JIM CREES: Ebola! Oh my God! Ebola!
If there is anything the fringe GOP wing can be proud of it is unfettered access to a few medical doctors.
There are a bunch of them — Rep. Phil Gingrey, Rep. John Fleming, Rep. Charles Boustany, even Michigan’s Rep. Dan Benishek. And that is to name just a few.
Since much of the Republican party membership has taken to totally denigrating, and wholly ignoring anything mildly smacking of science, there is no little benefit to having a number of doctors on their side to lend a certain gravitas to the platform. What folks don’t seem to understand is that just as not every scientist is a doctor, so not every doctor can be considered a scientist.
Still, whenever there is some need to appear more “scientific” the team can trot out a doctor. So now, there are doctors to address the latest “Scare de jour” — the children from Central America who are sweeping into the U.S.
Hundreds! Thousands! Hundreds of thousands! MILLIONS OF THEM!!!!
Kids who are trying to escape the grinding violence that has become a daily reality in Central America; who in some cases are being left at the border by desperate parents trying any way they can to just keep their children alive; these same kids have become the GREATEST THREAT this nation has ever faced.
And when “the base” gets fired up, what do GOP fringe politicians do?
Feed the fire. Even the doctors’ caucus.
Rather than talk common sense, it’s best to feed the panic.
Rep. Dr. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) recently hurried off a letter to the Center for Disease Control questioning whether the health of this nation wasn’t under attack at the border.
“Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles,” he wrote.
This from a guy who is a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a right-wing medical organization firmly and vehemently opposed to all and any mandatory vaccines. But it is this same organization, the anti-vaccine group, who are so enthusiastically promoting the idea that the Central American kids will spread all sort of disease.
Gingrey warned the CDC that the kids could be bringing all kinds of horrible and deadly diseases across the border, including dengue fever and the Ebola virus.
He warned that the kids at the border may not be vaccinated to “our standards.” The standards he is so angrily and passionately fighting against!
These children might be carrying hepatitis, TB, and Ebola.
Ebola, ladies and gentlemen. EBOLA!!! Except ...
Nobody knows what the kids have or don’t have. Nobody knows if they are infected or not; carriers or not; sick or not.
Nobody knows. Nobody has checked.
I’m not sure where Rep Gingrey studied medicine, but I would suggest to any parent with kids in that same med school — GET THEM OUT NOW!
The Ebola virus is almost wholly, solely, and entirely localized and isolated in the immediate sub- Saharan portion of the African continent.
There is a big, Big, BIG body of water between the continent of Africa and some little village in Guatemala. It’s called the Atlantic Ocean.
There is no Ebola virus in Central America — or North America or South America for that matter. (I do feel I need to point out that there have been single cases of Ebola discovered in both China and the Philippines, although in neither case was there actually a death.)
The children in question, the potential Ebola carriers, are Central American. They speak Spanish.
They are not African. They did not swim across the Atlantic before hoofing up the land bridge to America’s southwest border.
“Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Gingrey wrote in his CDC letter.
And because he is a medical doctor he has a certain credibility despite the fact that there is not one shred of evidence, nor is it even mildly possible that any of these kids is carrying Ebola -— or most any other disease for that matter.
Indeed, odds are they are better vaccinated that kids in the U.S. because the U.N. and the WHO (World Health Organization) are worried about them more than the government of the United States is worried about its own children. The sad truth is that kids in Central America — Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras — are likely to be more widely vaccinated than children in the United States.
Truth be known, many “Third World” countries have higher and better levels of childhood and communicable disease vaccination then does the U.S. When it comes to taking care of our children, we ain’t necessarily Number One.
Ebola is a dangerous disease, but there is something more immediately dangerous to Americans than Ebola of dengue fever — the fear and panic mongering of extremists and FOX News.
Oh. My. God.
Listen to them and you’ll be led to believe the kids on the border are going to infect us with all sort of zombie-like apocalyptic disease.
Heck, there hasn’t even been a reported outbreak of measles in Central America in the last quarter century!
Gingrey may be a doctor, but he apparently isn’t too smart a doctor.
I’m glad he’s not MY doctor.
If this medical doctor can’t tell the difference between the African continent and Central America, one has to wonder how really good he is at discerning between one medical condition or the other.
For that matter, how can we trust his discernment when it comes to effective legislating.
Hmmmmm ... Probably can’t.