GOP’s public health hypocrisy: If Obama were Reagan, he wouldn’t mention Ebola until 2017
The drums are beating on the right for action now on the so called Ebola crisis. First, any crisis is in Western African, not here. Second, the methods proposed by them: travel bans, automatic quarantines are, in a word stupid, and the latter are already being crawfished on by Cuomo and Christie.
The fantasy that the Obama administration is lollygagging is once again being driven by historical amnesia and the current fixation on instant action. In the public health sphere, instant action will rarely be the right thing to do and can cause all sorts of problems. Besides, actions involving science and medicine should not be driven by people who say, “I’m not a scientist” when asked about climate change.
The point of Arana’s piece is that the slow federal response to AIDS was driven by prejudice and stigmatization of its victims. St Ronnie could not bring himself to mention AIDS until 3 years after it exploded, and only then because a fellow old time movie star, Rock Hudson, was afflicted.
It’s time for everyone to take a chill pill and stop hyperventilating over this so called crisis. It’s only a crisis in West African and a travel ban would destroy attempts to smother the Ebola baby in the crib as it were. I’ll give Dr. Anthony Fauci the last word. The good doctor uttered them in the McCain zone in response to a question from Charlie Rose:
ROSE: Do these quarantines go against science? Because you have always insisted we should start with the science.
FAUCI: Well, first of all, the most important thing is to protect the American people. And, as you said, you got to base your decision and your policy on scientific evidence and scientific principles. What we are taking about health care workers coming back, they are at different levels of risk depending on their experience. And you tailor the kinds of monitoring, passively, actively, direct, according to that kind of risk. The idea of a blanket quarantine for people who come back could possibly have a negative consequence of essentially disincentivizing people from wanting to go there. The reason that’s important, Charlie, is because the best way to protect Americans is to stop the epidemic in Africa. And we need those health care workers to do that. To put them in position when they come back that, no matter what, automatically, they’re under quarantine can actually have unintended consequences. And that’s reason why we’re concerned about that.