to them. Don’t question what they say, they are the ultimate authority.
The CDC’s rapid response team should have been mobilized to Dallas immediately when Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola on September 30. They admit that now. Every other mistake that was made in the handling of the nursing staff and traveling within the hospital and on commercial airlines grew out of that lax initial response. These are mistakes that the experts just don’t make. My mom raised seven kids and I am fairly certain that when my little brother came down with the chicken pox, she locked me and my future nurse sister into a room until all three of us had it. Now that’s common sense disease control (it might also be child abuse but Mom is safely beyond the statute of limitations).
The Secret Service and the CDC need a spin doctor at the table in their executive committee meetings for the next few months. I am a spin doctor, and I am pro gun control, and I insist that the next time some nutcase goes over the fence at the White House, we shoot him. Or in the alternative, we turn him over to my mom, and she can train both of these institutions how to do their jobs the old fashioned way.