Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Letter to NY Post RE: Olbermann Anthrax Scare

Dear Paula,

I just read the article about Keith Olbermann's anthrax scare. It painted quite a humorous picture of Olbermann in his jammies, jumping like a little girl who sees a spider and riding in an ambulance, a cool cloth on his forehead and a thermometer in his mouth. The disdain was well-placed.

It was only powdered soap! I wish more terrorists would use fake weapons, and then claim the abject terror it created in its victims was just a harmless prank. The world would be filled with laughter while at the same time people we disagree with could be intimidated into silence.

I bet if the NY Post's anthrax letter in 2001 hadn't gotten wet and you had opened it in a puff of powder, you wouldn't have called anyone. You would have scoffed at pansy CDC guidelines to call local law enforcement (they have real criminals to catch). You would have sucked it up (quite literally) like the man Olbermann wishes he was.

After the deaths of 5 people in 2001 - one of your own employees probably should have played the lottery that week - the realities of anthrax exposure became common knowledge amongst the Wikipedia-addicted. If Olbermann hadn't been too busy panicking, he could have jumped on the internet and looked it up. Self-diagnosis from the internet is usually best, although it can be a risk which the more macho of us will take (my husband's co-worker was having symptoms of a heart attack, and by the time his wife got off the computer, he was dead. Now that's a real man).

If Olbermann had bothered, he would have discovered that doctors can't tell if a person has contracted anthrax even with known exposure. Instead, he erred on the side of caution in case the preliminary tests missed something and anthrax needs immediate treatment. I bet all he had on his mind was the fact that, even after getting treatment, inhalation anthrax has a 75% death rate. Basically, there's nothing anyone can do. All that's left is to face impending death like a warrior.

So Olbermann wasted not only his time and dignity seeking medical help so he could live, he wasted the time of the medical personnel that could have been saving the life of some guy who waited till he was critical before seeking care.

Julie O.
Centennial, CO XXXXX
(Personal information not intended for publication, since there are all kinds of wackos out there who like to hurt strangers for their opinions)

Via Crooks & Liars.

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