Misconceptions about the Ebola problem have spread more rapidly than a tropical fever. In the interest of clarifying the situation, here are a number of points that need to be made.
First, the hospital in Dallas did not make any mistakes. When Thomas Eric Duncan showed up at the hospital with no health insurance or means to pay he was given some Tylenol and sent home. Since all the politicians and most of the public in Texas oppose the Affordable Care Act, those who cannot afford care should clearly not expect treatment.
Letting the free market operate when it comes to health care is just what the doctor ordered. That means the people like Duncan, and tens of thousands of Americans without health insurance, die a little faster than they would in some nanny state, that’s all. It allows doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to maximize their profits so much more efficiently that only a socialist could conceive of doing it any other way. Besides giving fewer medical services to people of color is a long standing tradition in this country, which is a partial explanation for why black Americans die four years earlier than their pale fellow countrymen.
Second, the government should not be criticized for its inaction; it should be praised for doing so little. There is too much government to begin with interfering in people’s lives and imposing so much regulation. That is why the senate should be congratulated for never confirming Dr. Vivek Murthy, the man nominated to be Surgeon General nearly a year ago. The National Rifle Association blocked his appointment because he supports a ban on assault rifles and other gun control measures. Such views are extremist and unacceptable. So what if nearly 80 percent of Americans believe in some form of gun control and 62 percent favor a ban on assault rifles. Any discussion of such measures is unacceptable to the leadership of the NRA and since they are the ones running the government, and not some silly senators, it is obvious that he should not get approved.
Third, Ebola is really not that big a threat. In a good year four thousand people die from the flu and in a bad year ten times that. Tens of thousands of people die in car accidents each year and if it were permissible to talk about guns, the same could be said about murders and suicides. Hundreds more die from gun accidents. About twenty Americans a year from their furniture, television or an appliance falling on them, which is about the same as the number killed by terrorists. So far the only person Ebola has managed to kill in America is the unfortunate and uninsured Mr. Duncan. At this point, there is no other cause of death that has caused less death.
Lastly, those, like Texas Governor Rick Perry, who favor a travel ban on anyone coming from countries where Ebola is present should know there are no direct flights between the United States and those three countries (of which Perry could probably not even name his customary two.) Nearly all those travelers change planes in Europe, which would mean turning them back when they got here or insisting that European countries keep them. That would make much of the world think the United States is paranoid, delusional, xenophobic and probably somewhat hysterical, not to mention racist. And the world’s only super power would certainly not want to let that cat out of the bag.