Ebola in America.
That seems to be the latest, big scare for so many people right now. We can’t escape the almost daily headlines and news stories. It is the new AIDS scare that happened when we all first heard of AIDS. The interesting thing though about the Ebola scare of 2014 is that it is less about real risk to most people and more about a political tool. Another way to blame Obama and the Democrats for not protecting Americans.
Ebola is an awful, infectious disease. Those stricken with it experience damage to their liver and kidney, internal and external bleeding and many of those who have it will certainly die unless treated properly.
But despite the exotic-sounding name for the disease, the news media frenzy and the political gamesmanship involved, exactly one case of Ebola has been diagnosed in the United States, though several people suffering from it have been brought into the country for treatment. That is it. That is the big “Ebola is in the United States” scare.
And what those spreading fear are also not saying, much like with the AIDS crisis before, is that it is actually quite hard to get Ebola unless you come in direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has it. Considering the handful of people in the U.S. who have it, this just isn’t a disease that any of us is likely to ever encounter. And even then, we don’t catch it by breathing the air of someone with it, or even touching them.
Calm down people. Recognize this is more of a media story and a political tool than it is a real large-scale healthcare concern. Texas Governor Rick Perry is having a field day with it to get attention for his next run for the White House. Immigration opponents are using it as an excuse to close the borders, yet again. And the anti-Obama nuts are using it to show their ignorance once again, making hay with the fact that Obama’s father is also from Africa, where Ebola supposedly started and is at its worst. Somehow this is just another tool for Obama to bring down the good ole U.S. of A. Salon magazine published a piece the other day that noted some of the more egregious, racist even, slams against Obama by right-wingers who are using this as an excuse to be ugly:
Laura Ingraham claims the president’s “core ties to the continent” are impeding a swift crackdown on the disease. Rush Limbaugh says Obama wants Ebola to spread because the U.S. deserves to be punished. And the illustrious felon Dinesh D’Souza won Monday with a Tweet that was off the charts in its idiocy:
Which is worse: EBOLA, the disease; or OBOLA, the dream from his father?
Yep. that is what this whole Ebola paranoia is all about. Fear, ugliness, ratings and politics at its worse. I suppose it is not new for the media and politicians to try to benefit from fear. Indeed it is standard operating procedure most of the time. Fear sells. And fear gets people to the polls. Or so the Republicans are hoping with the mid-term elections looming. I hope most thinking Americans can see through the hype and realize that we have far more to fear from ignorance than we do this new health concern. More people will die in countless other ways than the Right Wing will care about than from Ebola. But those things aren’t as easy to scare people over, unfortunately.