Did you also know that Ebola is a lot more contagious on dead bodies than on living ones? A Department of Defense memo confirms that DoD personnel – which include troops and civilians will have direct contact with “exposed remains” of Ebola victims.
Washington Post There is a second group of people especially at risk for infection: those who treat and bury the bodies of the dead, which are even more contagious than living Ebola patients. combination of inadequate infrastructure, logistical issues, conflicts with Western health care workers and burial traditions has contributed to widespread difficulties in containing the spread of the disease among mourners and those caring for the dead.
Among the traditional practices the WHO says cannot be followed with Ebola victims: family-led body preparation and religious rituals that require direct contact with the corpse. Muslim tradition, for instance, requires that family members of the same gender should wash the body themselves before burial.
There are religiously driven Islamic rules about who can handle a dead body, and how. But those rules are often in direct conflict with the procedures health officials must follow to minimize the risk that the disease will spread, because after death is a particularly dangerous time for Ebola infection. “When the person has just died, that is when the body is most contagious,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told The Post on Thursday. “It’s when the virus is overtaking the whole body.”
WND While the DoD has issued new guidance on how military personnel and civilians will undergo pre- and post-deployment training while in the Ebola-affected areas of West Africa, buried in the 19-page memorandum in an attachment is an indication that the personnel will have direct exposure to the affected population.
The statement is in a memorandum from Jessica L. Write, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Broken down into three levels, Level II training will be for personnel who “interact with the local populace,” and Level III training for personnel “assigned to supporting medical units or expected to handle exposed remains.”
If military members must complete the training, it appears to be contrary to previous statements from DoD that the 4,000 deployed U.S. troops will not be exposed to Ebola patients but will undertake only a “supportive role.”
For such exposure, there is a more intense level of training for U.S. military and civilian personnel than the minimally required training for all deployed service members.
Civilian personnel returning from the Ebola-affected areas won’t be required to undergo the 21-day mandatory quarantine described as “controlled monitoring for military members.” Instead, civilian personnel will have the option either of undergoing the 21-day required “controlled monitoring regimen” for military personnel or undergo an “active monitoring” regimen while being allowed to go about their daily business. Monitoring will include checking the individual’s temperature.
At a news conference, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said civilians cannot be forced to undergo the post-deployment “controlled monitoring regimen.” “Because they’re civilian employees and not uniformed service members, we legally can’t force them to undergo a controlled monitoring regimen the way we can with uniformed troops,” Kirby said.
WND recently reported that the estimated 4,000 U.S. troops being deployed in response to the Ebola crisis would undertake a “supportive” role to the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Public Health Service in a mission officially dubbed Operation United Assistance. In that capacity, the troops would construct a command center and treatment and training centers along with housing for U.S. military and civilian personnel.
In exclusive interviews recently with WND, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin and retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely condemned Obama’s decision to deploy troops to West Africa, arguing they could bring the virus to the United States or to other units. The generals said the mission of U.S. troops is to fight wars, not disease.
“There are plenty of other assets that America has if it wants to go over there and build hospitals and clearing centers and things like that,” Vallely said. “So, I think it is a very bad misuse especially when [U.S. troops] now are being asked to step up to the plate again in Iraq. So, I think it is a very bad decision on Obama’s part.”
Eating of bush meat in Africa is thought to be the way Ebola first started infecting humans.
Despite warnings from health officials villagers in West Africa continue to purchase and eat bats, rodents and bush meat.
Barack Hussein Obama’s purge of the military is being fast tracked. Joining the ever-growing list of ousted high-ranking officers, about 550 Army majors, including some serving in Afghanistan, will soon be told they have to leave the service as part of Obama’s grand plan to render the U.S. military impotent.
FOX News (h/t Pat Dollard) Gen. John Campbell, the vice chief of the Army, acknowledged Friday that telling troops in a war zone that they’re out of a job is a difficult task. The decision to cut Army majors comes on the heels of a move to slash nearly 1,200 captains from the ranks. Army leaders were criticized at the time for giving 48 of them the bad news while they were deployed to Afghanistan. The Army declined to say how many majors will be notified while they are at the battlefront.
“The ones that are deployed are certainly the hardest,” Campbell told reporters. “What we try to do there is, working through the chain of command, minimize the impact to that unit and then maximize the time to provide to that officer to come back and do the proper transition, to take care of himself or herself, and the family.” Campbell said it’s difficult to avoid cutting deployed soldiers because of the timing schedules.
All the soldiers being forced to leave have probably already been given a heads-up that they were at risk of the job cut and will meet with a senior officer, according to the Army. Those who are cut have nine months to leave the Army. And the soldiers who are deployed, including those in Afghanistan, will generally have about a month to move out of that job and go home to begin to transition out of the service. The cuts have been difficult for many young officers, particularly captains, who tend not to have enough years in service to retire.
To make the cuts, the Army looked at about 8,500 majors who joined the service between 1999 and 2003. Some may have about 15 years of service, depending on all factors that go into credit for years of service, and might be able to retire, but many won’t have enough time in the job, Campbell said Guard and reserve leaders are looking for officers, especially captains, so there could be opportunities for the soldiers to continue to serve, he said.
The Army has close to 514,000 soldiers now, but will have to be down to 510,000 by October, shrink to 490,000 by October 2015 and be down to 450,000 by 2019. In addition, if Congress doesn’t act to prevent automatic budget cuts from resuming, the Army may eventually have to get down to 420,000 — a size that that leaders say may not allow them to wage even one major, prolonged military campaign.
The Army tried to avoid some cuts by slowing enlistments and using attrition and some voluntary separations. It also has been combing through files looking for soldiers with disciplinary or other problems in their annual evaluations to weed out lower-performing officers first, officials said.
They were also told to learn more about Islam and the brigade commander provided a link to a website about Islam, and specifically Ramadan. That’s the directive that has gone out to active duty military personnel at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a Department of Defense medical and graduate school in Bethesda, Md. The brigade commander sent an email to military personnel before the start of Ramadan, advising them to show respect to Muslim colleagues.
They’ll either sue you or slit your throat
FOX News via TROP “This is a period of great personal restraint and commitment in addition to renewed focus on worship,” Brigade Commander Col. Kevin Glasz wrote. “I’d like to encourage you to learn just a little more about this religion, but more importantly, I’m asking you to be considerate and do not consume food or drink in front of our Muslim colleagues; it is a simple, yet respectful action.” During the month-long period known as Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours.
Now that raised the ire of some of the officers and doctors training at the USU, and several of them reached out to me with their concerns – provided I not disclose their names. “I respect the intention behind this email, but note that there is no similar call honoring other faiths,” one Marine told me. “There is no similar invitation for non-Jewish colleagues to refrain from eating leavened products during Passover, or non-Christian colleagues to refrain from eating meat during Lent.”
The entire incident smells of political correctness, the Marine told me. “Our veterans have sacrificed too much blood, sweat and tears to have their own rights and freedoms be sacrificed on the altar of progressive political correctness,” the Marine said.
I contacted USU about the email. I wanted to understand the brigade commander’s intent. I gave them 20 days to respond, but no one returned my calls or emails. Another individual who studies at USU was concerned about the wording of the email.
“It could be construed as an order and one that violates the First Amendment freedom of everyone who received it,” my source said. “This is an appalling violation, especially coming on the heels of so many instances where those of conservative Christian faith in the military are vilified.”
Meanwhile, Navy officials have ordered personnel serving in Bahrain to dress more conservatively off base, according to a report in Stars and Stripes. Men were ordered to wear long-sleeved shirts and women were told to wear blouses that cover their elbows and skirts or pants that cover the knees.
Stars and Stripes reported that base cultural advisers had spent several weeks conducting Ramadan briefings to “educate Americans about the holy month.” Personnel were given briefings on Islam, the lunar calendar and Ramadan customs. “It’s customary to say ‘Ramadan Kareem’ during Ramadan,” read a to-do list compiled by NSA Bahrain Public Affairs.
The military’s quest to be culturally sensitive to celebrants of the Islamic faith stands in stark contrast to its recent crackdown on public expressions of the Christian faith.
Last Christmas, soldiers at Camp Shelby in Mississippi were told during a diversity briefing that they could not use the word “Christmas.” A VA hospital in Texas refused to accept holiday cards from boys and girls because the cards mentioned “Christmas” or “God bless you.” And a Nativity scene near a lake on Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina was removed after someone complained.
So you might understand why Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, is a bit surprised by the Pentagon’s recent behavior. “There is a good biblical word for this: hypocrisy,” Crews told me.
“Our troops are being told to respect the Muslim Ramadan and encouraged to say ‘Ramadan Kareem,’ while at the same time they cannot have a cross on chapels, display a manger scene or say ‘Merry Christmas’ for fear of offending,” Crews said. “There is something wrong with this picture.”