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Revolutionary Organization of Labor
by CASEY COLE

On September 30th, 2014 the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that a patient in the US had been diagnosed with the Ebola virus that had already caused thousands of deaths in West Africa. Thomas Eric Duncan was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the USA and he subsequently died from the disease. Duncan, a Liberian national, had recently returned to the US to be with his family.

When Duncan was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, he complained of “dizziness, a headache ... and reported severe pain.” When asked to rate his level of pain, he claimed it was an eight on a scale of 10. Duncan was given Tylenol, prescribed an antibiotic, and sent home despite having a fever of 103 degrees – a note that included an exclamation point in his hospital record.1

Despite having recently returned from West Africa and being grievously ill, why was Duncan turned away? Regardless of a potential Ebola epidemic in the US, why was a man in that degree of pain and with a dangerously high fever simply given a Tylenol and sent home? Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price provides some insight: “If you don’t have insurance, you’re not going to get treated. That’s the elephant in the room.”2

Duncan was not a US citizen and had recently quit his job for an overseas subsidiary of FedEx in order to reunite with his family. He had no opportunity to acquire health insurance and was thus refused health care, despite the so-called reforms instituted under the Affordable Care Act. The only reason we heard about Thomas Eric Duncan was because of the media sensationalism surrounding the Ebola outbreak. With a health care system that remains a for-profit venture in a vicious capitalist society, those unable to pay for care are still turned away. And the vulnerability of the people of the United States to the outbreak of an Ebola epidemic is far greater because of this private profit- driven health care chaos.


1-Ebola Patient First Sent Home from ER with 103-Degree Fever, Associated Press, October 10, 2014

2-Texas hospital responds to questions over treatment of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, Washington Post, October 9, 2014



 


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    Revolutionary Organization of Labor (ROL), USA is a revolutionary working class organization that fights for working class power and the elimination of all human exploitation. Ray O’ Light Newsletter is the regular publication of ROL, USA. We believe, with comrade Lenin, that the working class “... needs the truth and there is nothing so harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable petty bourgeois lies.” In the spirit of Karl Marx who taught that “our theory is not a dogma but a guide to action,” we welcome your comments.

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