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Epidemic Of Incompetence Hurts U.S.

Medical staff walk up the drive to the emergency room area at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas AP PHOTO/TONY GUTIERREZ

Medical staff walk up the drive to the emergency room area at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas

As bad as the Ebola epidemic may seem, it has occurred to me that there is a far more dangerous epidemic that appears to be more rampant every day: the epidemic of dingbat incompetence in our policy and problem-solving sectors.

For starters, one the worst examples is the misdiagnosis of Thomas Eric Duncan when he checked himself into the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Wouldn’t you think, with all the focus on the burgeoning Ebola epidemic in West Africa — Guinea, Sierra

Leone and Liberia — being on the minds of emergency room health care professionals of average intelligence and competence, when told by an incoming patient that he had just come from that specific part of the world, would dismiss his fever and other symptoms as the flu, then send him home for aspirin and rest?

According to media reports, Nina Pham, a young nurse at the Dallas hospital, became infected while caring for Duncan. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Dr. Tom Frieden is now dispatching “infection control” teams to any hospital treating Ebola patients — a precaution he now “wished had been taken earlier.”

Despite expert and well-reasoned projections of exponential growth of Ebola and the resulting deaths, current immigration policy is skewed to the liberal side by political correctness.

There still is resistance to any hardline limits on immigration from Western Africa, lest it be misconstrued as “racist.”

Also, there appears to be an element of liberal “guilt,” in that the U.S. over the years has recruited health care professionals from the Third World, resulting in severe shortages to address extraordinary needs.

According to Dr. Fuller Torrey, associate director at Stanley Medical Research Institute, “Africa bears 24 percent of the global disease burden, but is home to only 3 percent of the world’s health care workforce.”

Incompetence and misplaced priorities are not limited to health care.

For example, Secretary of State John Kerry recently declared global warming as “the biggest challenge of all that we face right now.”

He is apparently unaware that ISIS is currently 15 miles from Iraq’s major airport and threatens the city of Baghdad with its sprawling U.S. embassy.

Not to be outdone, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel writes, “Climate change is a ‘threat multiplier’ that has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today — from infectious disease to terrorism.” “Climate change”?

“Global warming”? Compared to ISIS, infectious disease and terrorism?

And, finally, we have an impotent commander in chief who can’t even bribe the Turks to fire upon ISIS forces converging on the border city of Kobani, while instead they fire upon the Kurds, who are trying to help us save the city.

And we have provided the Turks with millions in military and humanitarian aid over the years.

The president’s “air war” against the jihadists of ISIS, compared to previous successful bombing campaigns — Bosnia and Baghdad, for example — can be measured in pinpricks.

“Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was,” according to cowboy philosopher Will Rogers.

But, in this case, it’s just “Things ain’t what they used to be” — period.