White House continues to pushback on calls for Ebola travel ban

ebola smoke screen

For reasons that are not entirely clear, but seem to have more to do with ego than anything else, the administration has dug in it s heels on the issue of a travel ban affecting nations with active Ebola outbreaks.

Over the weekend, they enlisted baseball analyst, poll analyst, and erstwhile shill, Nate Silver, to make the case that a travel ban could not work because people could evade the few direct flights from West Africa to the United States. For Silver’s analysis to make any sense whatsoever you have to ignore the fact that international travelers have passports AND that most airlines are already curtailing travel from affected nations and travel of nationals from those nations.

Concurrently The Daily Beast posted a story by someone named Abby Haglage, titled They May Sound Like a Good Idea, But Travel Bans for Ebola Won’t Work. Miss Hagalage,based on an English degree from Miami Univeristy, covers infectious diseases for The Daily Beast. Contemplate that information for a moment before proceeding.

This essay is notable for two points. First, as a presumed representative of the “reality based community” Miss Haglage put herself in the position of rejected actual, provable reality. There are extensive travel bans already in place against countries with an Ebola outbreak and those bans are being credited with stopping the spread. For instance, this headline from ABC News: Africa Stems Ebola Via Border Closings, Luck.

Officials credit tighter border controls, good patient-tracking and other medical practices, and just plain luck with keeping Ebola confined mostly to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since the outbreak was first identified nearly seven months ago.

Second, she compares the proposed travel ban in response to Ebola with the previous travel ban on people with AIDS to show how a ban would not work.

Even an English major from Miami University should be able to see the difference between Ebola and AIDS and why a travel ban for one would be inappropriate but very appropriate for the other. But, just in case it isn’t when everything is viewed through a prism of racism and class grievance, lets lay them out.

1. Transmission. To many of us getting thrown up on by someone bleeding from every orifice is a memorable event. Even for people who think being buggered by some muscular guy in ass-less chaps and a Greek fisherman’s hat is normal this would stand out as unusual. …read more    

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