Paralyzed Children Should Transcend Politics
The CDC denies that illegals are bringing EV-D68 into the U.S. We're not convinced.
“This is truly a mystery disease. We actually don’t know what’s causing this increase.” So said Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), referring to the latest outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) that produces varying degrees of paralysis, mostly in children.
If one is talking about AFM itself, perhaps it really is a mystery disease. Yet the same “mystery” occurred in 2014, and coincided with a wider spike of similarly debilitating illnesses connected to the enterovirus called EV-D68, according to CDC officials.
What CDC officials didn’t say? That the 2014 spike in the number of EV-D68 cases that also paralyzed — and killed — American children, coincided the Obama administration’s decision to allow 66,000 illegal alien children entry into America.
Entry followed by dispersal to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Unsurprisingly, the CDC denied the connection. “There is no evidence that unaccompanied children brought EV-D68 into the United States. [W]e are not aware of any of these children testing positive for the virus,” the CDC said at the time.
A couple of inconvenient facts intrude. First, while there have been outbreaks of EV-D68 in America since 1962, a study done by doctors from the Division of Viral Diseases at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases — and published on the CDC’s own website — revealed that EV-D68 “is one of the most rarely reported serotypes, with only 26 reports throughout the 36-year study period (1970 through 2006).”
In 2014? “From mid-August 2014 to January 15, 2015, CDC or state public health laboratories confirmed a total of 1,153 people in 49 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68,” the latest CDC report revealed.
Second, while legal immigrants are required to pay for and undergo medical examinations, with those deemed to have “inadmissible health-related conditions” prevented from entering the country, the Obama administration ignored applying the same criteria to illegals. Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, former Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, minced no words when describing what amounted to the elevation of crass political considerations over public health and national security. “The CDC’s own guidelines are clearly being violated with regards to the illegal immigrants currently crossing the border,” she stated.
Causation and correlation are not interchangeable terms. Thus, this columnist wrote two articles on the subject, asking dedicated epidemiologists and investigative journalists to determine whether the EV-D68 enterovirus could be directly related to the influx of illegals. The Daily Caller published a piece citing “a growing body of genetic and statistical evidence” that suggested it was, but noted absolute proof would have required federal researchers to “study the genetic fingerprint of the EV-D68 viruses that first hit kids in Colorado, Missouri and Illinois to see if they are close relatives to the EV-D68 viruses found in Central America.”
Yet the most interesting aspect of that column was the reticence of government researchers, health experts, and academics to exonerate the Obama administration when pressed by the Caller to do so. No doubt much of that reticence was due to the effort — still ongoing — to label any negative impact associated with illegal aliens as bigoted and xenophobic.
Just as egregious — if not more so — was the mainstream media blackout while all of this occurred. Now, outlets like CNN and Yahoo News are reporting an outbreak of 90 cases of AFM in 27 states, with an additional 162 possible cases under investigation. Yet reporting on the aforementioned 1,153 people infected by EV-D68 — and 14 deaths mostly of children?
The CDC? When the Caller pressed for details about the number of EV-D68-related deaths and infections on a state-by-state basis in 2014, the CDC refused to answer. Apparently nothing has changed. “Parents of children who had a horrifying polio-like illness are accusing the Centers for Disease Control of hiding the deaths of two children who suffered from the condition,” CNN reported — last Tuesday.
Currently, the agency cites a lack of clinical evidence regarding a link between AFM and EV-D68, noting they’ve checked spinal fluid of about three-quarters of the 90 patients afflicted with AFM and found EV-D68 in only one. Yet Messonnier conceded that the test may be at fault, the virus may have left the body prior to administering it, or it may be hiding in other areas of the body. “I understand why parents are frustrated. I’m frustrated. I want answers too,” she said.
Maybe not. As NBC News reports, “Doctors who have been studying children affected by acute flaccid myelitis say they have gathered a growing body of evidence that EV-D68 is the main cause, and that the virus may have changed in recent years in ways that make the paralyzing side-effects more likely.”
Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, and former director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, wonders why the agency has dropped the ball. “It’s puzzling that four years later CDC has not confirmed the etiology of these cases,” he stated. “Continuing to frame this as a mystery after so many years doesn’t do the public health any justice.”
Unless politics are more important. “The experts we contacted agreed that there is no evidence of a massive influx of infections across the border,” asserted Politifact in 2015. How experts amass evidence when millions of people have completely evaded examination is anyone’s guess. In 2018, another reality intrudes. “AFM is not currently an official ‘reportable disease,’ meaning that health professionals are not obligated to tell public health officials when they suspect a case,” Forbes Magazine reported in October. “Therefore, not every AFM diagnosis may eventually make it to the CDC’s records.”
Regardless, the progressive agenda remains supreme. “Conservatives have used fear-mongering about disease in the past,” asserts the Daily Beast.
More like progressives engaging in intimidation. In 2014, doctors and nurses working at the illegal immigrant refugee camp at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, were threatened with arrest by a government-contracted security force if they divulged any information about the medical conditions of the illegals at that facility. Moreover, workers were stripped of their cell phones and other communication devices, and anyone caught with a phone was immediately terminated. Nonetheless, workers revealed camp children had measles, scabies, chicken pox, and strep throat.
That establishing the causation of any disease threatening the health and well-being of the American public is contaminated by political considerations should enrage every decent American. Unfortunately, an American Left, aided and abetted by an equally duplicitous faction of the GOP, views every problem associated with illegal aliens as a reasonable price to pay for maintaining a globalist agenda. Thus, barring a miracle, Americans can expect the origins of AFM to remain mysterious, and anyone demanding a genuine accounting to be labeled a bigot.
It’s what political paralysis is all about.