What is doing a man wearing slacks, shirt and sunglasses near an ebola patient and 4 people wearing full protective suite? He’s overseen that all the things gone well, said the Phoenix Air vice-president Randy Davis. But it’s not so good as they want to explain us.
Coverage on Wednesday about the ebola patient transport showed the unidentified man standing very near another hazmat-suited worker and then taking what appeared to be a container from one of the suited workers. He placed it on the steps to the jet and walked out of view.
Davis said that the man was trained on keeping a “safe distance” from patients and he was ready to put on gear if needed.
A CDC spokeswoman said in an e-mail to The Washington Post that the agency “doesn’t handle the transfer of patients.”
Davis said the man, who he did not name, is the team’s medical safety coordinator. Standard protocol is for him to wear street clothes, Davis said, because the suits can block field of vision and hearing. Davis said the man has been trained on keeping safe distance from patients and is ready to “suit up” if needed.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such a scene. People stood around in regular clothes as Ashoka Mukpo, the cameraman who contracted Ebola while working for NBC News in West Africa, was being led to an ambulance after landing in Nebraska.
While four people in hazmat suits helped the nurse out of an ambulance, off a stretcher and up the stairs to a specially equipped jet taking her to treatment at Emory University Hospital, a man in street clothes stood nearby holding a yellow envelope. Those questions were answered Thursday morning, when officials confirmed the man was indeed following protocol and supposed to be there.
The sight led viewers to question why the mystery man was unprotected while everyone else, including Vinson, was covered from head to toe. Two of the workers who helped her from the stretcher even wore respirators.