Despite concerns around the globe that the Ebola virus may continue to spread and mutate into something even more deadly, the director of the CDC attempted to assuage fears about the possibility of an outbreak on U.S. soil.
“It is not a potential of Ebola spreading widely in the U.S.,” director Thomas Friedman told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “That is not in the cards.”
But while the CDC downplays the potential threat, emergency planners behind the scenes have been getting ready since as early as April of this year. In a report presented to Congress while the virus was spreading in West Africa, the Department of Defense said that it has dispatched biological detection kits to National Guard units in all 50 states with the capability of diagnosing the virus in infected patients in as little as 30 minutes.
And, in a move that raised some eyebrows this morning, President Obama amended a 2003 Executive Order that gives the Federal government, as noted by Paul Joseph Watson, the power to “mandate the apprehension and detention of Americans who merely show signs of respiratory illness.”
Although Ebola was listed on the original executive order signed by Bush, Obama’s amendment ensures that Americans who merely show signs of respiratory illness, with the exception of influenza, can be forcibly detained by medical authorities.