By John F. Di Leo -
Of all the issues in the news – the destruction caused by Obamacare, six years of record joblessness, the body counts of inner city street crime – no other issue encapsulates every aspect of this election like the Ebola epidemic.
And don’t say it’s not an epidemic, because it most certainly is… just not here, not yet. Ebola is an epidemic in Africa, and it could be one here. One of the many jobs that our government has is ensuring that this awful contagious disease, fatal to somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of those stricken by it, doesn’t spread to the United States.
Beginning With What We Know:
What do we know about Ebola? It’s a virus, which means that it is contagious. It’s harder to catch than many viruses, and easier to catch than many others, so it’s a medium contagion risk, as viruses go. But it’s an incredibly dangerous one, with a fatality rate of over fifty percent. Balancing the likelihood of contagion with the likely prognosis of the infected, this must be recognized as a horrendously dangerous disease.
There are only three ways to deal with such illnesses: find a vaccine to prevent it, find a cure to survive it, or quarantine those infected so that it doesn’t spread. With an illness this severe, we simply must use quarantine for the time being, until vaccines and cures are both proven successful and mass-produced in enough quantity to deal with a greater outbreak.
No sane person can argue with the above. This is a non-partisan summary of the situation.
Unfortunately, the way that the United States government is viewing the issue breaks down on very partisan lines; the Republican party calls for the traditional, rational approach to this deadly virus, while the Democratic party is irresponsibly breaking all precedent in every way. Consider:
Conservatives naturally call for the borders to be closed to people with infectious diseases – not just Ebola, but also Tuberculosis, Malaria, and any other dangerous illnesses that plague the 3rd world but tend to be long gone here in the USA. The USA has always had a normal quarantine approach for new immigrants, with varying levels of enforcement depending on the risks at the time; today’s conservatives advocate a return to such prudent policies. The first duty of a national government, after all, is to protect the citizens from foreign threats, even if that foreign threat is bacterial or viral in nature.
Today’s Left, however, has no interest in that duty. The Left has long pursued an illegal open-borders policy, at first by benign neglect of border patrol needs along the southern border with Mexico, an error that has recently been turbocharged by virtually inviting an invasion of Central American youths (called unaccompanied minors, though their ages run well into their twenties).
Even if we grant a political disagreement about the reasonable need to restrict immigration, in general, to a level at which assimilation is sustainable, there can be no rational case for inviting hundreds of thousands of lice-ridden, diseased immigrants, whom the Obama administration is distributing nationwide, dumping on a foster-and-adoption network and inflicting upon public school systems ill-equipped to handle them.
In this environment, the Obama administration’s recent decisions to invite people suffering from Ebola to the United States for treatment may not be out of character, but it is certainly out of order. Our healthcare system is being crippled under the combined weight of Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and an eight-year-long recession; our hospitals cannot afford the additional burden of communicable disease-ridden patients whose care can cost millions of dollars per week.
And yet, the Democratic Party policy is to go ahead and invite these unaffordable burdens to bankrupt our system and endanger our population.
No politician or political party claims to be perfect, of course… but the conservative movement has long understood, and stressed aloud, how critical is full disclosure in areas of public policy, from the macro to the micro, from the workings of government to the individual. The Right has in recent years objected most forcefully to the deceit of the Obama administration, most famously for its lies in the sale of Obamacare (from “You can keep your doctor!” to “We’ll reduce your price by $2500/year!”), but also at smaller levels, as the president has saddled the nation with an administration riddled with appointees who dissemble on every topic, in every interview, even in every Congressional hearing when under oath.
Nowhere is this comfort with the lie more dangerous than in the examples of doctors who’ve come to America for treatment after being exposed to Ebola in West Africa. We have seen doctors who cared for Ebola patients mere days before, board a plane bound for the United States and lie through their teeth. “No!” they tell the questioner; “No, I have not been in the presence of Ebola recently.” They say it to get admitted to the United States, to get free health care in the country that still has the best health care in the world. They say it even though they know – yes, as medical professionals, they KNOW – that their selfishness could cause the epidemic to hop the ocean and spread in North America.
Politicization of Nonpolitical Agencies
The Right has long stressed the need to keep each federal agency focused on its own duties, whatever those duties may be. Whether it be Fish and Wildlife, or the Food and Drug Administration, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the federal government is chock-full of agencies already, many of which are now spread so thin they cannot do the jobs they were originally established to do.
The Democrats, however, have taken advantage of their control of executive offices, particularly during the Clinton and Obama administrations, to saddle federal agencies with new and political goals. The Export-Import Bank and the Department of Energy must now try to deny support for good traditional energy exports and manufacturers, while rewarding worse prospects in the “green energy” arena. The Departments of Education and Agriculture must inflict ridiculous foodservice standards on our nation’s public schools. And the Centers for Disease Control must stray from its instinctive duty to mandate rational quarantines, and instead send forth shills to claim that sealing the border against Ebola carriers would be counterproductive!
The CDC chief appeared in television and radio interviews, again and again violating his Hippocratic Oath, doing nothing but harm, by parroting an administration line on this issue that was plainly outrageous from the perspective of his charter to protect the public health. And then the administration appointed an Ebola czar: not a scientist, not a researcher, not a medical doctor or even a hospital administrator… but a hack politician, a lawyer heretofore best known for attempting vote fraud on behalf of the Democratic Party in Florida.
If the Obama administration is to have any legacy that can be printable in a family publication, it is the unprecedented politicization of the healthcare arena.
Democrats in power have long resisted the proper use and management of our mighty military. They choose not to use our military for its intended purposes (such as prudently retaining existing military gains, as in Iraq and Afghanistan) and instead use the military for social justice purposes, such as building schools and roads for 3rd world countries, and now helping the suffering Ebola patients abroad.
The Obama administration has announced that some 3000 servicemen will be sent to West Africa, into and near the hardest-hit areas, to help the aid workers already there or on their way. As generous as such an offer may appear, this isn’t what our volunteer military signed up for.
Our soldiers and sailors, our pilots and marines, are valiant enough to be willing to risk injury or death in battle, but they never signed up to be sent as a volley of potential fodder for communicable diseases, at least, not anywhere that isn’t a war zone. There is no excuse for this administration sending innocents into the eye of this storm. If our troops are infected by this shameful posting, their blood will be on the hands of this administration. This utterly unnecessary and outrageous appointment stands out as an impeachable offense, even in an administration littered with them.
Not all conservatives have served in the military, or volunteered their services as missionaries, ministers and nuns, teachers or doctors in the wild… but it is safe to say that conservatives honor and respect such selfless service, and thank such courageous and selfless heroes for their service. We believe and hope that such people perform such service for a pure purpose.
Since the Ebola issue surfaced as a political issue in America, we have seen people who claim to be these selfless types turn out to be anything but, as some (certainly not all!) have fought such common-sense approaches as the 21-day quarantine. Not just the CDC, but Doctors Without Borders and individual volunteers and “aid workers” like Kaci Hickox – all of whom should know better – attempt to return from an Ebola-stricken nation and immediately go into the community. Can they be that thick, that unaware of the possibility of shedding the virus before their symptoms are visible with certainty? Of course not. The only answer – painful as it is to acknowledge it – is that this brand of modern liberal views the possibility of spreading a fatal epidemic across a metropolitan area like New York to be unimportant when compared with 21 days of boredom in a precautionary isolation.
The New England Journal of Medicine shamefully editorialized against states that try to protect their constituents by enforcing such a quarantine; nurse Kaci Hickox lawyered up immediately, and threatened a lawsuit against the state for denying her constitutional rights! Some “selfless volunteer.”
From fraud and waste to criminal endangerment, from regulatory abuse to individual irresponsibility, the Ebola crisis does indeed cover the spectrum as a crystallization of the destructive policies and worldview of the modern American Left.
Recently, the president said on camera that yes indeed, his policies are on the ballot this fall, through the names and check-boxes of every Democrat candidate.
How right he was. Election Day can’t come too fast.
Copyright 2014 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and trade compliance trainer. A former community activist and actor, he has now been a recovering politician for seventeen years. His columns are found regularly in Illinois Review.
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