Is anyone who has read Barack Obama’s “Dreams From My Father,” or who has generally paid attention to his foreign policy and his national security policies, surprised to learn that President Obama is more concerned with treating Africans who have contracted Ebola than he is with imposing a travel ban or taking other steps to prevent the virus from being spread to the United States?
This is for those who have been restrained on the Ebola matter. For example, the Editorial Department of the Wall Street Journal, a frequent critic of the President, yesterday alluded to the possibility of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. that “could well cost billions of dollars to contain and perhaps throw the economy into recession . . .,” but went on to state that “the possibility is very remote . . .” Would those people please perform this simple mathematical calculation: what is 10 to the 9th power? In other words, what would happen if it turned out that at least 10 people have already been exposed to the Ebola virus here in the US by one or the other of the two people who are already known to have contracted the virus and to have traveled in the US and been treated here – and if each of those 10 people comes in close enough contact to expose 10 other people to the virus, and so on: 10 X 10 X 10 X 10 X 10 X 10 X 10 X 10 X 10. The answer, the product: one billion people, which exceeds the entire population of North America. Granted, there would be overlaps (some of your 10 might be the same as some of my 10), but you get the point. By the time the circle of contacts had reached the 9th level, certainly after a few additional levels, which one could imagine might occur within months, or even weeks, or days, the entire continent could have been exposed.
The only action having a chance of stopping – or at least retarding or limiting – all of this, is a complete travel ban: the entirety of western Africa, perhaps the entire continent, needs to be isolated, quarantined. No outbound travel by anyone, anywhere. Effective immediately. As for those brave enough to fly into the quarantined zone and provide assistance, which would be largely in the form of comfort rather that treatment, they are heroes and should be assisted; the claims of the hapless Dr. Frieden of CDC, that it would be impossible to fly people into Africa if we imposed a quarantine, are preposterous and based solely upon political considerations.
Right now, we are giving extraordinary attention and treatment to the two known cases here in the US, but it would be impossible to provide the same level of treatment to everyone in the event of a more widespread epidemic. In that event, we would eventually be reduced to where they are at this time in Africa: attention and comfort where possible, but no real medical care. Right now, there is no cure, you just wait and watch the victim die and hope he or she is one of the lucky 30% who somehow survive.
Even now there are evident changes in social behavior, as people grow wary of personal contact. When this thing escalates, watch out. Even if we somehow got through the November elections before things get significantly worse, would the cost of a November victory, possibly the reduction of our country to the state of Europe after the Bubonic Plague, have been worth it to the Democrats?