David Seaton's picture

    Haitian cholera: opening soon in theaters near you... not

    Haitian Venus

    A Collier County woman is Florida's first documented case of cholera imported from Haiti. The woman, who lives in southwest Florida, had been visiting family in the region of the earthquake-devastated nation that is at the center of its cholera epidemic.(...)"We really don't anticipate that we will see any sustained transmission caused by Haiti in Florida or anywhere else in the United States," Torok said. "The risk is so low because our water and sanitation systems really minimize the risk to folks." The cholera outbreak in Haiti, officially reported in late October, has claimed more than 1,000 lives, according to the World Health Organization. St. Petersburg Times
    What is most obscene about the cholera outbreak in Haiti is that the woman lying naked and close to death on the pavement in the photo above, is only a short distance from the USA and that the highly contagious disease, one that is killing her and hundreds more like her, is not considered a major health risk in the USA, where a case has already been reported, because, "our water and sanitation systems really minimize the danger to folks".


    I invite my readers to roll all that around in their minds for a while and consider the implications.
    And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?  And he [God] said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. -- Genesis 4: 9-10

    Religion in the United States has a high adherence level, compared to other developed countries, and diversity in beliefs. Wikipedia

    Go figure.

    Cross posted from http://seaton-newslinks.blogspot.com/


    Lord, you have to be kidding me. This is exactly what missionaries do, for hundreds of years, they really get moving into countries when there's a disease outbreak.

    From a quick google:

    Baptist missionaries fight cholera outbreak in Haiti


    Christian relief agencies respond to Haiti cholera outbreak


    Request for prayer after Haiti's cholera death toll passes 900


    Catholic Relief Services is providing Haitians with soap, water purification tablets and related guidance to prevent the outbreak from continuing to spread


    Samaritan’s Purse Racing The Clock Against Cholera In Haiti


    Passionist Fr. Rick Frechette: Fighting Cholera in Haiti


    CRWRC Working to Prevent the Spread of Cholera in Haiti


    NWHCM Responds as Cholera Spreads through Northwest


    Christian Aid
    Haiti appeal


    Would you rather the U.S. military go back in for the umpteenth time? More empire? I thought you were against that kind of thing.

    Why not just draw attention to the problem rather than making it an occasion for U.S. bashing? Yes, Americans are highly religious; they are also known to be extremely charitable givers, especially the religious ones. True that they don't always agree about their government getting involved in other countries.

    Would you rather the U.S. military go back in for the umpteenth time?

    Frankly, yes... if that is what it takes... They'd be a lot more use there than in Iraq.

    What grossly negligent bunch of UN public health newbies or incompetents approved the deployment of troops not tested for cholera infection, from Nepal where cholera is widespread and endemic, into a country where living conditions are dirt level and sanitation is almost non-existent? 

    Seaton, you are not scaring anyone in the USA as a cholera epidemic in Florida or elsewhere in the US is not likely, and those afflicted can get the care that is needed and works 99% of the time to aid full recovery.

    The epidemic in Haiti started on the river where the troops from Nepal are located. Cholera had been unknown in Haiti and the US CDC has determined the cholera strain is similar if not identical to that from South Asia and Nepal.

    The Nepalese troops were not tested for cholera before their deployment if they did not have symptoms. Health officials say 75 percent of people infected do not show symptoms and can still pass on the disease for weeks. link

    Whoever had chief responsibility for this deployment should never work in a relief or public health disaster area again, and the UN had better find the resources to fight this outbreak, or get out of the way and let these NGO's take over, as a cholera epidemic can take many years to bring to an end. I would support and recommend Doctors Without Borders who have resources and clinics on the scene dealing with this catastrophe.

    Unfortunately, your rant is not going to help David blame the US.

    It's interesting though, thank you for the links.

    I used to be a UN groupie, a big supporter. After the last few years revelations about Congo Haiti etc., I've gone 180 degrees on them. It's not just one mistake, it's scandal after scandal, there are major major management problems, I am a big skeptic towards anything they do now. Certain agenices still seem to do well, but overall, there is breakdown from their original mandates. It is very sad, I am not happy about it.

    Some contrarian views...

    This one has quotes from the CDC guys on the ground, and the main expert, Afsar Ali, who has been watching for cholera there, and who is familiar with the cholera strain found in Haiti because he researched it in his home country of Bangladesh, where cholera is endemic:

    Researchers Tracking Cholera to Understand Haiti Outbreak
    VOA, 18 November, 2010, Brian Wagner | Miami


    and this:

    Did U.N. Peacekeepers Bring Cholera to Haiti?
    Not necessarily.


    Rene Preval Blog > 60 Minutes SundayTells It All!

    Tiba Says...

    I hope some of you watched 60 Minutes Sunday.

    The television news reporting program "validated" what I have been criticising the Haitian government for for a longtime "Incompentence & mediocrity".

    It should take the "blanc" to go all the way to Haiti to tell these morons that those tents that were promised to build for the Haitians sleeping on the streets cannot be built fast enough because those cargos with all of the materials have been sitting on the port unable to get delivered due to their stupid bureaucracy.

    And the so-called primer minester, Bellerives, had no shame to say that he was NOT aware of this problem.

    My question is, how could he not know/be aware of such problem?

    Isn't he the government?

    Last time I checked, the prime minister was in charge of all the ports in Haiti, the transportation, and all the government affairs.

    It's been almost one(1) year since the earthquake left over a million people on the streets and the Bellerives had no clue the materials had been held on his ports for delivery?

    This is a government with NO heart and empathy of its people and the country, period.

    This is the classic Incompetence and Mediocrity of Haiti.

    Posted 11/16/10 6:24 AM

    more pages @


    To see what she's talking about, it's from 9:15 to 11:40 of this 12-minute "60 Minutes" segment from this last Sunday:


    A suggestion, though, for David: watch the whole thing. Because apparently you presume what is being covered (or not) in the liberal blogosphere is the same thing many Americans are watching on broadcast teevee.


    I can't remember how many times over the last hundred years the US armed forces have installed themselves as the government in Haiti for the most spurious of reasons. Now it would be an improvement... Certainly the UN peace keepers are not up to the job and it looks like the creole leadership is stealing a lot or most of the aid.

    There's a

    Special Briefing on the U.S. Government Response to Cholera in Haiti by Representatives from the Department of State and USAID

    today. A transcript should be available at state.gov tomorrow, if not a video. And some of the reporters who attend will no doubt do pieces from the briefing.

    Good post David.  Thank you!

    And congratulations!  I was over at James Wolcott's blog not long ago and saw you are on his links list.  I hope it has a positive effect on your readership.

    Yes, thank you, being on Wolcott's list is a great morale booster.

    Death and Dancing Coexist on Haiti’s Tense Streets
    "Reporter's Notebook" By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
    November 26, 2010, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti:



    State.gov home page headline, November 26:

    Haiti's Upcoming Elections
    Ambassador Merten (Nov. 23): "We hope to see broad participation amongst the Haitian population in this important election. We urge Haitians to go out and vote and to exercise their right to do so." Full Text» Video.


    Excerpt from above transcript of video conference from Haiti:

    QUESTION: Oh, okay. I’m wondering what the U.S. has done to deal with the public health challenge of containing the cholera epidemic while still getting people out to the polls.

    AMBASSADOR MERTEN: Well, the U.S. has done a great deal in partnership with many NGOs here on the ground, the Haitian Government, UN organizations, and other donors to combat this cholera outbreak. We have been transporting and importing rehydration solution, making sure it gets out to people. Our colleagues from CDC, which there are quite a few here right now, have been training Haitian and other trainers so that people can go out to the countryside and talk to people and help people learn how to get the treatment they need and get the care they need, because cholera is, in effect, a very treatable malady if you catch it in time and give it the proper treatment. We’ve been very active in that regard, as have many of our donor partners.

    Again, I go back to my earlier assessment. I think these are Haitian elections. The Haitian Government believes that they don’t see a reason, a public health reason, for these elections not to take place. I think as long as people are informed, as I think they increasingly are, of how they can protect themselves from cholera and what treatment to seek should they be unfortunate enough to be exposed to it, I think that will – that is – should be sufficient to deal with any problems we might have.

    I’m not anticipating problems in this regard on Election Day. I think it is important that these elections go forward and then take place.

    QUESTION: One other thing, actually, for this election is going to have any impact on what happened or what is happening there, and if anything U.S. can do more or the international community?

    AMBASSADOR MERTEN: We meet and discuss on this subject every day and meet with our colleagues to try and determine what more we can usefully do to help the Haitian people confront this issue. This is not a static process. This is not something where we’ve decided we are going to do X and X is all we’re going to do. We continue to evaluate and see what we can bring to bear to be most helpful.

    But again, I’m not really sure that discussing this in terms of the election is really all that germane. I see them as two separate issues. We have a cholera problem here, which is something that the Haitians and we are all grappling with, which is a major public health challenge here. And we have the elections which should take place, need to take place, and we are here to support that effort.



    Latest Comments