The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times

The husband of an American missionary diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus has ended his quarantine in North Carolina and visited his wife Sunday at an isolation room at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, a Christian missionary group announced Monday.

David Writebol, who was quarantined as a precautionary measure after returning from Liberia, said his wife Nancy was continuing to improve. Nancy Writebol, 59, and a missionary doctor, Ken Brantly, 33, were flown from Liberia earlier this month for treatment at Emory’s special containment unit, one of just four in the country.

“I have had the great joy to be able to look through the isolation room glass and see my beautiful wife again,” David Writebol said in a statement Monday. “We both placed our hands on opposite sides of the glass, moved with tears to look at each other again.”

Writebol has not had contact with his wife since she was diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia on July 26. Nancy Writebol, wearing a full-body white protective suit, was flown to Atlanta on a specially-outfitted private plane on Aug. 5.

David Writebol said he had no symptoms of Ebola and was cleared by doctors to leave quarantine Sunday to visit his wife.

“She was standing with her radiant smile, happy beyond words,” David Writebol said of Sunday’s meeting. “She is continuing to slowly gain strength, eager for the day when the barriers separating us are set aside, and we can simply hold each other.”

He added: “We prayed together over the intercom.”

“My family and I look forward to her speedy restoration, and we give thanks for continued prayers on her behalf,” Writebol said.

Ebola has infected at least 2,100 people and killed 1,145 in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization.

Two other doctors with the Charlotte-based missionary group SIM also were placed in precautionary quarantine on SIM’s campus in Charlotte, N.C., on Aug. 10. The doctors, whose names have not been released, have not been diagnosed with Ebola.

Palmer Holt, a spokesman for SIM, declined to say Monday whether the two doctors were still in quarantine.

Both Nancy Writebol and Brantly have been treated with the experimental drug Zmapp, which contains a mixture of antibodies. There is no effective vaccine for Ebola, but patients are given fluids and other treatments in hopes of stabilizing them long enough for their immune systems to eventually fight off the virus.

In the worst Ebola outbreaks in Africa since the virus first appeared in 1976, up to 90 percent of those diagnosed with Ebola have died, according to WHO. The virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids.

On Friday, Brantly released a statement from his isolation room at the Atlanta hospital, saying his condition continued to improve.

“I am growing stronger every day,” Brantly said.

Brantly said he traveled to Liberia not to fight Ebola but to treat patients at a SIM-run missionary hospital in Monrovia on behalf of a North-Carolina based Christian charity, Samaritan’s Purse. But as Ebola swept through West Africa, he began treating Ebola patients, he said.

“I witnessed the horror first-hand, and I can still remember every face and name,” he said.

He added: “As you continue to pray for Nancy and me, yes, please pray for our recovery. More importantly, pray that we would be faithful to God’s call on our lives in these new circumstances.”

AFP Photo/Florian Plaucheur

Interested in national news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Fort Worth Police at the scene of a violent crime.

Photo by Brandon Harer (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

If you're worried by the rise in violent crime — a real and troubling phenomenon — don't ask Republicans for solutions. All they can offer is a blame game that relies on dubious cherry-picked data. To get their message, just glance at, the home of hard-right hackery: "Violent Crime Surges 25 Percent in 2021 With Democrats in Washington." You can find dozens of similar headlines across right-wing platforms, which invariably announce "skyrocketing crime rates in Dem-run cities." (Stay tuned for grainy video of a disturbing attack.)

Then there's former President Donald Trump himself, the loudest presidential loser in history, blathering fantastical statistics that are meant to show how dangerous life is in America now that he's gone.

Keep reading... Show less

GOP Senate Campaign Chief Blasts 17 Colleagues Who Support Infrastructure Deal

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) scolded 17 of his Republican colleagues on Thursday for helping Democrats pass "reckless spending." But as chair of the party's campaign arm, it's his job to get them re-elected.

Keep reading... Show less