The big story this weekend was news that a second individual here in the US had been infected with the Ebola virus.
The unidentified individual was one of 19 health care providers tending to Thomas Eric Duncan. Mr. Duncan, the first Ebola victim here in the US, contracted the virus in West Africa. He passed away last Wednesday at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
The circumstances surrounding the health care worker are particularly noteworthy because it marks the first known case on Ebola transmitted within the US.
It didn’t take long.
Once reports of the second Ebola infection began to surface it didn’t take long for political opportunists to weigh in. Most of the political commentary centered on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Some called for a “more aggressive approach.” Others wondered aloud if the CDC “was doing enough.” And of course there were the political conspiracy theorists who want to know “what aren’t they telling us.”
A few politicos went so far as to find a link between the Ebola virus and their pet political obsessions. For example, Mike Huckabee found a way to tie Ebola to illegal immigrants. Mr. Huckabee found a live camera and proceeded to inform anyone who would listen that: “we are in danger of an Ebola epidemic because illegal immigrants infected with the virus are pouring across our southern borders…they’re just walking right in.”
Naturally, this is all the result of the failed policies of the Obama administration.
If you can get past the inflammatory rhetoric there are a number of worthwhile observations to be made.
It is interesting that the folks screaming the loudest for more secure borders, turning away flights from Africa and a more aggressive approach from the CDC are the very same folks who want to “shrink government down to where you can drown it in a bathtub.” The folks who criticize the CDC for not having all the answers are the same folks who routinely cut funding for the research that provides the very answers they seek.
The next time you hear a politician or pundit advocate for reduced funding for research and development; remember these past few days. This is what happens when ideology runs head long into reality.
One more observation…
The news that the Ebola virus has reached our shores is indeed scary. Those who hold positions of power and those who aspire to same should be educating the public and urging folks to remain calm. Those who light their hair on fire and engage in fear mongering for political advantage are not worthy of our support.