Virologist: ‘Possibility’ Ebola Virus Mutates to Become Airborne, ‘Occurs More Readily’

On Tuesday’s “Hannity,” Dr. David Sanders, a Purdue University virologist and expert on the Ebola virus, elaborated on a claim he made earlier in the week, which he argued of the possibilities the current strain Ebola inflicting its wrath on West Africa and in a handful of cases in the United States and Western Europe could mutate and become a threat to be transmitted through the air.

Partial transcript as follows:

HANNITY: [E]bola virologist Dr. David Sanders is with us. Doctor, let me start with you because you’re here with us. You have been studying this virus since 2003?

SANDERS: That’s right.

HANNITY: Very impressive. You work at Purdue.

SANDERS: That’s correct.

HANNITY: OK. And you have said and it’s — a lot of people were taken back by your comments, and it made a lot of press, that while the virus thus far has been shown to be transferred via bodily fluids, you’re arguing that this virus, in fact, could very well become airborne. Why do you say that?

SANDERS: That’s correct. So we actually have the data that show that Ebola enters into lung tissue from the airway side. This was done with human lung tissue. And it enters by the exactly same side of the cell as influenza enters cells. So it clearly has that inherent capacity to get into the lungs from the airway.

HANNITY: We were first told that the only way somebody could get this is through direct contact with bodily fluids. They were trying to reassure people that were on the plane with Thomas Duncan. Then they backtracked and then they said three feet. Now you’re telling us they may be wrong on all accounts.

SANDERS: I don’t have any direct evidence that that is what is occurring now. That’s — I mean, that’s an important message. We don’t know that. But we do know…

HANNITY: Yes.

SANDERS: We do know that it can happen in terms of the biology. That’s important. And it could become — you know, through mutations, there’s a possibility for it to change in such a way that that occurs more readily.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor




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Medical Research Org CIDRAP: Ebola Transmittable by Air

The highly respected Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota just advised the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) that “there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles,” including exhaled breath. 

CIDRAP is warning that surgical facemasks do not prevent transmission of Ebola, and healthcare professionals (HCP) must immediately be outfitted with full-hooded protective gear and powered air-purifying respirators.

CIDRAP since 2001 has been a global leader in addressing public health preparedness regarding emerging infectious diseases and bio-security responses. CIDRAP’s opinion on Ebola virus is there are “No proven pre- or post-exposure treatment modalities;” “A high case-fatality rate;” and “Unclear modes of transmission.”

In April of 2014, CIDRAP published a commentary on Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) that confirmed the disease “could be an aerosol-transmissible disease, especially in healthcare settings,” similar to the known aerosol transmission capability of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). 

Although CIDRAP acknowledges that they were “first skeptical that Ebola virus could be an aerosol-transmissible disease,” they are “now persuaded by a review of experimental and epidemiologic data that this might be an important feature of disease transmission, particularly in healthcare settings.” 

CDC’s published “Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. Hospitals” states: “HCP should wear gloves, a gown, disposable shoe covers, and either a face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face or goggles, and respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a NIOSH certified fit-tested N95 filtering facepiece respirator.”

N95 filters look like surgical masks and are defined by the U.S. Department of Labor as “disposable respirator” with a workplace protection factor (WPF) of 10. A 3M “qualified” N95 respirators rated to block 95% of airborne particles with a size greater in diameter than 5 microns is can cost as little as $.65 each.  

However, the US National Institutes of Health reported in 2005 that 50% of bio-aerosols were found to be less than 5 microns in diameter. The NIH calculated that after correcting for dead space and lung deposition, “N95 filtering facepiece respirators seem inadequate against microorganisms.” 

CIDRAP warns in regards to N95 respirators, “Healthcare workers have experienced very high rates of morbidity and mortality in the past and current Ebola virus outbreaks. A facemask, or surgical mask, offers no or very minimal protection from infectious aerosol particles.”  

CIDRAP is now advising the CDC and WHO that proper “personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures that healthcare workers remain healthy throughout an outbreak.” Based on scientific research, CIDRAP recommends the minimum protection for healthcare professionals in high-risk settings is a “powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with a hood or helmet” that will filter 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns in diameter. 

But the minimum Internet-advertised price for a “qualified” 3M Veraflo respirator is $427.13, compared to about $.65 for an N95 facemask. With Liberia’s per capita GDP only $454 last year and the economy in shambles, there is no way the country’s healthcare professionals can afford to acquire the appropriate protective respirators.

Based on CIDRAP’s research and the fact that Ebola cases are projected to skyrocket, it seems irresponsible that the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets are downplaying the risks of Ebola transmission. 

Less than two weeks ago, the NYT’s “Well” column responded to a reader’s question: “Can I get Ebola from public transportation?” with “Implying that Ebola is caught as easily as flu or colds would be untrue and inflammatory.” The “Well” column, again on October 13th, responded to another question: “I’m flying soon. What is the risk of contracting Ebola on a flight?” with “Top Ebola experts have said they would not expect to be infected even if they were sitting next to another passenger with Ebola – unless that passenger actually vomited or bled on them.”

As I pointed out last week at Breitbart News, the Black Death that killed a third of all people in Europe and the Middle East in the three years from 1337 to 1340 appears to have been a “hemorrhagic fever” similar to Ebola. CIDRAP’s warning that Ebola can be spread by “infectious aerosol particles,” such as breathing, means the pandemic should be expected to continue to accelerate.

Chriss Street suggests that if you are interested in Ebola, please read EXPERTS: EBOLA OUTBREAK, BLACK DEATH ‘PLAGUE’ SPREAD FROM AFRICA AS VIRUSES.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Tom Selleck’s ‘Blue Bloods’ Criticized for Anti-Catholic Sentiment

The October 10 episode of CBS’ Tom Selleck vehicle Blue Bloods has drawn criticism from Catholics after the lead character proclaimed that the Catholic Church was “behind the times” on gay issues.

The episode, entitled “Burning Bridges,” presented New York Police Chief Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) facing a sticky situation over questions of a gay police officer involved as a witness in a gay bashing crime.

In the series, Chief Reagan is a staunch Catholic, but as the head of the NYPD he must follow city and state rules on gay employees. Members of the press raise this dichotomy as they question the chief over the gay bashing incident.

Responding to the media, Chief Reagan stumbles through his feelings, ultimately saying that he felt the Catholic Church was “behind the times” on gay issues.

This plot line sparked criticism from the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, who wrote that his Catholic League has “been bombarded with complaints following the last episode.” It all made Donohue wonder whether CBS was “turning on its audience” by injecting the anti-Catholic subject mater into a series that has in the past been generally strong on traditional values.

On October 14, Donohue summarized what he considers the anti-Catholic message of the episode in an email blast to supporters:

The Bible is ‘anti-gay.’ That is the logical conclusion that unfolds in this episode. The show also misrepresents the sexual abuse scandal: almost all the molesting priests were practicing homosexuals. Moreover, the scandal ended in the mid-1980s, thus showing how far behind the times the show’s writers are. As for the wavering cardinal and the wayward nun–it is what we would expect from writers who have decided to pivot.

“Is CBS committing suicide,” Donohue asked. “The audience for Blue Bloods has been carefully cultivated, so the price tag for alienating its base is high. Time will tell.”

One of several scenes that drew the ire of Donohue’s Catholic League is midway through the episode, as NYPD Chief Reagan is presiding over a press conference. A reporter stands to ask if the officer who witnessed the gay bashing earlier in the episode was a “detective who is a closeted homosexual.” Reagan says he cannot confirm that fact.

Then another reporter stands and confronts the Chief over Church doctrine, saying, “The Catholic Church condemns homosexuality as a sin, and the Commissioner is famously Catholic. How do you line up your anti-gay faith with your role as an equal opportunity employer?”

Selleck’s Chief Reagan answers, insisting, “What my men and women do in private is their own business.”

But the reporter persists, saying, “So, you only condemn homosexuality on Sunday?” 

Looking perturbed, the Chief then delivers the line that incurred the Catholic League’s criticism.

“Well, I do believe the Church is a little behind the times on this. But, then, I still miss the Latin Mass,” the Chief says uncomfortably.

The episode also features a proud lesbian turned Catholic nun and a scheming Cardinal who uses political maneuvers to get Chief Reagan to attend a fundraiser as payback for keeping a local Catholic school open, an offer that is rescinded as soon as the “behind the times” quote is uttered.

Later in the episode, Selleck’s character is asked to apologize to the city’s Cardinal Brennan (Bill Irwin) but demurs, saying, “I do believe the Church is backwards on this. And of all the stands to hold onto. In the midst of the scandals of the past decade.”

Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck is famously far more conservative than most in the entertainment industry, and the show has generally been one of the most family friendly series on TV–often touting duty, honor, fidelity, and traditional values–so it isn’t surprising that some might be shocked by this more liberal plot line.

The Catholic League’s full press release is as follows:

IS “BLUE BLOODS” COMMITTING SUICIDE?

Bill Donohue comments on the October 10 episode of “Blue Bloods”; it stars Tom Selleck as police commissioner Frank Reagan:

We’ve been impressed with the underlying positive message of “Blue Bloods” over the years, as well as its welcome treatment of Catholicism. But after last Friday’s show, we’re now wondering whether CBS is turning on its audience. We’ve been bombarded with complaints following the last episode.

Police Commissioner Reagan cannot defend the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, so when Catholicism is branded an “anti-gay faith,” he replies, “Well, I do believe the Church is a little behind the times on this.” Indeed, he goes so far as to say, “I do believe the Church is backwards on this. And of all the stands to hold onto. In the midst of the scandals of the past decade.” Viewers also meet a conflicted Cardinal Brennan, and a proud lesbian, Sister Mary.

The Bible is “anti-gay.” That is the logical conclusion that unfolds in this episode. The show also misrepresents the sexual abuse scandal: almost all the molesting priests were practicing homosexuals. Moreover, the scandal ended in the mid-1980s, thus showing how far behind the times the show’s writers are. As for the wavering cardinal and the wayward nun—it is what we would expect from writers who have decided to pivot.

Is CBS committing suicide? The audience for “Blue Bloods” has been carefully cultivated, so the price tag for alienating its base is high. Time will tell.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com




Source: Breitbart Feed

‘Rainbow Coalition’ of Community Organizers Building Kentucky Ground Game to Overcome Grimes’ Gaffes

A Fox News poll released on Wednesday shows incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leading Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by 4 points in the Kentucky U.S. Senate race. The poll was released a day before a huge gaffe by Grimes that NBC’s Chuck Todd says “disqualifies” her from serving in the Senate.

What the polls don’t show is an ambitious Democratic ground game that targets “unlikely” but left-leaning voters and is manned by a “Rainbow Coalition” of young community organizers from elite colleges like New York University, Oberlin College, and Johns Hopkins University which could give Grimes an election day boost not captured in the latest polls.

According to the most recent Federal Election Commission filings, the Kentucky Democratic Party Executive Central Committee had fifty young field organizers on staff as of August 31. Many of these staffers came from out-of-state or are current students or recent graduates of elite out-of-state universities.

Republicans are betting that a majority of the voters in Kentucky will reject Grimes as a pro-Obama politician who will say anything to get elected. Democrats, in contrast, are betting that Grimes will be able to overcome her weaknesses by implementing, with the help of her party and labor union allies, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s $60 million Bannock Street project in Kentucky.

That project, named after the street in which Senator Michael Bennett’s (D-CO)  successful 2010 upset victory was planned and managed in Colorado, focuses on building a technology driven ground game to identify and bring to the polls left-leaning but “unlikely” voters by delivering a narrative uniquely tailored to their concerns.

Both candidates have raised and spent more than $10 million in what some predict may be the most expensive U.S. Senate race in history.

But the money to run the Grimes ground game does not come from her campaign coffers. Instead, according to Federal Election Commission records, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had funneled at least $200,000 to the Kentucky Democratic Party by August 31 to recruit and hire its ground game warriors.

While this number pales in comparison to the $2 million the DSCC had given to the Arkansas Democratic Party prior to August 31 to boost Senator Mark Pryor’s (D-AR) re-election campaign with a robust ground game, Federal Election Commission reports to be filed on Wednesday for the period ending September 30 may well indicate that the DSCC’s financial support for the ground game in Kentucky has increased significantly in the past month.

A number of published reports indicate that this army of activists is steeped in the same Alinskyite community organizing principles that brought Barack Obama to power in 2008 and kept him there in 2012.

One paid field organizer, Ziya Smallens, an Oberlin College student from Yonkers, New York, who was caught on video by James O’Keefe explaining why candidate Grimes had to lie about her true positions on the coal industry, had written earlier that “Islamaphobia is a huge issue in the Western World.”

Another paid field organizer, Sharmeen Kahn a student at New York University, described her responsibilities during a three month summer stint working for the Kentucky Democratic Party on her Linked In account writing that “as a field intern for Alison for Kentucky, I recruit and manage volunteers. The main goal of the position requires creating and managing neighborhood teams of volunteers. My responsibilities with the campaign include recruiting volunteers, running phone banks, leading voter registration drives, and selecting leaders for the neighborhood teams.”

Recent Johns Hopkins University graduate Akshai Bhatnagar, another paid field organizer, wrote that the Democrat Grimes had to win the Kentucky Senate race to secure Barack Obama’s legacy. Bhatnagar also wrote an article praising globalism and celebrating the decline of American power in language straight from the Howard Zinn school of historical revisionism, which asserted that “[t]oday, the United States accounts for 25% of global GDP, but only contains 4.5% of the world’s population. Such inequality is fundamentally untenable – and it should be.”

Another example of the Grimes campaign’s culture of deception was on display last weekend, when dozens of young volunteers from the College Democrats of George Washington University drove down to Kentucky and knocked on 5,000 doors for Grimes in three days.

As the George Washington University Hatchet reported “[m]any students filled their bags for the trip with t-shirts depicting President Barack Obama and their GW College Democrats shirts with Obama’s name emblazoned on the back.”

“But it wasn’t until they got to Kentucky,” the Hatchet reported, “that canvassers remembered to be careful not to connect Democratic candidates there with Obama. Alison Grimes, who is running against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, wanted to differentiate herself from the president and the administration’s policies that don’t resonate with Kentucky residents, like Obama’s policies toward coal mining.”

Young students from elite out-of-state colleges aren’t the only ones pitching in to help Grimes get-out-the-vote.

As Breitbart News reported on Wednesday, local offices of the Teamsters Union are being used as training grounds for volunteers.

In addition, the AFL-CIO has already spent over $129,000 on get-out-the-vote efforts in Kentucky through its Working America PAC, and is expected to spend much more.

“Our role is to get people out on the doors talking to voters and making the phone calls and making sure that people are participating,” Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, told the Pure Politics blog on Wednesday.

Shuler spent last Tuesday and Wednesday visiting AFL-CIO facilities in Lexington, Lawrenceburg, and Frankfort.

Public records offer little indication the McConnell campaign and the Republican Party of Kentucky are approaching the ground game with the same resources and energy shown by their opponents.

A review of FEC records indicates that the McConnell campaign paid a total of 40 volunteers for “canvassing” one to two weeks (payments ranged from $300 to $800 each)  in May 2014 (the primary was on May 20), but no subsequent canvassing payments were found in June.

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Wednesday, Chris McNulty, the Republican National Committee’s Director of Political Operations and the former Deputy Executive Director for “Team Boehner” embedded with the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that the McConnell campaign is handling all its get-out-the-vote operations internally.

“They get their voter file data from us.  The Kentucky [Republican] Party for the most part are executing it. It is unique because they [the McConnell campaign] got started so early.”

Breitbart News attempted to confirm this information with the McConnell campaign, but received no response to our inquiries.

Gus Herbert, who Calloway County Republican County Chairman Greg DeLancey told us was responsible for coordinating get-out-the-vote efforts for “McConnell and other Republicans” in eight western Kentucky counties in a region called “The Purchase,” confirmed to Breitbart News that he was a field coordinator employed by the Kentucky Republican Party, but referred us to the McConnell campaign for a further description of his activities.

The RNC’s McNulty spoke glowingly of the Republican Party’s get-out-the-vote efforts in general, but was unable to provide any details about the McConnell campaign operations.

McNulty told Breitbart News that the Republican Party’s Victory 365 field offices “[t]otal  . . . 102 in Senate target states,” but that Kentucky is not included in that list, since McConnell’s team is running that state on their own.”

A source familiar with the operations of the McConnell campaign said it has knocked on 500,000 doors, but there’s no public evidence to verify whether that is true.

Image source: Victoria Sheridan/George Washington University Hatchet




Source: Breitbart Feed

Andrea Mitchell Questions Wendy Davis for Attacking Greg Abbott’s ‘Supposed Disability’

MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell asked gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (D-TX) why one of Davis’ ads referenced her Republican opponent Greg Abbott’s “supposed disability” during an interview on Tuesday.

“Could you have gone after what you see as his hypocrisy by pointing out what he did in that rape case, what he did in these other cases, without this stark image of the empty wheelchair, which seemed to be trying to point people towards his own supposed disability?” Mitchell asked.  

Davis defended the ad, saying it was mean to draw attention to “the fact that Greg Abbott was at the receiving end of a tragic accident, and he was able to receive justice for himself when he sued a homeowner and a tree company after a tree fell on him. He received millions of dollars in a settlement. And since then, in his entire public service career, he has been working to kick that ladder down and deny that same opportunity for justice to other people.”  She added that the spot was “fair,” “absolutely not,” a personal attack, and that “voters now see Abbott for who he is, and of course, in an election, that’s entirely the point.”

Davis also referenced, “My story as a Texan. A young woman who came from poverty to success because of the opportunity that education provided for me, and that’s what I’m fighting for,” and attacked Abbott for taking money from the Koch Brothers.

When asked whether Abbott’s hypocrisy was the main issue in the campaign instead of her position on abortion, Davis argued, “The central theme, the over-arching issue for Texas voters to decide on November 4, is whether they are going to choose a governor who will fight for all hard working people, or whether they will choose a governor who has shown time and time again that he’s going to sell them out.”

She then spent most of her answer talking about education, and promised to “fight to increase our minimum wage,” and “fight to make sure that women are paid equally for equal work,” before declaring that she would be a governor “who’s going to fight to make sure that women’s reproductive rights in this state are respected,” and then briefly turning to Medicaid expansion.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett




Source: Breitbart Feed