First, Obama is on the Al Qaeda payroll and will leave America immediately after he completes his term of office. As a result, he personally has engineered the spread of Ebola so that America will be destroyed. Yep, that was a universal belief of those that I encountered. Is it possible I was temporarily transported to the Twilight Zone? Second, Ebola is not only a plot to kill Americans by Obama, but "his response is directly responsible for the widespread deaths Ebola will cause." "Shut down the airlines, close the airports and quarantine or kill all those already infected to save the rest of us." Really, I kid you not. Third, ISIS/ISIL has conspired to infect the World with Ebola in order to kill us all. Really? Fourth, "the CDC and the government is lying to us and are engaged in a massive cover-up!" "Ebola is an airborne virus that will infect and kill us all." Fourth, when I pointed out the Enterovirus was more deadly and infectious, the group didn't miss a beat - "Obama let all of those infected children into the country and then sent them everywhere so they could not be traced and they created the crisis." Where do these people hear such things? I wonder...
So let me address these claims in order, but first some background. Ebola is not new. It has been around for quite some time (first discovered in 1976). Yes, it is subject to mutation, but the current virus has been identified and determined NOT to be infectious unless direct contact is made with an infected symptomatic individual's body fluids. It is not an airborne virus and therefore, cannot be casually "caught" by breathing the air. So, scratch banning all air flights from the list of hysteria based "solutions." Ebola is not 100% fatal. In developing or third world countries, the death rate is at 50%. Which means 50% will survive having the Ebola virus. Now, considering that is in third world countries, we can expect that at least 75% of victims will survive in the developed nations. I mean, how many have died from Ebola that have not been exposed to the virus in Africa? None thus far. Hardly an epidemic. According to infectious disease experts, Ebola has spread though Africa because of their ancient burial practices, which include holding their dead loved one's corpses and their inability to track and monitor those exposed. Correct me if I am wrong, but how many folks in America are allowed to hold dead bodies (especially those already considered infectious)? (See The Ebola Crisis, Much Worse To Come", The Economist, October 18, 2014).
I asked my expert, Dr. Ephraim Hollander, about Ebola and whether it should be considered the biggest threat to Americans (which was another argument raised to me). His response? "Contracting the disease is concerning, but a widespread outbreak in the US is exceedingly unlikely." Why? Because American hospitals and CDC protocols make it easier to track those exposed and to monitor them for symptoms. Because of our medical system, potential victims can be readily identified and isolated. Why else would we all know about the two nurses from Dallas that have been exposed? As of this date, one death and two directly exposed is hardly an outbreak. But if Obama is to blame for the spread of the disease, why isn't Rick Perry? I mean, the Texas governor wants to blame Obama, yet this entire mess would have been isolated had a Dallas hospital paid attention to the initial victim (who has died). Sending him home only to have him expose others is negligence. All the while Gov. Perry claims Texas has the finest medical facilities prepared to handle infectious diseases in the country. Then how did this alleged "crisis" happen if it was not for the failure of the Dallas medical staff?
As far as ISIS/ISIL is concerned, if folks think the American medical establishment is incapable of controlling Ebola, what makes them firmly believe the terrorists of ISIS/ISIL know how to handle it? Wouldn't they all be dead within the incubation period just for handling the disease? And when did ISIS/ISIL possess the facilities and expertise to handle such a "volatile" virus? Somehow, logic and common sense leave people when they are scared.
When it comes to the more deadly and infectious Enterovirus, it was first discovered in America in 1987. It is a contagious virus that attacks the elderly and children's respiratory system. Despite all of the political rhetoric, there is absolutely no evidence this virus originated with the children who sought refugee status by crossing the border into America. In fact, since it has already been lurking in America since 1987, based upon the faulty logic of the gullible, why then wouldn't we blame President Reagan for its spread? Because to do so would be ludicrous! Viruses exists everywhere, including the common cold. Anyone actually believe it's Obama's fault when they catch a cold? Sore throat, runny nose. Thanks Obama!
It never ceases to amaze me when those on the Far Right hate government for being involved in our everyday lives, but when it comes to Ebola, they complain when the government is allegedly not doing enough. Could someone please tell me where the line is in separating government intrusion into our lives from government saving our lives? And to politicize this medical issue is simply beyond me. Ebola, Enterovirus, and the flu can affect everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike. This should be a global health issue, not a political campaign issue. Yet, nothing seems to stop the Anti-Government, Anti-Obama, Anti-Science crazy train!
When I raised the issue of other medical conditions that actually kill more Americans every day than the hyper-sensationalized Ebola virus, the response was that Ebola is worse than the Plague and will kill us all. Yet, According to Dr. Hollander, "The most dangerous virus the US will deal with this winter is the flu, for which vaccines and antivirals are available and often not utilized by patients for the wrong reasons. A bad flu season is estimated to kill 50,000 Americans each year." A far cry more than what Ebola will do in the US this year (again, as of this date, no Americans have died from Ebola). Be afraid, be very afraid! For a more complete list of nonsense politicians are attaching to the Ebola matter, see http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/ebola-crazy-things-people-say-111993_Page2.html#.VEPWZimwLCc.
Now Right-Wingers are claiming Obama appointed the wrong guy to lead the efforts to combat the spread of Ebola. Seems the only one they would approve to handle the crisis was their very own "Knight in Shining Armor" Dr. Ben Carson. They claim someone with medical expertise should be overseeing the fight against Ebola - except administering the efforts might take someone well versed in "administration" rather than one solely versed in neurology and Right Wing Ideology and propaganda. I mean, how many heads of hospitals in the United States are actually physicians themselves? I'm willing to bet, not many. We know the vast majority of politicians issuing fear-inducing statements about Ebola are certainly not physicians! But isn't it ironic that America currently does not have a Surgeon General that could have been leading efforts to contain Ebola? Of course it is. We currently don't have a Surgeon General because the Republicans have blocked the appointment of Dr. Vivek Murthy, not because he is not well qualified, because he is. But because of his public stance regarding guns. Yep, the NRA lobbied the GOP to block his appointment because he has sentiments they oppose when it comes to guns. The folks that now demand a physician head the efforts to fight Ebola nixed the one guy that is qualified to do so. According to the Wall Street Journal, "About a year ago President Obama nominated Vivek Murthy to the post. But Dr. Murthy, who trained at Harvard and Yale and has been involved with public health initiatives, proved controversial because he believes that guns pose a health issue." (See http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/10/17/were-getting-an-ebola-czar-we-need-a-surgeon-general/). Ironically, more Americans will die from accidental gun-related incidents than Ebola, and there is no efforts to contain stupid people with guns.
Telling the truth to those that are scared is always tough. We have a medical issue to deal with. Adding politics to anything makes it more difficult to get it resolved. Blaming others is always easier when promoting one's politically oriented self-interests than sitting down and learning more about the disease and what is really involved in curtailing its spread. I know Halloween is right around the corner, but scaring Americans for some political gain is down right evil! America will defeat Ebola, and when it does, I would like all of the "sky is falling" naysayers to apologize - or at least learn something before opening their mouths without engaging their brains first. I know we all have a First Amendment right to be stupid, but enough is enough. As President Harry S. Truman once wrote; "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." Why are so many Americans more afraid than courageous and determined to do the job? Fear is a powerful political tool, that's why! Have a great week!