The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

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

By Karen Garloch, The Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There were times when missionary Nancy Writebol thought she would not survive her Ebola virus infection, the now-cured Charlotte, N.C., woman told reporters in her first public appearance since leaving an Atlanta hospital last month.

Recounting the ordeal of being placed on a specially-equipped flight from Liberia wearing a protective suit, and surrounded by medical staff who were also in suits, she recalled thinking: “I don’t even know if I’m going to make it to the United States. I don’t even know if I’m going to see my dear husband again.”

She would survive and was discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Aug. 19.

On Wednesday, she appeared with husband, David Writebol, also a missionary, who was quarantined for a time on the 90-acre Charlotte campus of SIM USA, the international charity that sponsored their work in West Africa. David Writebol was released from quarantine Aug. 17 without developing symptoms after being exposed to Ebola while sharing quarters with his wife in Monrovia, Liberia.

SIM USA also released the name of a third American missionary, also a physician, who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia. He is Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, from the Boston area. He traveled to Liberia after Nancy Writebol’s infection was announced. It is not clear whether that doctor will be flown to the United States for treatment.

He was treating obstetrics patients at ELWA hospital but was not treating Ebola patients in the hospital’s isolation unit.

Nancy Writebol, 59, left the Emory hospital after doctors declared her cured of the often-deadly infectious disease and said she could return to a normal life with “no public health threat.”

She is one of two American missionaries who were flown to Atlanta in early August to undergo treatment at an isolation unit at Emory. Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, a missionary doctor for Boone-based Samaritan’s Purse, are the first two Ebola patients to be treated in the United States. And both have attributed their survival to the expertise of their health-care teams and to God.

Both Nancy Writebol and Brantly received doses of an experimental drug, ZMapp, and Brantly received a blood transfusion in Liberia from a teenager who survived Ebola infection. But health officials have said they don’t know whether those treatments contributed to the missionaries’ recovery.

Writebol and Brantly were infected while working at SIM’s ELWA hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, where Brantly cared for Ebola patients and Nancy Writebol helped decontaminate protective gear worn by health care workers when they treated patients.

Health officials have said they don’t know how Nancy Writebol or Brantly contracted the virus because they were following infection control protocols devised by the CDC and the World Health Organization. SIM officials said they also do not know how the second American doctor was infected.

More than 3,000 Ebola cases have been reported in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and 1,552 have died, for a mortality rate of about 50 percent, according to the CDC. The virus is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people who are having symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Photo: Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/MCT


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump

Image via Twitter

A year after former President Donald Trump left the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump continues to have considerable influence in the Republican Party. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former Trump critic turned Trump sycophant, recently told Fox News that having a “working relationship” with Trump must be a litmus test for anyone in a GOP leadership role in Congress. But an NBC News poll, conducted in January 14-18, 2022, finds that many Republican voters identify as Republicans first and Trump supporters second.

Analyzing that poll in the New York Times on January 21, reporters Leah Askarinam and Blake Hounshell, explain, “Buried in a new survey published today is a fascinating nugget that suggests the Republican Party may not be as devoted to Trump as we’ve long assumed. Roughly every month for the last several years, pollsters for NBC News have asked: ‘Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?’ Over most of that time, Republicans have replied that they saw themselves as Trump supporters first.”

Keep reading... Show less

Ivanka Trump, right

Image via @Huffington Post

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection moves along, it is examining Ivanka Trump’s actions that day — especially the former White House senior adviser urging her father, then- President Donald Trump, to call off his supporters when the U.S. Capitol Building was under attack. This week, Ivanka Trump’s importance to the committee is examined in a column by liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent and an article by blogger Marcy Wheeler.

Sargent notes that the committee’s “new focus on Ivanka Trump” shows that it “is developing an unexpectedly comprehensive picture of how inextricably linked the violence was to a genuine plot to thwart a legitimately elected government from taking power.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}