Joe Biden’s staffers suffered bed bug bites in Des Moines at Iowa Caucus

by nobugsonme on January 5, 2008 · 1 comment

in bed bugs, bed bugs and travel, bed bugs in hotels, how to avoid bed bugs, how to get rid of bed bugs, motels, usa

Beverly Davis, a Huffington Post blogger, is embedded with campaigners at the Iowa Caucus. She reported on 12/31 in a post entitled “Biden’s Bedbug Problem” that Biden’s campaign workers had encountered bed bugs on the campaign trail, only weeks after we heard a similar story from Mary Cheney’s past.

Des Moines — “So what do bedbug bites look like?” OffTheBus asked Joe Biden’s Iowa political director, Danny O’Brien.

“They’re really big and round and itch like crazy,” said O’Brien, as we polished off a glass of red wine in downtown Des Moines late last night.

O’Brien and two other campaign staffers were stricken with bedbug bites while taking up residence in a cheap hotel outside Des Moines, in the northwestern suburb of Urbandale, during the final days before the Iowa caucuses.

“Actually, it’s more of a weekly or monthly sort of place rather than a real hotel,” explained O’Brien.

O’Brien and the other two other staffers, both women, bought some medication and are more comfortable. They also purchased their own sheets, pillows, and blankets.

It’s clear that O’Brien and co. do not understand how bed bugs work. They strike any hotel, any home, no matter how glamorous or humble.

And bringing your own sheets, pillows, and blankets has zero effect on keeping bed bugs at bay. It’s a great way to bring bed bugs away from the hotel with you, though.

They should have been getting their clothing, luggage and other possessions carefully searched, washed and dried on hot, and made sure the bed bugs were not moving with them to the bus. I know they aren’t taking time for that.

I realize the campaign is more important than anything, but statements like the following imply that bed bug bites in a hotel are only a temporary nuisance:

Bedbug bites, overflowing toilets, relying too heavily on volunteers, and worrying about every dollar could all add up to a promising candidate getting culled from the field on caucus night because he didn’t start raising money early enough in this highly competitive race.

Bed bug bites can be just a temporary nuisance, like overflowing toilets, but if transported in one’s possessions or (God forbid) one’s vehicle, one or many people can end up taking them home and to the workplace.

We might see bed bugs taken a bit more seriously if they ended up in the Senate, House of Representatives, or Oval Office. But I still wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even my political enemies.


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