Even as neurotic parents, do-gooder advocates, and municipal safety rats try to take the thrills out of Halloween, along comes yet another scary creature to add some real chills. Sometimes the scariest doctors don’t have the perverted genius of Frankenstein, the genocidal malevolence of a Mengele, the diabolical wizardry of a Phibes, the cabinet of a Caligari, or the appetite of a Hannibal Lecter.
Sometimes the scariest doctor is the one who doesn’t wait at home to hand out treats, but who actively goes about handing out tricks, in broad daylight no less! The news is out now that the New York City doctor who contracted the Ebola virus lied to health officials about his movements around the city after he returned from treating victims of the disease in West Africa.
“The New York Post citing law enforcement sources, reported that Dr. Craig Spencer initially told investigators that he had self-quarantined in his Harlem apartment. According to the paper, Spencer’s story fell apart after investigators checked his credit-card statement and information from his Metrocard.” Spencer it seems went all over town by subway, hitting restaurants, a bowling alley, and hanging with his fiancée and friends.
Kindly ol’ Doc Spencer wrote in September on his Facebook:
“Off to Guinea with Doctor Without Borders… Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history.” Spencer did his ER residency in Queens and works at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center when not off to Rwanda, Burundi, the Congo, or (?) Guinea. His online bio states he is fluent in Chinese, French, Spanish and Greek, and he has studied Chinese language and literature at Henan University in China.
So it may be inferred that Spencer is more than reasonably bright.
Some of us not nearly so bright believe that the head of the CDC Dr. Frieden is blatantly, cartoonishly lying about the Ebola virus’ ability to rack up frequent flyer miles on aerosolized mucous. A few of us less-worldly types cannot see why travel to Toronto in 2003 was banned due to SARS, but not from West Africa now. How can Frieden claim straight-faced that quarantining “hot zone” countries will further the spread?
Feckless sources such as CNN paint this guy in happy humanitarian pastels, as though this humanitarian’s self-promotional sideline excuses his indefensible behavior. No, despite all the AAFP MOC “hand washing” horse hockey none of us has been 100% in universal/contact precautions. And yeah, I’ve gone to work in the throes viral chills and aches when no one else was available. But that wasn’t Ebola.
Elitist, arrogant hubris is the newest, most virulent transmission vector for Ebola, a generally fatal disease. On an international scale, it is encouraging the cross-ocean spread of a virus once limited to relatively inaccessible areas of Africa. On a local scale, it allows an arrogant fool of a doctor to justify his dangerous behavior until it is too sickening to hide. And if he survives this, he should lose his license and be considered for criminal charges.