What’s More Dangerous Than Ebola??

Question: What’s more dangerous than Ebola? Answer: How about ignorance, racism, hysteria…Not to mention that most of us face an immensely greater chance of dying from flu, guns, automobiles, obesity and other causes about which we don’t panic and against which we don’t even take reasonable precautions.

Ebola is one of those “gifts that keep on giving” for our sensation-loving news media. Like missing blonds in Aruba, media outlets can milk it for endless speculation and sensationalism, and best of all, terrifying the public requires virtually no actual journalism.

I’ve been increasingly annoyed by the hypocrisy and disproportionate coverage, but what really set me off was a recent Huffington Post compilation of crazy. Some of the hysterical pronouncements came from the “usual subjects”–Faux News, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, etc. (Donald Trump parades his idiocy at every available opportunity; he tweeted that Americans who go overseas to fight the outbreak should not be allowed to come back.)–but there were others.

I don’t know who Morgan Brittany is, but she evidently suggested that American government officials had “orchestrated” the whole thing.

“Maybe the current administration needs this to happen,” she wondered, “so martial law can be declared, guns can be seized and the populace can be controlled.”

For sure, Morgan. The fact that Obama hasn’t confiscated those guns yet is just part of his clever, nefarious plan to keep you off balance….

Someone named Cyril Broderick went her one better:

Broderick published an article in a Liberian newspaper, titled “Ebola, AIDS Manufactured By Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD?” Between references to conspiracy theorist websites and “The Hot Zone,” a popular book about Ebola from the 1990s, Broderick implies the virus is a result of bioterrorism experiments carried out by the U.S. government in Africa.

And of course, Indiana embarrassment Todd Rokita had to chime in, claiming that “the real Ebola threat lies with Latin American immigrant children.” Well, Todd, glad to see you are maintaining your own immunity to accurate information.

There were many more, one crazier than the next.

We have an epidemic on our hands, all right, but it isn’t Ebola.


  1. The existence of Ebola has long been known by anyone who keeps up with news. The fact that it has made an appearance in this country is cause for caution but don’t lose sight of the fact that the few cases (thus far) are health care providers who worked directly with the origianal Dallas patient who died due to misdiagnosis in the ER. Either the health care providers after the Ebola diagnosis were careless using hazardous safety precautions, equipment was faulty or there are factors we have not been made aware of. Cyril Broderick should turn his writing talent to Robin Cook-type fiction.

    We have been informed that Ebola is (supposedly) only in specific areas of Africa but…how many of us are aware of Marburgh hemorrhagic fever? I spotted a brief, one-time referral of it’s existence on Facebook and immediately messaged my granddaughter, Ashley, who was at that time on her way to Kampala, Uganda, where it is spreading. Ashley is an RN at Riley Hospital for Children, 1 of a team of 6 RN’s and surgeons specializing in pediatric heart surgery. She was chosen to be 1 of a team of 10 to go to Uganda for two weeks to work in the Uganda Heart Institute, performing surgeries and training the Institute staff to provide better care to their patients. They were not made aware of Marburgh hemorrhagic fever till they landed in Kampala. The team returned October 10th; I have heard no more of the disease but they were not the only travelers returning from that part of Africa and other countries where it and Ebola could be found but not reported. There are many diseases that could make their way here from foreign countries via travelers. Are we to quarantine the many thousands of them? More questions than answers; including the current situation regarding Ebola. By the way; President Obama is not responsible for the few Ebola patients or the health-care scare tactics that seem to be spreading much faster than the disease.

  2. I have an acquaintance living in Monrovia the capitol of Liberia. He’s posted on Facebook of the conditions and culture there that favor the Ebola virus’s struggle to dominate the planet as our species has done. It is truly frightening.

    I compare that insight to here. Our situation here is diametrically opposite theirs both from the standpoint of being condusive to viral spread, which the Ebola virus is notable lousy at, and the care of those who happen to have put themselves in the range of its puny offenses. There is hardly any threat less likely or consequential to us than Ebola.

    We are faced with the most severe existential threat mankind has ever known in climate change. We blithely ignore it. At the same time we read of a threat hardly more dangerous to us than dinasauer bites. We revel in it.

    That does not bode well for our ability to support democracy.

  3. MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—A new study, by the University of Minnesota, indicates that fear of contracting the Ebola virus is highest among Americans who did not pay attention during math and science classes.

    According to the study, those whose minds were elsewhere while being taught certain concepts, like what a virus is and numbers, are at a significantly greater risk of being afraid of catching Ebola than people who were paying even scant attention.

    Interviews conducted with people who spent math and science classes focussing on what they would be having for dinner or what the student in front of them was wearing revealed the difficulty they are currently having grasping basic facts about Ebola.

    For example, when a participant of the study was told that he had a one-in-thirteen-million chance of contracting the virus, his response was, “Whoa. Thirteen million is a really big number. That is totally scary.”

    Davis Logsdon, who conducted the study for the University of Minnesota, puts the number of Americans who did not pay attention during math and science classes at seventy-two per cent, but adds, “I seriously doubt most people will know what that means.”

    From http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/study-fear-ebola-highest-among-people-pay-attention-math-science-classes?utm_source=tny&utm_campaign=generalsocial&utm_medium=facebook&mbid=social_facebook

  4. Ebola has been known and written about since the 1970’s, at least. It was an isolated, but extremely deadly virus that was not very successful at propagating itself because it almost always killed its host. Throughout history, there have been epidemics that were devastating to fairly isolated populations. In the early 20th century, in the midst of WWI, Spanish influenza, spread worldwide as a direct result of the war’s technological impact on shipping and transportation. The deaths from that pandemic numbered in the millions. With Ebola, we are seeing the consequences of our success at more efficient and timely transportation methods as well as our dependence on external resources for food and all sorts of economic activity. The hysteria that has been fed by an increasingly cynical and greedy media as well as the political posturing that caters to the ignorance and fearful in our country is almost criminal. All of this in the midst of continued assaults by ALEC and other extremist organizations attacking the integrity of the very science that can save us.

  5. There is no longer any subject that is so serious or mundane that it avoids the exploitation of some group wishing to use to influence elections or control minds or make money. I have to think we’re close to hitting bottom. And Sheila, I agree: where is the responsible press that can look at that TV camera and say, it’s only 3-4 active cases in the US; panic is our enemy. I guess the News Hour is as close as we come.

  6. Daleb, right on. If we had to deal with one or two unstable people who would be drowned out by the 95%, O.K., but what happens when the media enables this stuff and actually helps stir the pot? And then there are the halfway moderate elected reps. in the Republican Party who essentially say nothing, suggesting that they approve? And we hardly have to mention the halfway lucid people who constitute the districts where these folks live. Making laws and decisions that are equal to our level of panic is not sensible policy.

  7. “We have an epidemic on our hands, all right, but it isn’t Ebola.”

    After reading that post and this sentence, I had to chuckle. So true.

    That’s special! I’m afraid to go out in public and speak now that I’m in Europe because I don’t want to be stereotyped as “one of them.” gaaaaaaawd no. I’m not like ‘THEM’ at all.

  8. I am ashamed to admit that I recognized the name Morgan Brittany as an actress from the Eighties, best known for her role in Dallas. I did google just verify that it was in fact the same person, and it is.
    She’s apparently a regular contributor now on Townhall.com. Her biography there concludes with this gem: “Her greatest passion is speaking on behalf of the greatness of America.”
    Knowing that, how could you doubt her expertise?

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