Originally published November 3 2014
U.S. soldiers sent to West Africa now in isolation being monitored for Ebola in Italy
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The Defense Department assured Americans that the U.S. military personnel that President Obama ordered to West Africa to build clinics for Ebola victims would be protected -- safe, even -- from the deadly virus.
But, as has been the case from the outset, the administration's actions have rarely matched its rhetoric. Now, as civil libertarians lament the quarantine of a CDC nurse in New Jersey, lost in the conversation is the fact that the Pentagon is ordering troops returning from the Ebola "hot zones" to be quarantined as well.
As reported by CBS News, apparently, America's Italian allies aren't as confident as the Defense Department that American troops returning to bases in Vicenza, Italy, are disease-free. As such, the Italians have enacted a policy that requires returning U.S. troops to be quarantined for 21 days.
CBS News reported further:
The soldiers being monitored include Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams who was the commander of the U.S. Army in Africa but turned over duties to the 101st Airborne Division over the weekend.... There are currently 11 soldiers in isolation.
When the troops deplaned, the report said, they were met by Carabinieri -- Italian national police -- who were outfitted with full hazmat suits. If Rome keeps the policy, then all U.S. personnel returning from Liberia -- which will be several hundred -- are to be placed in quarantine for the 21-day time period. Thirty more personnel arrived a few days ago, the report said.
CBS News said that a Pentagon spokesman has defined the isolation as "enhanced monitoring" -- whatever that means. Soldiers are to remain confined to a building where they are being held and are not being allowed to see family members.
The report said that the decision was actually made by the Army and will only apply to soldiers returning from Liberia -- which, if true, means that, once again, our government has lied to us about the danger, or potential danger, that our troops are in (war is one thing, but exposing them to a deadly disease without proper protection is quite another).
CBS News said that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is to decide whether the isolation/quarantine order will be mandatory for members of all the uniformed services who are returning from Liberia, the hardest-hit of the three West African nations (to include Guinea and Sierra Leone) currently battling the outbreak.
The report noted that the U.S. military personnel were being quarantined in a building that is used as a command headquarters. There is secure communications there, so Gen. Williams and his staffers can still function. Also, the building has a gym, CBS News' David Martin reported, adding:
The World Health Organization said more than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola in the outbreak that came to light last March, and nearly half of them have died, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
More American healthcare workers in the hot zone
The commander of the 101st Airborne Division, Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, took command of the U.S. forces in Liberia recently; the contingent is expected to grow in the coming weeks.
"You need our support demonstrated with action not words, and action is exactly what we are going to provide," Volesky said.
Military officials say that a 25-bed medical facility in the Liberian capital of Monrovia should be fully operational by the first week of November. It is expected that American doctors and nurses will be caring for infected healthcare workers at the facility.
"About 600 U.S. service members are now in Liberia - which was established almost 200 years ago for former slaves from America, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The U.S. also set up Ebola testing labs," CBS News reported.
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