CDC apparently has made a "lesser of evils" choice to direct Doctor's and healthcare workers to risk their lives using only minimal Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] when treating Ebola patients. Prior to the outbreak, Ebola Biosafey Level 4 [BSL-4] regulations limited treatment of Ebola patients to only 22 hospital beds across the country which had the required BSL-4 treatment rooms and 'space suits'.
Those regulations meant that if a non BSL-4 hospital had been exposed to an Ebola patient, the hospital would have to shutdown the affect areas until they could be sterilized. It also meant that Doctors and healthcare workers exposed would be held under quarantine. Obviously, that methodology is not sustainable for a large Ebola outbreak as the medical system would collapse.
Our analysis indicates that the CDC sees a real risk of the medical system collapsing from the adherence to strict Ebola BSL-4 regulations. And as such, it is better to risk the collapse of the medical system from an actual spate of healthcare worker Ebola infections at BSL1 facilities than it is to risk Ebola patients having no access to medical oversight.
In short, CDC's guidance that Ebola Biosafety Level 4 [BSL-4] Space Suits aren't required for non-CDC personnel is because the risk of Ebola's spread is INITIALLY better reduced by getting Ebola victims into BSL-1 facilities as opposed to leaving them with unfettered access to the public.
While it appears that most medical personnel don't have a clue why the CDC would make such a double standard in healthcare worker protection given that the cost of failure is death, it was very obvious on CDC's August 5th teleconference "What U.S. Hospitals Need to Know to Prepare for Ebola Virus Disease" that multiple represented Hospitals and Doctors understand that there is a clear double standard in CDC's Personnel Protective Equipment requirements: see the question below from B. Russell to the CDC.
"Barbara Russell:.... I had that concern about that double standard. It’s very hard to convince emergency room staff and others that we just have to wear a gown, and gloves and mask.
And then we see on TV with them in all their suits head to toe in this room where they say they’re going to burn everything that comes out of it.
So is there anything that can be done to correct what Emory is doing and what is Emory wearing when they go in the rooms?"
In the end we are left with one of two options concerning CDC's PPE guidance:
1) either we must believe that the CDC is willing to risk the lives of medical personnel out of sheer incompetence, or
2) that the CDC must risk the lives of medical personnel because its a lesser of evils which serves to reduce the speed, but likely not the size of the Ebola outbreak.