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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

With the real and disturbing news that at least two (it's possible there could still be more) Dallas health workers contracted Ebola during the care for Eric Thomas Duncan, there's some very notable and very good news that is getting much less attention. Today is October 19th, the last day of the quarantine for the family members who were living with Duncan just before he was hospitalized.

I don't know precisely when today public health authorities will end the quarantine or precisely how they will handle it. But as far as we know, according to news reports as recently as yesterday, none of the family members have shown any symptoms of the disease. So we can now say close to definitively that none of them contracted Ebola even though they were living with him in close quarters as he entered the infectious period.

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TPM Reader JM on Rick Scott, hospital preparedness and the "Ebola cart" ...

I have a perspective tying together today’s big news brouhahas. My wife is an ER nurse at a major urban hospital owned by the Hospital Corporation of America, the hospital chain once run by Rick Scott. It’s the largest for-profit medical system in the world, and is of course also notable for its ‘creative billing’ practices in the largest Medicare fraud settlement in history. Scott was booted from the CEO position following that fraud investigation, so he’s not directly responsible for current conditions in those hospitals.

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I'd like to think that Charlie Crist's team or Crist himself were such utter geniuses that they knew somehow that pulling out a little hand fan would trigger Rick Scott meltdown and lead him to make a fool of himself just as he seems to be falling behind in his reelection effort. But I figure they probably just got lucky. He kept making up silly excuses even after the debate!

On the converse, I'm sure in the tough enough! he-manny world of electoral politics, his unwillingness to come out on stage because of a fan will do strengthen him with casual voters.

A lot about the country packed into these findings. From the ABC/WaPo poll on concern over a major outbreak of Ebola in the US ...

While 65 percent of the respondents say they are concerned about a possible “widespread” U.S. epidemic, nearly 8 in 10 with a high school diploma or less education say they are very or somewhat concerned. Among respondents with advanced degrees, about 4 in 10 say they are concerned. Just over 6 in 10 white respondents say they are concerned, compared with 74 percent of nonwhites. And while majorities of all partisan backgrounds express concern about a U.S. epidemic, Republicans express significantly more worry than Democrats.

We now seem to be getting a clearer idea of the breakdown of procedures at the Dallas hospital where one Ebola victim died and two infections of hospital staff took place. A nurses' union - which doesn't represent the Dallas nurses but was enlisted to speak on their behalf - released a statement today detailing a mix of sloppiness, uncertain and evolving practical and lack of proper equipment in the first days of Thomas Eric Duncan's stay at the hospital. But the more striking news - found in medical records obtained by the AP - is that there was apparently a critical two and one half days after Duncan was admitted to the hospital with a suspected case of Ebola but before his definitive diagnosis when hospital workers continued to operate without hazardous materials protective gear.

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