Conservative Media Try to Link Ebola Scare to Undocumented Immigrants
Two Americans, who came down with Ebola while serving at a Christian ministry in Liberia, were recently flown to Atlanta, Ga., for treatment.
Right wing media outlets have drummed up some much fear-mongering that the hospital treating the two Americans has received nasty emails and phone calls.
MediaMatters.org reports that the conservative media has also tried to link Ebola with undocumented immigrants, which have been a long-time target of the right wing.
Breitbart.com claimed on Aug. 3 that a "leaked intelligence analysis from the Customs and Border Protection" showed that "individuals from nations currently suffering from the world's largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak across the porous U.S. border into the interior of the United States."
"At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by U.S. authorities between January 2014 and July 2014," reported Breitbart.com.
However, just because someone is from a nation that has had an Ebola outbreak doesn't mean that person actually has Ebola themselves.
On Aug. 4, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' website Infowars.com ran the fearmongering headline: "Ebola May Have Already Crossed Border, Secret Border Patrol Report Shows," which it linked to the Breitbart.com article, as did the right wing Drudge Report, which screamed the headline, "Dozens From Ebola-Struck Countries Caught Sneaking Into USA."
According to MediaMatters.org, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham (pictured) stated on Aug. 4, "We currently have a border that is so much like Swiss cheese that anyone could be coming across the border right now, with any type of illness."
"We have a very limited ability to stop them, track them, prevent the disease from spreading. So before you get all upset about Ebola, we could have Ebola people coming across the border right now," added Ingraham (audio below).
On July 7, Tea Party favorite Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote a letter to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that claimed there were "reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as... Ebola virus."
In response, CDC spokesman Daniel J. DeNoon told PolitiFact.com, "Ebola cases in humans have never been reported outside of Africa" and added it was "extremely unlikely" that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. have Ebola.
William Schaffner, of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, stated, "There is no Ebola in the Western Hemisphere."
"If you had such an infection, the chances are good that you would die on the journey to the United States," Arthur Caplan, of New York University's Langone Medical Center, told Politfact.com. "You would be too sick to make it to the border by foot."