On October 24, 2014, during a committee hearing, Darrell Issa, Republican Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, stated on the record that the new Ebola outbreak occurred in Guyana, South America. Issa also referred to Ebola as Eboli. In spite of his “expert Ebola knowledge,” Issa should have known that Guyana, South America, has nothing to do with Ebola because Ebola occurred in Guinea, Western Africa, a continent away. So much for artificial intelligence.
Issa also stated on the record during that hearing that the doctors at the Centers for Disease Control were lying when they said that you can’t catch Ebola on the subway since Dr. Craig Spencer, a recent Ebola patient, was riding on the subway (not sure which medical school Issa attended). While Issa’s comments were apparently made to instill fear in his Republican base in time for the November 2014 elections, it was a blatant lie–Ebola cannot be contracted on a subway. To debunk Issa’s lies and to counter some Ebola false statements, New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo both decided to take a ride on the New York subways.
Issa is not the only Republican employing lies and scare tactics about Ebola – New York Republican Representative Peter King went on Long Island News Radio on October 16, 2014, and said the following:
“The doctors were absolutely certain that this [Ebola] was not airborne.” “it’s time for the doctors to realize that they were wrong.” “Maybe this is a mutated form of the virus.”
So Representative King’s theory is that the Ebola virus mutated and is in the air that we breath? Yet another Republican who knows more about Ebola than the doctors. I guess King gets most of his Ebola information from Isaa and Paul.
But still more – another Republican “Ebola expert,” Dr. Rand Paul, said that “you can get Ebola at a cocktail party.” Dr. Paul is a self-certified Ophthalmologist and nothing in his medical background suggests that he has any knowledge about Ebola, but facts don’t matter when it comes to some right-wing radical Republicans like Paul.
Ebola has not mutated and is not in the air that we breath, nor can it be contracted on the subway or even a cocktail party. Competent medical experts agree unanimously that the only way that Ebola can be contracted is through the passing of bodily fluids. Perhaps Issa, King, Paul and others should check out the facts before engaging their mouth.
Nurse Nina Pham was the first recorded US case of someone contracting Ebola. Nurse Pham was one of the medical professionals attending to Thomas Eric Duncan who died because of the disease. She tackled one of the toughest jobs any nurse could take on — treating a highly contagious Ebola patient. And somehow along the way, she contracted the deadly virus herself. Nurse Pham was transferred from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas to the National Institutes of Health for treatment, and on Friday, October 25, 2014, she was publicly declared cured of the Ebola disease. To head-off any right-wing comments about whether or not she was “really cured,” the doctor that treated Nurse Pham deliberately gave her a public hug to further prove that she has been cured and is no longer contagious. That same day, Nurse Pham was invited to the Oval office at the White House and there was greeted by President Obama who also gave her a huge hug. Medical authorities also say that she is now immune from that disease.
Ebola is a terrible disease that has taken the life of thousands of African men, women and children. It is shameful and unfortunate that there is such a partisan divide in response to Ebola where some Republicans are attempting to gain cheap political points through the use of lies, fabrications and scare tactics to excite their base for the elections. In all likelihood, many Republicans who are fixated on Fox News and similar “so-called” news outlets will continue to buy-in to bogus theories about Ebola and will act accordingly, but that’s just my take.