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Federal agency issues “services sought” notice for PPE supplies


The Centers for Disease Control is looking to purchase body bags and a host of other personal protective equipment in response to the Ebola outbreak as concerns continue to linger about the spread of the virus.

A “sources sought” notice posted on FedBizOpps reveals that, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Procurement and Grants Office (PGO) is seeking multiple sources of supply for personal protective equipment (PPE) for potential use in the current Ebola Virus Disease outbreak response.”

According to an attachment entitled “List of Personal Protective Equipment for Sources Sought Notice,” the federal agency is looking to source suppliers of body bags that can hold 200-250 lbs of weight. The bags must also include, “At least 6 handholds included in the body bag to allow burial team to hand carry it safely.”

The advisory states that the body bags and other equipment are intended to be used both in West Africa and in response to other Ebola outbreaks worldwide.

The CDC is also looking to source surgical face masks, sterile gowns, infectious waste containers, and tarps amongst other PPE supplies. The notice does not specify the quantity of body bags that the CDC is looking to obtain.

In September, the State Department ordered 5,000 body bags to be sent to West Africa. The Ebola outbreak has infected over 13,700 people worldwide, with over 4900 fatalities.

Earlier this month, the CDC instructed funeral homes in the United States to bury Ebola victims in hermetically sealed caskets which must be secure “against the escape of microorganisms” and have valid documentation for being airtight. Last month, the CDC also issued a three page list of recommendations which warned funeral home workers not to carry out autopsies or to embalm corpses.

As we reported yesterday, the U.S. government ordered 250,000 Hazmat suits to be sent to Dallas, location of the first Ebola case in the United States. One company alone has sold over a million Hazmat suits to government agencies worldwide since August.

In an op-ed for Forbes published yesterday, former FDA official Scott Gottlieb M.D. warned that larger and more frequent Ebola outbreaks will inevitably hit American cities in the near future and that the imminent onset of the flu season will make it harder to keep tabs on potential Ebola victims in the United States.


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CDC changes facts yet again as public backlash intensifies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new document that doubles the previous length in which Ebola droplets can spread through sneezing and coughing.

Posted to the Ebola information section of the CDC’s website, the new document states that a person within 6 feet of an Ebola victim may potentially become infected.

“A person might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose,” the document states. “Droplets generally travel shorter distances, less than about 6 feet from a source patient.”

A previous document, which was later pulled down from the CDC website without explanation, argued that droplets could only spread 3 feet, a claim the CDC originally worked to deny altogether.

“Droplets travel short distances, less than 3 feet (1 meter) from one person to another,” the document claimed.

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Despite spending the last several months working to convince the public that such transfers were impossible, A CDC advisory from early last August entitled Interim Guidance about Ebola Virus Infection for Airline Flight Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel clearly showed that the agency was in fact aware of the potential danger posed by airborne droplets.

Airline workers were asked to not only wear surgical masks in order “to reduce the number of droplets expelled into the air by talking, sneezing, or coughing,” but also told to “not use compressed air, which might spread infectious material through the air,” when cleaning an airplane.

Even with documentation pointing out the danger, the CDC continued to deny the possibility of the spread of Ebola through droplets at an October 7 press conference.

“Ebola spreads by direct contact with someone who is sick or with the body fluids of someone who is sick or died from it,” CDC Director Tom Frieden claimed at the time. “We do not see airborne transmission in the outbreak in Africa. We don’t see it elsewhere in what we’ve seen so far.”

In reality, as noted by Washington’s Blog, engineers at MIT have shown that sneezes can travel up to 20 feet, more than 200 times farther than previously believed.

The CDC’s constant flip-flopping on important facts and refusal to implement proper guidelines has caused a massive backlash among the American public, with only 37 percent believing the agency has done an “excellent or good job” in major polls.

Harry Reid’s ‘Begging’

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8:05 AM, OCT 31, 2014 • BY DANIEL HALPER

Harry Reid is now “begging” for support. He made the comment in an email to supporters of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The subject for the email from Reid, the Senate majority leader, reads: “I’m begging.” Which is no wonder considering his job is at stake — if Democrats lose the Senate, Reid will no longer hold his current leadership position.

“Daniel — I’ve been emailing a TON,” Reid writes.

But I’m emailing once more because this moment is absolutely critical. I know you’re a busy person, but this is an absolute MUST-READ:
Our Final Weekend Get Out The Vote Push is on the chopping block: We’re still $1,389,071 short with 24 hours left.
If we don’t fill that budget gap, we’ll be forced to scale back our plans to mobilize 575,000 voters this weekend. These are voters who could determine the outcome of the whole Senate.
I’m begging for your help to close the gap IMMEDIATELY. If we fall short before the last end-of-month deadline tomorrow, our chance to keep the Senate gets a whole lot smaller.
Will you pitch in to the Final Weekend GOTV Push before the final deadline in 24 hours? We’ll triple-match your gift.

The election is next week.

Kerry calls Netanyahu to apologize for official’s ‘chickenshit’ comment

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US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to apologize for the remarks of anonymous senior government officials, calling Israeli prime minister “chikenshit”.

Kerry and Netanyahu had a “good conversation” that included a discussion of ways to improve relations between US and Israeli leaders, American officials told the Times of Israel. The two men also discussed other regional issues, including efforts to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“The thing about Bibi [Netanyahu] is, he’s a chickenshit,” a senior Obama administration official told the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who published the quote in an article Tuesday on the “crisis in US-Israeli relations.”

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars. The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states,” the anonymous source continued.

The White House and Kerry moved quickly to distance themselves from the quotes.

The president’s press secretary Josh Earnest said the anonymous officials’ remarks do not reflect the US position or President Barack Obama’s views.

“We condemn anybody who uses language such as was used in this article. That does not reflect the president, it does not reflect me,” Kerry said at the Sixth Annual Washington Ideas Forum on Thursday. “It is disgraceful, unacceptable, damaging, and I think neither President Obama nor I – I’ve never heard that word around me in the White House or anywhere – I don’t know who these anonymous people are who keep getting quoted in things. But they make life much more difficult, and we are proud of what we have done to help Israel through a very difficult time.”

On Wednesday, Netanyahu made the unusual move of responding directly to the quotes, using them to his political advantage, according to Newsweek. Israeli leaders usually do not acknowledge comments made anonymously.

“Our supreme interests, chiefly the security and unity of Jerusalem, are not the main concern of those anonymous officials who attack us and me personally, as the assault on me comes only because I defend the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in opening a memorial ceremony in parliament for an Israeli cabinet minister assassinated by a Palestinian in 2001.

“Despite all of the attacks I suffer, I will continue to defend our country. I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel,” he added.

Regardless of the crassness of the comments in the Atlantic, many Israelis agree with the characterization of the country’s leader, as he is considered to be one of the most risk-averse Israeli prime ministers in history, Newsweek reported.

Yet the man nicknamed Bibi is being attacked on the homefront as well. On Thursday, left-leaning paper Haaretz published a political cartoon that depicted Netanyahu flying a plane labeled “Israel” into New York City’s Twin Towers, which is flying the American flag. Cartoonist Amos Biderman offered no caption to explain the drawing.
In a phone interview with the Times of Israel, Biderman explained that the cartoon implied Netanyahu was leading to “a disaster in Israel-US relations on the scale of 9/11,” pointing to the prime minister’s “arrogance” and unchecked settlement construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.