What kind of doctor…

…travels halfway around the world, ostensibly to help others combat a virulent disease, and then puts his own home country (and others) at risk by casually traveling around during the potential incubation period?

This kind, apparently:

Dr. Spencer had been working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea treating Ebola patients, and completed his work on Oct. 12, Dr. Bassett said. He flew out of the country on Oct. 14, traveling via Europe, and arrived in New York on Oct. 17.

Since returning, he had been taking his temperature twice a day, Dr. Bassett said.

He told the authorities that he did not believe the protective gear he wore while working with Ebola patients had been breached but had been monitoring his own health.

Yeah… monitoring it while jaunting around New York City like he’d just returned from a trip to Vancouver instead of Virus Ground Zero.  Now authorities are having to track down all his potential contacts.  Given the crowds on the NY subway system, good luck with that.

How irresponsible can you be?  I certainly wouldn’t trust this doctor’s judgment after this, and I hope nobody else will, either.

I thought one of the main creeds of the medical profession was “first, do no harm.”  I applaud those willing to travel to Africa to put their talents to use in combating this serious problem.  But that level of self-sacrifice should include being willing to self-quarantine upon your return, foregoing the pleasures of America until you’re certain you’re not a threat to America.  Otherwise, your altruism is misplaced, since it poses the risk of doing more harm than you did good.

First we refuse to institute a travel ban on flights coming here from those countries.  Then we start importing known cases of medical professionals who return here for treatment instead of being treated overseas.  Now we have volunteers running around while becoming symptomatic.  And let’s not forget we’re sending thousands of troops to West Africa to fight Ebola.

We keep being told that these risks are just part of the modern, interconnected world.  But common sense says when you have the means to reduce the risk of something this dangerous, you do so.  That’s certainly been the pretext under which we’ve been asked to surrender our freedoms since 9/11, anyway.  Remind me: why do we have a Department of Homeland Security?

It’s almost like somebody wants this bug to get established outside of Africa.

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