In Response to GOP Fear Mongering, the White House Details its Response to the Ebola Outbreak

Seabees_Ebola_ResponseIt has been conclusively proven in recent days that if you want to know anything about Ebola that you should not listen to Fox News or to any Republican politician. The depth of Republican interest in Ebola has been sufficiently demonstrated by Dinesh D’Souza’s awkward attempt at an Ebola joke at President Obama’s expense.

The White House, on the other hand, released a FACT SHEET: The U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa yesterday. Yes, actual facts. About Ebola. About the U.S. response. Politics-free facts:

Since the first cases of Ebola were reported in West Africa in March 2014, the United States has mounted a whole-of-government response to contain and eliminate the epidemic at its source, while also taking prudent measures at home. The President last month outlined a stepped-up U.S. response, leveraging more thoroughly the unique capabilities of the U.S. military to support the civilian-led response in West Africa. Domestically, we have prepared for the diagnosis of an Ebola case on U.S. soil and have measures in place to stop this and any potential future cases in their tracks.

Isn’t that something? Though this might come as news to Fox News viewers, there is a world of facts out there. As opposed to Republican scare-tactics, the White House engages these facts and even lays out in clear, concise terms, it’s “four key goals” in combating Ebola:

  • Controlling the epidemic at its source in West Africa;
  • Mitigating second-order impacts, including blunting the economic, social, and political tolls in the region;
  • Engaging and coordinating with a broader global audience; and,
  • Fortifying global health security infrastructure in the region and beyond, including within the United States.

You might notice that the White House goal is not to send our soldiers over there to get them infected, or to bring Ebola home and spread it in order to exterminate white folks. Both are Right Wing tropes as the mid-term elections approach.

In contrast, Ebola is not of interest to Republicans scientifically or medically, but only in the extent to which it can be sufficiently politicized. Witness Joe Scarborough’s fear-mongering and his temper tantrum when he got called out. Or Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who gets schooled by an NIH doctor when she calls for closing our borders in a panicked response to Ebola.

As Jason Easley wrote here the other day,

The Fox News view can be broken down into three parts:
1). Illegal immigrants are bad people who want to cause good God loving Fox News viewers like you harm.
2). Terrorists are around every corner, and they want to cause good God loving Fox News viewers like you harm.
3). Barack Obama is a bad man who has failed to keep you safe, and he wants to cause good God loving Fox News viewers like you harm.

Critics ask how the United States response would differ if Ebola were killing thousands of Americans. What matters is what America is doing while Ebola is killing thousands of Africans. The White House Fact Sheet details the U.S.’s “specific response efforts” to Ebola as part of a broader international response, and as it happens, it is extensive, including,

  • Deployed to West Africa more than 130 civilian medical, healthcare, and disaster response experts from multiple U.S. government departments and agencies as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team as well as approximately 350 U.S. military personnel, constituting the largest U.S. response to an international public health challenge;
  • Increased the number of Ebola treatment units (ETU) in the region, including supporting ETUs in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and one of our new ETUs in Liberia discharged its first four Ebola survivors last week;
  • Increased to 50 the number of safe burial teams, which are now working across every county in Liberia to safely and respectfully dispose of bodies;

Further efforts will include:

  • Overseeing the construction of and facilitating staffing for at least 17 100-bed Ebola treatment units across Liberia;
  • Deploying additional U.S. military personnel from various engineering units to help supervise the construction of ETUs and provide engineering expertise for the international response in Liberia;
  • Establishing a training site in Liberia to train up to 500 health care providers per week, enabling them to provide safe and direct supportive medical care to Ebola patients; Operating a training course in the United States for licensed nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers intending to work in an ETU in West Africa;

What happens Republicans done? Blame immigrants for spreading Ebola across the border as part of a sustained effort to derail immigration reform and energize an already deranged Tea Party base, and, like RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, blame President Obama for Ebola.

Pretty impressive, huh?

The system is not perfect so our response will not be perfect, in large part due to Republican insistence on politicizing something that is inherently unpolitical and by doing all in its power to destroy Obamacare, the best means available to get the most Americans access to healthcare just when it matters most.

This is what we have:


This is what Republicans give us:


This is what the White House gives us:


Boots on the ground. Not to kill people. But to help them. A new and unique approach to the world’s problems.

The White House gives us facts; the Republican Party gives us fear-mongering and attacks on our president. Which would you prefer as a response to the most deadly disease of modern times?

Feature photo from United States Africa Command

25 Replies to “In Response to GOP Fear Mongering, the White House Details its Response to the Ebola Outbreak”

  1. Great article. Now if only the village would put as much effort to report the truth and facts instead of lies, fear mongering and out right racism maybe people would stop the nonsense and work together to fight Ebola and save lives

  2. I am happy to see this reasonable and thoughtful response to the fear mongering that is flooding the MSM. Facts are always preferable to hysteria.

    My one concern in all of this is whether the govt’s description of ‘direct contact’ is accurate. The recent spread of the disease in Spain within a trained health care setting is concerning. I hope the authorities are truthful about any outcome into the investigation of this matter.

  3. This needs to get out to a larger audience. This kind of “call out” should be used every remaining day until elections are held. I’, a blue to the bone Democrat and I’ve been disappointed with the weak swings the Democrats have taken on issues such as this. Every time they lie it should not only be denied, it should be denied and denied and denied for as long as they attempt to make their lies an issue. For every moron on Fox “News?” and every Republican MOC busy propagating this nonsense there should be 2 Democrats talking to the press making certain the truth gets out.

  4. Ebola is not airborne.

    The woman in Spain had direct contact with an infected person; my guess is that there was a breakdown in her protective gear. That is usually how health care workers get the disease; a hole in a glove, an accidental spray of blood, mucus, etc. onto someone not wearing a mask, etc.

    If it were airborne, even more people would be sick.

    Like you, I, too, am glad that the Administration responded to the panic and fear mongering with facts. That is what is needed right now, especially as I just read on another site that people who live in the building the Texas man was at are now being discriminated against. They did not even have contact with the man, but they are being shunned.

    Sad turn of events all around.

  5. See, this is the right way to deal with the threat. Plan it out and attack the source of the issue is the way to go, not ‘OMG! Ebola is in the States!! RUN! RUN! It hungers for white flesh!!!’

  6. Boots on the ground. Not to kill people. But to help them. A new and unique approach to the world’s problems.

    “New and unique” occurred as a result of the grim realization that the international response to the outbreak in Africa was lethally inadequate. Boots on the ground to fight ebola is “new and unique” for all the wrong reasons.
    The western response to this pandemic resulted in not much more than a global coalition of meetings and planning and 6 months into the worst ebola outbreak in history, the world was losing the battle to contain the virus. In Friedan’s (CDC dude) words, the response was like “using a pea shooter against a raging elephant.”
    “New and unique” describes my stilettos quite nicely, but in this instance, a “new and unique” reason to deploy the US military reflects an unprecedented health crisis that no one anywhere in the world wanted to see happen.
    I’ll hope the military isn’t called upon for any more “new and unique” causes.

  7. WTF are you babbling about? The countries in Africa other than Nigeria spend on the average of 60 dollars per person on healthcare. They have on average 2 people in each district to try to help with this outbreak. Imagine in the good old Amerikkka there were 2 healthcare workers per congressional district to try to contain an outbreak?

    Stop with your bullshit. You have no problem with bombing people of color but if they are called upon to help stop this pandemic its like oh noes we cant do that

  8. You have no problem with bombing people of color but if they are called upon to help stop this pandemic its like oh noes we cant do that
    I never said any such thing.

    I perceived a polyanna-type tone to the sentences I referenced.
    We’re sending troops into harms way , so let’s not disregard the dangers they face while being deployed to an ebola- stricken country. The families (and many other American citizens) of these troops are just as worried for their safety as if they were in a traditional combat zone.
    Using the military in this situation seems to have become necessary and I didn’t say I don’t approve, but let’s not pretend these men and women are just pitching tents, handing out lollipops and “helping people”. These troops are at risk.

  9. Outbreak! Rightbloggers Seek to Spread Ebola Among the Body Politic

    At this writing, the Great U.S. Ebola Epidemic of 2014 consists of one guy with Ebola in Dallas, a bunch of other maybes who have turned out not to have Ebola, and a lot of hype.

    Panic seems like the least helpful response – unless you’re a rightblogger, in which case panic is extremely helpful, as least politically, and should be disseminated at every opportunity.
    Read More

  10. Maybe we (as a country) need a credible spokesperson on matters of public health. They could be called something like “Surgeon General”.

  11. Fox News, pundits try their best to sow Ebola panic. Because Obama.

    Fox News has spent the past several days irresponsibly stoking the fears of its already edgy audience when it comes to Ebola, almost single-handedly crafting an Ebola Truther meme, but yesterday’s performance was on another level altogether. [Gretchen Carlson] managed to somehow cram nearly every single Obama conspiracy theory into one barely comprehensible word salad. It’s all there: the IRS, Obamacare, the VA — hell, she even brings it all back to Benghazi (in case you were waiting for that to finally happen).

  12. As of this writing the great Ebola out break consists of a guy in Dallas who has now DIED and another person who has been diagnosed. Let’s see what all you know it alls have to say 3 months from now. I just have to laugh at you arm-chair clinicians sitting in your cozy little seats blowing hot air at each other. You’re all a joke.

  13. I don’t even know how to answer that. On one hand you seem to agree with the consensus of sane people then on the other you seem to go bagger. Make up your mind

  14. Is this the same facts we got from the White House on ISIS. How about Bengazi. You’ve got to be kidding me.

  15. He wont because one, he is a coward and 2, there is no there there. Just another brain dead teahadist who drools at the sight of faux news

  16. That’s right, just keep on letting the USA take care of everyone and provide the answers for the dumb and dumber.

  17. What Benghazzi? Did something happen there?
    Since Hillary debacle many people have disappeared that knows too much.

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