Ebola

The Dumb Republican Calls for a Travel Ban to Fight Ebola

If anything, it will make matters worse

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Ebola
EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection / Foter / CC BY-ND

Even before Thomas Eric Duncan, who was being treated in Dallas for Ebola, died on Wednesday and a nurse who was treating him contracted this terrible disease, Republicans were vying with each other to shame the Obama administration into implementing a travel ban against Ebola-affected countries. That wouldn't be an unreasonable suggestion if it could stop the spread of the disease. But the fact of the matter is that it will do the opposite.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who is clearly positioning himself for a possible 2016 presidential run, issued a press release noting that the ban would "seem to be an obvious step to protect public health in the United States." Donald Trump, who is threatening the country with another presidential run, tweeted that the president was being either "arrogant or stupid" in resisting it.

And then there is the master of understatement, Rush Limbaugh, who alleged that the main reason why the administration was rebuffing the ban was "political correctness" — as if America would have slammed its doors shut more speedily if the concerned country were, say, Great Britain or Belgium or Hong Kong. (The lone voice of sanity questioning this burgeoning conservative narrative is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, which in itself speaks volumes about the state of the GOP.)

The main argument of ban proponents is that without it, infected Africans will flood the United States looking for treatment. But the U.S. embassy isn't exactly handing out visas like Halloween candy in affected countries. And if it were, the solution, beyond implementing more rigorous screening of passengers (which is already happening), would be stricter medical controls for visas — not an official travel ban.

That's because such a ban would be both unnecessary and counterproductive.

Unnecessary because there is already a de facto private ban in place, given that U.S.-based airlines stopped flying to Ebola-afflicted countries two months ago (to protect their crew and passengers from exposure — and themselves from lawsuits). And counterproductive for a whole host of reasons.

For starters, the most reliable study modeling the effect of the ban concluded that even if the world managed to scale back air traffic flows by 80 percent, it would delay the international spread of the disease by only a few weeks. But the 80 percent goal is itself completely unrealistic. Why? Because it would require a far wider ban than one against Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, the three countries at the epicenter of the outbreak. It would require, for example, America to ban flights from countries that themselves have not banned travel to the affected countries. Otherwise, potentially infected people could simply fly to some country where they could get a connecting flight to their final destination, just like Duncan did, flying from Monrovia to Brussels before boarding a flight to the U.S.

But even if it were possible to impose a blanket travel ban, it wouldn't be advisable, because it would undermine the world's ability to fight the spread of the disease in the source countries, ultimately leaving everyone far more vulnerable.

The vast majority of the aid and relief efforts are being organized not by government agencies with access to government planes but private volunteer organizations such as Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders that rely on commercial travel. These entities are providing crucial protective gear and expertise to handle and treat Ebola patients safely without spreading the disease. If they are not able to respond expeditiously, thanks to a travel ban, we'll be basically consigning a whole lot of people to a death sentence.

This would only heighten their sense of desperation, increasing their desire to leave, and thus producing political instability, especially if their governments try and stop them due to pressure from the international community. Many African countries have already announced their own travel bans. But it is unlikely that they'll be able to enforce them without very draconian measures in the face of a mass exodus of people, making the spread of the disease across the African continent that much harder to contain.

French novelist Jean Raspail, in his dystopian The Camp of Saints, presented liberal France with an imagined dilemma like this: When confronted with a flotilla of leperous Indians seeking to enter its shore, should the French abandon their lofty principles and shoot the infected — or stick to their ideals and court self-annihilation by allowing them in?

Fortunately, in our civilized world, humanity's survival depends not on killing fellow human beings as Raspail's fevered imagination suggested, but maintaining the delicate balance between altruistic impulses for humanitarian work and selfish desire for protection. In fact, government action that prevents people from acting on the first might also undermine the second.

Republicans would do themselves and everyone else a big favor by suspending their calls for a travel ban and sticking to their alleged opposition to heavy-handed government intervention. Contra Raspail, calling in the Leviathan to suppress the natural urge to help might undermine humanity's best coping mechanisms against the Ebola crisis.

This column was originally published in The Week. Go here for Dalmia's Week archive.

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  1. Newsflash: President Obama calls for travel ban

    Response from conservatives: “COOOOOOOOOOMMMUNISSMMMM!!!!!11one!”

    1. I mean he hasn’t revoked any passports to Americans fighting for ISIS, why should he prevent people with Liberian, Guinean, and Sierra Leonei(an) passports from entering this country. CLEARLY the CDC has everything well in hand and all PROTOCOLS are being met. NO need to panic people we got the OBAMA stamp of approval that Ebola will not be coming to America and so far he has been right on every issue from not increasing healthcare premiums to creating shovel ready jobs. I trust that a man who had to shield his Attorney General with executive privileged on a failed gun running scheme and cover up to make clear and concise choices that protect Americans. I mean it’s not like he is also issuing non-disclosures to doctors and border patrol agents dealing with the thousands of non-immunized children flooding our border at the same time that all this Ebola malarkey is going on. Nothing to see here people. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  2. O’reilly wants a ban on all affected country passport holders obtaining visas for the US. Seems like a better plan than banning flights because it would also have prevented Duncan

    1. It would also have prevented doctors who travel to, say, Liberia, from potentially ever being able to return home. That would provide a great disincentive to go help. Sign the death sentence for the many Liberians whom those doctors could have saved on the dotted line.

      …………..

      1. How would it do that? Do you not understand what a visa is?

      2. What? Do you even know how a Visa works?

        I loved this brilliant logic from the article: “The vast majority of the aid and relief efforts are being organized not by government agencies with access to government planes but private volunteer organizations such as Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders that rely on commercial travel. These entities are providing crucial protective gear and expertise to handle and treat Ebola patients safely without spreading the disease. If they are not able to respond expeditiously, thanks to a travel ban, we’ll be basically consigning a whole lot of people to a death sentence.”

        If only there were some way to, say, hire a plane to get somewhere, and for, like, a government or something to grant an exception to a travel ban for that plane, or something. Nope, too hard to figure that out, let’s just take United.

        1. Or also known as Death by Regulation.
          Grant an exception? Why that would take days of debate, and the XYZ department would have to……….

      3. Christ. Look. No, it wouldn’t.

      4. That is not true. The US can not refuse Americans entry into the USA. It can, however, refuse entry to non Americans for any reason.

      5. Imagine being able to say so early in the day that I am certain I have read the most idiotic thing I will read all day long.

        Because if we ban people from certain countries from coming here or any plane carrying passengers from stopping here, that affects passengers going the other way…. how?

    2. “O’reilly wants a ban”

      Who is that? An infectious disease specialist? A doctor? A public health expert?

      1. You have to be a doctor or a healthcare professional to have an opinion on public health policy?

        1. “You have to be a doctor or a healthcare professional to have an opinion on public health policy?”

          Well, in general, to have your opinion quoted by others as something….yes!

          If you said this was the opinion of some guy you just met in the bathroom stall, should it carry weight?

          1. It is amazing how people demand expertise from their IT, their mechanics and a host of other disciplines but then will just accept whatever popular nonsense when it comes to medical science.

    3. Until you get a vaccine or can reliably treat the disease, you have to quarantine those infected. Especially, when a disease with a 21 day lag time is combined with essentially instantaneous travel times wrt to the incubation times. There is no other answer.

      1. Careful now, the logic police may be monitoring this conversation.
        But keep in mind they do have to answer a questionnaire.

  3. It doesn’t help that the media,and every one in the federal government is over hyping the danger.Africa is a crap hole.There’s lack of doctors ,hospitals,clean water and people there do not take proper action to stop the spread.I’m afraid the virus burning out is the only hope to stop the spread.

    1. I was just telling my wife last night, because her mom is one of those hysterical over-reactors, that we should have expected to get a few ebola cases. The fact that it’s been a couple weeks and dallas has only 2 and not a couple dozen cases by now shows that we are stopping any potential outbreak pretty effectively. Ro is 2 and it takes a couple days to become infectious. If Duncan only infected 1, we’re ahead of the curve.

      1. People are imagining that once on US shores, the virus will spread with the same rapidity that it did in West Africa. Which would be possible if we had basically no concept of sanitation, if we were shitting in our drinking water supply and if cultural practices like throwing ourselves on and kissing the recently deceased corpses of our loved ones took precedence over the spread of disease. But luckily Texans aren’t West Africans.

        1. Free Society – are you willing to
          take a chance on this? Or do you have an underground shelter that you can escape to?

          The one thing that the government is supposed to do is protect us from things like this. You guys’ response is to say since the government is screwed up anyway, they shouldn’t even try to protect us.

          Are you libertarians, or anarchists?

          1. Are you libertarians, or anarchists?

            Some libertarians are anarchists, others’ aren’t. The libertarian argument about government is basically one of incentives. An institution supported by involuntary contributions will necessarily deliver different results than one supported by voluntary contributions. Some libertarians will say this is the government’s duty, others’ say this is one more thing the government will fuck up but they’re all we have to work with, and yet others will say the government should stay out of it altogether.

            I happen to be an anarchist that thinks the state should act since they’ve forced their way into the position of being the sole institution to deal with this kind of thing. We’re stuck with them and can only hope our perversely incentivized state will defy the odds and not make the problem worse.

        2. No, but Texans (and pretty much anyone from any state) do sit next to others in ER rooms, handle pens on check-in, and have accidental exposures to people they didn’t even know were sick. I’m not willing to allow X number of deaths from Ebola before calling it a tragedy or to compare our numbers to those in Africa before we say this is unacceptable.

          1. No, but Texans (and pretty much anyone from any state) do sit next to others in ER rooms, handle pens on check-in, and have accidental exposures to people they didn’t even know were sick.

            That’s true. But I don’t think pen sharing and inadvertent contact has driven the massive rate of infections in West Africa. Atrocious sanitation practices, backwardness and plane ole ignorance are driving the numbers.

          2. Moreover I don’t think Texans are apt to murder healthcare and aid workers out of shear ignorant stupidity.

      2. we’re ahead of the curve

        The second person was supposedly in an isolation ward in the moon suits and still contracted it. Until you can explain that we are NOT ahead of the curve.

        1. Yea we don’t understand the disease.

        2. “The second person was supposedly in an isolation ward in the moon suits and still contracted it. Until you can explain that we are NOT ahead of the curve.”

          Yeah, except the nurses are now talking to others and saying that there was almost NO protocol, exposed skin, failure by admin to put him in isolation when asked, haz mat stuff piling up with nowhere to put it, etc……

          Luckily we have Big Gubment to straighten out these capitalist pig administrators at the predatory hospitals.

          1. Until we know how the disease is transmitted exactly, we are not “ahead of the curve”.

          2. Turd.Burglar.

        3. How is it that people keep saying this nonsense?

          Ebola has been around since 1976 and has emerged as a separate strain since 2010. We’ve mapped out 19,000 nucleotides and spent small fortunes studying it.

          The nurses in question got it because Duncan spent hours in the ER waiting room and they were not prepared to deal with a patient in isolation. Failures in the isolation protocol is how it spreads among medical personnel.

    2. Thank you.

      Honest to god. Do you see this kind of freak out over the flu?

      1. Ebola isn’t the flu.

        1. You’re right. Influenza is harder to contain, it is more contagious and kills more in the US every single year.

  4. If they are not able to respond expeditiously, thanks to a travel ban, we’ll be basically consigning a whole lot of people to a death sentence.

    But the victims don’t have our cultural values, so they don’t matter. They probably like pot and ass-sex, too.

    1. ^^Their problem, not ours.

      1. If more Ebola finds its way into America, well that’s just too fucking bad for us, but it’s also “the world’s” responsibility to take care of Africa because they’re incapable of taking care of themselves.

        Yep, that’s Dipshit Dalmia and all the rest of her cosmotarian dipshit buddies in a nutshell alright.

        1. Give me your contagious, your sick, your diseased masses yearning to ride free.

          1. That oughta be on a statue somewhere. That’d mean it’d be our national motto and the law of the land, just like the Founding Fathers intended.

          2. That is so, unfortunately, correct today.

        2. Nobody said anything about the world’s responsibility. It’s a good thing that doctors will volunteer to go help try to stop the spread of the disease in west africa. We shouldn’t discourage that in order to follow a policy we know will only delay the inevitable by a couple weeks. That is hysterical.

          1. How do we know this? Because you feelz it?

        3. That’s funny. This showed up in my Derpbook feed and I immediately thought this drivel must be a Dalmia piece. I clicked and HEY PRESTO, it is. Dalmia is font of stupidity that keeps on giving; our very own Sadbeard.

          1. I saw the subject line and knew it was Dalmia

  5. I agree that a travel ban is not the right answer. What I don’t get is why the headline says ‘dumb republican…”. We have plenty of evidence that the ‘smart’ people in the world are clueless. Especially when they are relying on ‘models’ (e.g., Economists, AGW scientists). ‘Misguided’ might be a less-smug way of making the otherwise good points about the ineffectiveness of travel bans. Just sayin.

    1. Forget it, gaijin. It’s Shikhatown.

    2. “What I don’t get is why the headline says ‘dumb republican…””

      It says that because giving in to your every fear – whether fact based or not – is dumb and causes more problems than it solves.

      We need to keep a stiff upper lip and use a fact-based policy which continually morphs to fit any present threat.

      As of now….and unless and until there are hundreds or thousands of new cases here…they are doing a bang-up job.

      1. they are doing a bang-up job.

        I agree that a travel ban is premature.

        But the above comment is beyond stupid. We actual have no idea what kind of job they’re doing right now. The absence of hundreds or thousands of ebola cases currently illustrates nothing about the current policy. The absence of hundreds or thousands of ebola cases in a timeframe of, say, 5 years may tell us a something about the current policy.

        1. “We actual have no idea what kind of job they’re doing right now.”

          This may be true – that we don’t know the effects of their actions – BUT, we do know the effects of our general public health measures which are always in place…and our ability to communicate to our health sector. That is, according to the real experts I’ve listened to, if we take care of the basics we have little to worry about (statistically).

          Reacting to primal fear is not good policy.

      2. Your wasting your time here. Take your revolutionary new theory that quarantines don’t work to the medical journals. If they laugh at you, make sure to call them racists.

        1. “Your wasting your time here. Take your revolutionary new theory that quarantines don’t work to the medical journals. If they laugh at you, make sure to call them racists.”

          Ah, but the advice of the same folks re:Ebola is something O’Reilly knows more about?

          Fantastic! You decide to believe in science when it fits your needs…then change 180 degrees and fear monger.

          When a majority of the infectious disease experts in the country agree on a total quarantine and travel ban, I’ll be with them.

          1. You seem to be under the impression we can’t use common knowledge decisions without a poll or a PHD. If I told you eating raw chicken is bad would you decry I’m not a microbiologist. And demand a poll of all microbiologists before you cook chicken?

            1. your opinion only counts if the govt has issued you an occupational license

            2. “If I told you eating raw chicken is bad would you decry I’m not a microbiologist”

              If you told me GMO’s were bad or good for me, I certainly would not believe you. Why should I? What do you know other than what you read on “selected” pubs on the interweb?

            3. Except we know not to eat raw chicken due to the work of Ph.Ds and in particular medical scientists.

              The is a delicious irony to someone decrying relying on medical expertise and yet the very example they cite is only common knowledge purely due to the advances in germ theory and microbiology.

      3. We need to keep a stiff upper lip and use a fact-based policy which continually morphs to fit any present threat.

        Says the guy who believes in such nonsense as global warming killing us all, slavery being responsible for the plight of African Americans, and Keynesian stimuli. You wouldn’t know a “fact based policy” if it walked up to you and bit you in your ugly nose.

        1. No shit, I was gonna call him out on it but you beat me to it.

          We could add so much to this, the war on poverty for example.

          But clearly, AGW has to be the biggest.

  6. Shikha, tripling down on OPEN BORDERZ!, at Tenagra.

    1. Come on, now. Her pool ain’t gonna clean itself.

      1. The spice* must flow

        *infected immigrants are the spice of life

        1. only if the infected immigrants ask for medical leave. One day Consuela asked for a 5 minute break to deal with some flesh-eating bacteria and Shikia had a heart attack. Now she hopes that ebola-infected nim!ba won’t be so uppity.

    2. Shikha is admirably consistent in her open borders policy – she applies it to deadly plagues as well. Come one, come all. Maybe her next article will be a Come to America open letter to The Black Death and Smallpox.

      Yet another illustration to the country why Libertarians can’t have nice things – like power.

      Between Shikha and Richman, Reason is starting to look like a false flag attack to make libertarians look absurd.

  7. If anything, it will make matters worse

    Worse? How could it be worse?

  8. If Obama did go through with a travel ban these people would be the first ones to condemn it. So this who article is an exercise in idiocy, Dahlmia’s mistake is taking the opposition party and Rush Limbaugh at face value for doing their respective jobs.

  9. What makes this idiot think he is qualified to make policy when it pertains to infectious diseases? Because you won an election doesn’t mean you know anything. It means it’s your job to find out information by enlisting the help and expertise of those who are in the field. Politicians love to make policy regarding a lot of fields in which they are not qualified, like economics and education. When it comes to infectious diseases, one can only imagine the potential for disaster that could be a result of uninformed decisions.

    1. Yeah….. If only we had, I don’t know, a panel of “experts” in their fields who could make decisions for us. Because experts are never politicized or biased. They’re always the perfect example of scientific indifference and never vulnerable to personal preference and the call to power and influence.

  10. I dunno which side on this hullabalooo is more ridiculous. Therefore, I’m doing my best to ignore it.

    While keeping a wary eye on things, just in case…

  11. Isn’t this open borders bullshit (“We can’t stop them from getting here, so why try….”) something akin to if you’re being raped why don’t you just lay back and enjoy it?

    1. Some people are just fanatical on the issue. If you come down with Bubonic plague then god forbid anyone try to stop you from traveling all over the country and infecting as many people as possible.

      But don’t worry we’re sending soldiers over there to shoot the ebola or something, what could go wrong?

    2. That isn’t the argument in favor of open borders. Not sure where you got that, but i would bet it’s just a strawman. Most people argue for open borders on moral grounds as well as economic utilitarian grounds.

      1. Is it moral or economic if it helps spread a pandemic?

    3. TIL the free movement of goods, capital and labor for the betterment of all is “rape.”

      Fascinating definition you got yourself there.

  12. What, me worry?

  13. Counterargument: Ghana instituted travel bans on any neighbor that has confirmed Ebola cases and has thus far been spared from the disease. I’m sure there’s other mitigating factors in play (and believe that this panic is overblown), but it’s not like a travel ban would be pointless.

    1. Thats just because Ghana hates black people, or some other such nonsense.

    2. We’d also have to ban all travel from Spain, France, Germany, England, and Finland. Not sure if those countries’ cases happened before or after Obama made the “global economy” argument, but it’s certainly a good point now. What’s the cost of Ebola anyways. We’ve had, what, 4 cases in the US and only 1 managed to infect someone else. So we have 5 cases when we should have as many as 12 now. This will probably be blown over, conveniently, after the election in 3 weeks.

      1. Above you argued it would spread anyway, now your arguing it won’t spread anyway because it’s an invented crisis. Which is it?

  14. While the post 9/11 reduction in visa-waiver countries helped, obtaining visas for travel to the United States has always been very easy, and highly abused.

    There is no good reason for citizens of hot-zone countries to visit the United States on a B-1 or B-2 visa. Reasons such as Duncan’s (visiting friends) should no longer be approved until the outbreak is over.

  15. “”””When confronted with a flotilla of leperous Indians seeking to enter its shore, should the French abandon their lofty principles and shoot the infected ? or stick to their ideals and court self-annihilation by allowing them in?”””

    The French ideal is to die from Leprosy?

    So does Shikha Dalmia let every infectious person in the world into her house?

    Does Cosmopolitan Libertarianism deny that isolation of infected people is a effective medical option?

    1. Dipshit Dalmia “logic”: not allowing Liberians infected with Ebola to freely travel around the world wherever they please is the equivalent of committing genocide.

      Can you fucking believe this garbage? No, I can’t either.

      1. What, do you expect competence from a diversity hire? But it’s all good as long as The Jacket no longer has to answer charges of having an all alabastrine workforce at those Orange Line cocktail parties. BRING BACK VIRGINIA AND LUCY!!

  16. Not allowing anyone from anywhere with any disease to travel to and from country as they please (especially to the US – but just from, not to Mexico, etc) for any reason they choose is a violation of freedom of movement and freedom of contract as well as discrimination against people disabled by their disease(s).

    Did I miss any bullshit?

  17. This covers it pretty well:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..-krikorian

  18. Otherwise, potentially infected people could simply fly to some country where they could get a connecting flight to their final destination, just like Duncan did, flying from Monrovia to Brussels before boarding a flight to the U.S.

    If only there was some way, like a small booklet, that could be inked with stamps to show how many times you were in various countries and at what times, before you could enter the United States.

    Perhaps you could also back up this with a computerized system, and share data with other countries in order to find a person’s country of origin. You could almost track a person’s travel’s across the globe in minutes.

  19. Sikha Dalmia needs to go ahead and move over to Huffington Post already.

  20. 1) “Unnecessary because…U.S.-based airlines stopped flying to Ebola-afflicted countries two months ago” – OK… but that’s just US based airlines. And all the non-U.S. based airlines? Your statement is pointless. Like saying “Well, we have airbags in all Fords so everyone’s covered already!” Ah, no.

    I suppose you think the US airlines are ‘dumb’ for banning flights to protect their crews also? Since in your opinion it will just “…do the opposite.” (?)

    2) “It would require, for example, America to ban flights from countries that themselves have not banned travel to the affected countries” – Um, wouldn’t it make more sense to block travel for people who had passports issued by the countries on the (TEMPORARY) ban list? While not perfect, it would eliminate the bogus problem of “We’d have to ban everyone!!”. Also, I’m sure the State Department has an idea of which Americans are in those countries.

    3) Re: ‘It will stop aid to affected countries’: The government does have planes you know. And since we’ve just allocated $750 million for the Ebola fight, the government can afford to offer a few flights and probably already have some scheduled.

    4)”This would only heighten their sense of desperation, increasing their desire to leave.” They can always flee to Europe right? But what’s going to heighten their sense of desperation more than thinking they’re exposed to Ebola and are going to die in their home because there are no hospitals to take them?

  21. Righties are fearful people. Sure, that’s a generalization, but in the modern day they grab power by preying on our fears…whether of WMD’s, black folks, mexicans, terrorists, etc…..

    Also, they just can’t help but use ANY problem as a reason to dump on Obama. NOTHING, and I mean nothing, can cause them to think “hey, we need to ban together on this”. That old saying about politics stopping at the water’s edge was so quaint.

    Repeat after me. There is no Ebola problem in the USA.

    When we have 1,000 infected here, we’ll talk.

    1. Yeah, the stupid is strong at reason today.

      Because the left never uses fear as a control mechanism? Global Climate Change, anti-science GMO and vaccination B.S., WAR ON WOMEN, and the racism!!!!!!!

      Both left and right use fear. But don’t let that general truth interrupt with your preferred narrative.

      1. “Both left and right use fear. But don’t let that general truth interrupt with your preferred narrative.”

        Well, of course…..corporations and advertising uses it also. But there are fears which have basis to them and there are fears which do not.

        For example – if a bunch of Planned Parenthoods shut down and a vast state like Texas makes it so a women’s constitution rights are difficult to obtain, the fear is real and affects people on a daily basis.

        GW is another thing altogether because modern civilized humans are not forward looking and are quite selfish – despite their attempts to seem so, they don’t care what happens in 200 years. But I’m not scared of Climate Change….because, even though it is happening, there is precious little I can do about it. I’ll cheer when engineers make things cleaner and more efficient.

        I’m with you in general on GMO. As with most issues, there is SOME truth in there, but there is a middle ground which benefits humanity….and we must be practical in these matters.

        Racism? Well, I think it’s safe to say that is a BIG problem – in fact, perhaps the defining problem, of the USA. Despite some good efforts, breeding tribalism out of people (all types of people) seems like it will be a 500 year effort.

        1. Well, I certainly am glad you’re here to tell which fears are legitimate. It’s like I need someone smarter than me to direct me in all choices – in my “tribal” choices even.

          I question your understand of libertarianism.

        2. Dude, the left lives in perennial fear of racism, sexism, extremism, diseases, etc. Check out their plastic ban and “yes means yes” rape prevention legislation.

    2. A little paranoid, craiginmass? Afraid your tin god is going to be exposed for the weakling that he is?

      I don’t care who’s fault it is. Government’s number 1 job is to protect the populace from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I’d say Ebola counts as an enemy. There is no Ebola problem now, but if idiots like you are in charge, there will be.

      Time for a wholesale house cleaning at the CDC.

      1. “Time for a wholesale house cleaning at the CDC.”

        Makes perfect sense – after all, all of their efforts so far are working, so we must get rid of them and replace with with folks like Hannity and Orally who know how to do things!

        1. The CDC allowed the second infected nurse to fly on an airplane. Maybe you should wait until you get all the facts before spouting off headinass.

    3. Why 1000? Why not 999 or 1001? I’m asking in all seriousness.

      1. “Why 1000? Why not 999 or 1001? I’m asking in all seriousness.”

        Not a solid number – but a statistically significant one. We are not all sitting around lamenting the dead children from improperly stored or used firearms or the excess dead people from traffic accidents – which together total about 3,000 or more per month (many more if we count injuries)……

        So let’s be reasonable. Compare it to flu deaths and other such things. After all, other than the name it’s just another virus, right?

        1. Statistical significance has a meaning, and it doesn’t mean anything in this context. It’s not just a concept that means “Craig feelz it’s important.”

        2. “So let’s be reasonable. Compare it to flu deaths and other such things. After all, other than the name it’s just another virus, right?”

          Dude, you are truly fucking retarded if you think ebola is “just another virus”, and comparable to the flu. That’s like comparing small-pox to the flu. It’s got an average 50% mortality rate with the BEST medical care, and up to 90% without medical care. It has the potential to wipe out 50% of the population or more. You simply don’t take chances with a mortality rate like that. This whole “it can’t happen here” narrative assumes that the health care system catches and quarantines every single case before it has an opportunity to spread exponentially. I’m not willing to depend on that assumption for my survival.

          1. “the potential to wipe out 50% of the population or more”

            Been watching The Walking Dead again huh?

            1. What part of “It’s got an average 50% mortality rate with the BEST medical care, and up to 90% without medical care.” was hard to understand? Believe me when I say that the gov is intentionally understating the danger of this. Think Native Americans and small-pox. It’s called the “virgin soil phenomenon”, and we’re the virgin soil.

              1. Average mortality rates for individual occurrence do not equate to the potential to wipe out the equal amount of society.

                If so we would have seen 90% of west Africa on their to dying and similar numbers in Central Africa.

                Why? Because potential to wipe out a certain portion of society is determined by lethality *and* contagion level. With an R-nought value of 2 (for comparison HIV is R-4) and with limited transmission ability, 50% of society isn’t in danger period. Even 1% of the US isn’t in danger.

                It’s not small pox and we’re not Native Americans. People die en masse in west Africa due to genuinely terrible public sanitation and awful protocol in hospitals. It’s like no one has heard of Louie’s germ theory over there. Even the worst hospital in the US is ahead of the game compared to the average hospital in Africa.

                Furthermore unlike small pox, it isn’t airborne and it can’t be transmitted by simple touching alone.

                Seriously. Take a deep breath. No one’s rubbing on your blanket Tonto.

          2. “I’m not willing to depend on that assumption for my survival.”

            Well, dude, better hole up in your panic room with the shotgun and a year’s worth of food then…

            1. Turd.Burglar.

    4. NOTHING, and I mean nothing, can cause them to think “hey, we need to ban together on this”.

      And in what specific way do you want us to “band together”? Is Obama’s fragile little ego crushed and is he unable to do his job because of the negative vibes he is getting from the American public?

      Also, they just can’t help but use ANY problem as a reason to dump on Obama.

      Oh, not just righties do that. Former Democrats like myself like to dump on the incompetent windbag in the White House as well. Heck, he caused me to leave the Democratic party.

      Righties are fearful people. Sure, that’s a generalization, but in the modern day they grab power by preying on our fears…whether of WMD’s, black folks, mexicans, terrorists, etc…..

      As opposed to lefties, who fear global warming, black folks, police, drugs, big corporations, economic collapse, “the 1%”, peak oil, cell phone radiation, GMO food, etc.? Between the right and the left, the left seems to be using FUD even more than the right.

      As for the travel ban, I really don’t care either way. I have little confidence that the CDC is going to do anything effective, but if it’s coming to the US, it’s going to hit NYC, LA, DC, and SF first.

  22. The lady’s making a false argument: If a travel ban from the infected nations was instituted, healthcare and aid workers could (and would) be exempted from the ban and carefully monitored when they returned. No one (who is sane) is arguing for a complete ban, exceptions be damned. Of course, the risk of Ebola spreading wouldn’t be eliminated but it could be reduced. It’s all about risk reduction and it seems prudent in this situation.

    1. Because if there’s anything the government is good at, it’s being discerning and nuanced in it’s application of mind numbing diktats.

      1. I’d say mitigating the potential spread of a deadly disease is a legitimate function of govt. You don’t agree?

        1. It is. Pretending that travel bans caused by unsubstantiated hysteria is a good way to curb that spread is just ridiculous.

          By any of the same arguments, we should shut down international travel during flu season every year.

          1. Oh bullshit. The flu doesn’t have a 50%+ mortality rate. Comparing ebola to the flu is shear idiocy.

            1. It also kills 23k in the US alone. Just goes to show how people focus on hyped up single “scary” incidents instead of the more endemic low hype that has is more statistically dangerous.

              It’s like the left hyperventilating over “assault rifle” deaths when most people are killed due to the drug war or simple suicides.

              1. Wow. “That has is more” Jesus wept.

                “that is more statistically dangerous”

              2. Again, this isn’t the fucking flu. What part of “It’s got an average 50% mortality rate with the BEST medical care, and up to 90% without medical care.” was hard to understand? Believe me when I say that the gov is intentionally understating the danger of this. Think Native Americans and small-pox. It’s called the “virgin soil phenomenon”, and we’re the virgin soil. Trying to keep ebola from entering the country via crowded airports is hardly “hyperventilating”.

                1. I refer you to elsewhere on this comment thread.

                  TL;DR, we’re not native Americans and this isn’t small pox. It’s not going to be a pandemic in the US.

  23. This is complete idiocy. I’ll borrow a comment from the Facebook link for it:

    “Isn’t suggesting that it won’t work because some affected people may still get through the equivalent to arguing that there’s no point to wearing a condom because they sometimes fail?”

  24. How stupid is this Shikha person I won’t bother to read the article due to it incept idiocy and pure political blather… Does he/she think were stupid. Travel bans worked in the past and they can work again what the hell do you think Ellis Island in New York and Angles Island in California for. they were the stop before entering the country and if they were ill they were sent home.

    1. Actually they were quarantined, not sent home.

      1. some were quarantined and many were sent home

        1. 2% isn’t “many” by any stretch. Especially compared to the 10% who were temporarily detained for health reasons.

          1. Thats a lot more than what we are doing now and they at least quarantined people until they could be released something we are now only doing after they have possibly infected others once they got here . Avoid quarantining those here after the fact by quarantining travelers before they arrive. but no thats to simple the gov. always takes the hard road and never learns from the past.

            1. Actually we are already doing this to folks with symptoms privately and voluntarily via the airlines.

              Furthermore there’s a big difference between a temporary quarantine and outright travel bans. SARS and avian flu were both controlled without the latter.

  25. This editorial is short on facts- it’s even short on arguments. It just lays out random thoughts without any connection to a larger principle or reason based policy.

    It makes no sense that a travel ban would make the spread of the disease worse. Obviously, Americans providing aid could travel to affected countries even within a ban. But what people are usually referring to with a ban is not keeping Americans from traveling to ebola affected countries but refusing visas and entry to people from affected countries from entering the US. Even if people use a layover country, they still need to go through American customs once they arrive. Upon arrival they could be quarantined or immediately returned to Africa. In theory, the US already restricts entry into the US to people here legally. This would be an extension of that policy.

    Which the USA has every right to do, morally and legally. Purposefully risking the lives of others by traveling while potentially infected is an act of aggression. A use of force or fraud. Even if out of ignorance rather than intent to harm, it is the one purpose of government to protect citizens from such acts of force and fraud.

    I am not sure why this idea is laid at the feet of Republicans. Democrat politicians may not be touting the idea of restricted travel from ebola infected countries (of which we are now one of the few), but Democrat citizens surely are alongside this Libertarian and members of no party.

    1. “Which the USA has every right to do, morally and legally. Purposefully risking the lives of others by traveling while potentially infected is an act of aggression”

      Well, sure we have the right to do it. But we have the obligation not to do it unless it can be clearly shown to be a statistical problem – and a problem is not 1 person or 10 people dying. More than that die each couple hours from gunshots and/or car accidents.

      1. More than that die each couple hours from gunshots…

        BULLSHIT!!!!
        Also, fuck off slaver!

        1. “In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicides, and 11,078 firearm-related homicides in the U.S”

          “33561 People Killed in Traffic on American Streets Last Year”

          “More than that die each couple hours from gunshots and/or car accidents.”

          AND/OR, my funny friend.

          Doing the math, the total here is about 65,000 per year, which comes to roughly 175 per day or 10-15 per hour when awake.

          In other words, my FACTS are accurate many times over.

          Let’s talk when you can read and do math. Until then fuck off.

          1. Firearm-related” that’s a pretty weaselly way of lumping together non GSW deaths with the far smaller number of GSW deaths. But you already knew that, which is why you phrased it that way.

            Also, fuck off slaver!

            1. “”Firearm-related” that’s a pretty weaselly way of lumping together non GSW deaths with the far smaller number of GSW deaths”

              —More than that die each couple hours from gunshots and/or car accidents.—-

              Again, you seem unable to read. GUNSHOTS AND/OR CAR ACCIDENTS.

              You obviously know I’m correct…..more than correct. No tricks. If you want to cream your pants about guns, just use the car accidents alone – the point still stands.

              You have zero common sense. A gunshot is a gunshot. Many are accidental and self-inflicted, just like many cases of AIDS were accidental AND many people gave it to others purposely. THEY ALL COUNT.

              Traffic accidents count even if you slip on ice, are drunk or your wheels fall off.

              My goodness, you feel the need to protect your ammo hoard so badly that you can’t count…..open your mind.

              We could talk “White person murder your family” deaths by gunshots and it’s still vastly higher than Ebola….

          2. Talk about an idiotic non-sequitor

      2. you can’t quarantine cars or guns and accidents so those are false flag arguments

        1. “you can’t quarantine cars or guns and accidents so those are false flag arguments”

          Well, sure – your momma didn’t have to ever put you in a car nor have guns in the home….could even put a metal detector on your home entrance.

          In a relative sense, a person could be protected (to a degree – just like a quarantine) from death in this way. Even if those actions (not driving, etc.) cut deaths in 1/2, it would still saves more lives per hour than Ebola has taken IN TOTAL.

          In other words, we’re not nearly there yet when it comes to Ebola….other than the scary sounding name.

          1. I fucking guarantee you, if Obama wanted a travel ban, you would change your argument in about 1.2 seconds.

          2. Do we need to be nearly there yet?
            If it can be prevented by containment, then why not?
            Just asking.

  26. It’s always fun to see supposed libertarians promote hysteria about a disease that has killed a grand total of one person in the US over the course of a month in order to propose a intrusive, one-size-fits-all government imposition of policy.

    1. The nature of any epidemic is it started out small. Would you use this logic in the hospital? Only one patient has Ebola so no need to quarantine until half the people have Ebola. How fucking stupid is that? No need to treat cancer, it’s still minor, let’s wait till it spreads and is killing you.

      The US already discriminates who can come, discerning that people with a high likely hood of spreading a deadly disease cannot is just a simple basic rule for fighting infectious disease.

      1. Good lord.

        I would use that logic when determining how to treat a disease.

        The fact of the matter is that Ebola doesn’t operate in a country like cancer does in a body. Ebola spreads in Africa because there is 0% public sanitation, hygiene and focus on public health. There is just no potential for it to spread like it does there in the US. Period.

        So your cancer example is ridiculous.

        1. So then it didn’t spread to the US because it can’t? That’s your final answer. Why not go with it can’t kill people either if you’re just gonna make shit up.

          1. He’s saying the death toll in terms of rate and real numbers could not possibly be as high as it is in Africa because there are drastically different conditions that facilitate it’s spread in Africa that just don’t exist in any great extent in the US. I haven’t heard of any town in Texas shitting in their drinking water supply or beheading healthcare workers who are trying to help them.

          2. No.

            My argument is that it won’t spread to epidemic levels in the US because of the nature of the disease. It has a low level of contagion and is largely spread through a medieval level public sanitation and public health.

            We controlled SARs, bird flu and etc… without the mass freak out or travel bans. The idea that we need to shut down international travel/trade for a disease that is highly, highly unlikely to become a bigger issue (400% more likely to die of the Black Death in the US) is a joke and utterly non-libertarian.

            1. Oh Jebus, what will we do without imports of vital Liberian…what?

              1. Good to know that Anon E. Mouse is the Top Man on the job to tell us which trade is vital. Thank god we have someone who has this centralized information. How’s that pencil making going?

                In reality there’s no good reason to shut down trade and violate people’s voluntary economic arrangements because one person died in the US of a disease that is less contagious than HIV and kills less people. We didn’t do this during SARS or avian influenza.

                Furthermore, beyond the reasons Shikha pointed out, in the long term, poverty and poor public health make west Africa ground zero for these sort of things. Shutting down trade and it’s economic damage only prolongs the stultifying poverty that creates the conditions for this problem.

                1. Your assertion that ebola is less contagious than HIV is completely false. As a matter of fact, it’s about 100 times more contagious.

                  In the long term, I don’t give a rat’s ass about West Africa. Whether we shut down trade or not, it will continue to be a stinking shit-hole. Poverty and poor public health is NOT what makes west Africa ground zero for these sort of things; Africans are what makes Africa ground zero for these sort of things.

                  1. No it isn’t. HIV has a R-naught value of 4. Meaning the average infected person can/will infect 4 others. Ebola has a R-naught value of 2. Literally by any standard (people killed, people who have it, R-naught value), HIV is more contagious. I have no idea what “matter of fact” you are bringing up but it’s nonsense.

                    Lol yes. And it wasn’t poverty and a poor understanding of public health that made Europe a terrible place in the 1600s and a ground zero for epidemics. It was that they were European.

                    Sure thing there.

      2. “No need to treat cancer, it’s still minor, let’s wait till it spreads and is killing you.”

        YES! We need to spend TRILLIONS fighting terror to get them over there because they may have a part of a WMD hidden in their garden……

        In your post we see the right wing authoritarian personality perfectly! That is, make every fear into a BIG ONE.

        “A coward dies many deaths, but a brave person only one”…..

        Again, I’m with you when it’s real. It’s not yet. Partial measures are working…and when they don’t, we clamp down more…if and when that happens. But not before.

        1. YES! We need to spend TRILLIONS fighting terror to get them over there because they may have a part of a WMD hidden in their garden……

          Well, that is obviously a view shared by both Obama and Bush.

  27. This is a poor a tortured chain of logic in my opinion. I’ll take the advice of Ben Carson. Stop flights from the primary affected countries and contain as much as possible. That’s not 100%, but it ain’t zero either. This is a serious problem.

    1. You do realize that Dr. Carson isn’t an epidemiologist right?

      1. of course you don’t need to be an epidemiologist or anyone with anything beyond a high school diploma to know how to more successfully keep this problem out of this country.

        1. I demand to see your PHD in literature before you write words!

        2. If someone’s going to appeal to authority (“Well I believe doctor so and so and that’s all there is too it) then do it right. Appeal to an actual authority in field.

          All the more laughable considering people who have actual expertise in containing epidemics say travel bans are counterproductive.

          1. Experts are calling for a ban so your belief in only people you choose to believe is unconvincing.

            Is a disease likely to spread from

            A. More contact with people infected?

            B. Less contact with people infected?

            1. “Experts”?

              It’s amazing how many anonymous people become “experts” in the field.

              Both the WHO and the CDC are opposed to travel bans.

              We controlled SARs, bird flu and etc… all without travel bans.

              1. Yes, but we DID quarantine traveller’s with symptoms (both citizens and non-citizens).

              2. “It’s amazing how many anonymous people become “experts” in the field.”

                Yes, folks here are telling us O’Reilly and the guys who just got off shift work and are hanging at the local bar are the ones who REALLY know stuff.

                I didn’t know Reason was Union Territory or Fox News fans….appears it’s both!

                1. Turd.Burglar.

  28. This is a poor a tortured chain of logic in my opinion. I’ll take the advice of Ben Carson. Stop flights from the primary affected countries and contain as much as possible. That’s not 100%, but it ain’t zero either. This is a serious problem.

  29. Go to any right-wing message board and you’ll learn that this is entirely the consequence of Obama not sealing the border. Just the one, of course.

    1. No the not sealing the border is all the kids dying from EV-D68. try to keep up.

      http://www.examiner.com/articl…..g-children

      and yes we don’t need these infected parasites in the country.

  30. Full of holes, some rather obvious ones at that.

    “The main argument of ban proponents is that without it, infected Africans will flood the United States looking for treatment.” Strawman. This is not the main argument. The main argument is that, regardless of why people from affected countries want to travel to the US, the spread of Ebola in the US will be slowed if we stop importing seed cases.

    “It would require, for example, America to ban flights from countries that themselves have not banned travel to the affected countries. Otherwise, potentially infected people could simply fly to some country where they could get a connecting flight to their final destination, just like Duncan did, flying from Monrovia to Brussels before boarding a flight to the U.S.” Sophistry. We could restrict travel to/from affected countries by not giving out visas. That would have stopped Duncan.

    “The vast majority of the aid and relief efforts are being organized not by government agencies with access to government planes but private volunteer organizations such as Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders that rely on commercial travel.” Then charter planes for groups with special permission from the CDC, and subsidize these flights from funds already pledged to fight Ebola. Next?

    (to be continued…)

    1. (continued)

      “If they are not able to respond expeditiously, thanks to a travel ban, we’ll be basically consigning a whole lot of people to a death sentence.” Helping others is not a suicide pact. We can and should help while minimizing chances of further spread of Ebola in the United States.

      “This would only heighten their sense of desperation, increasing their desire to leave, and thus producing political instability, especially if their governments try and stop them due to pressure from the international community.” Hand waving. How does anyone know this? Anyone remember the Iraqis welcoming us into Bahgdad in 2003?

      “…should the French abandon their lofty principles and shoot the infected ? or stick to their ideals and court self-annihilation by allowing them in?” Scare mongering. Shame on you!

      It’s disappointing to find such a poorly reasoned out article on Reason.com.

  31. Donald Trump, who is threatening the country with another presidential run…

    That was funny.

  32. my friend’s sister makes $83 an hour on the laptop . She has been fired for ten months but last month her payment was $12435 just working on the laptop for a few hours
    Find Out More. ???????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

    1. Hey, I here there’s a pretty good job waiting for anybody who can type at reason.com. I hear the pay is awesome, too.

  33. The Dumb Republican? I thought there were lots of them.

  34. I struggle to understand the logic here. According to this author and all adminisstration spokespeople, a travel ban would be counterproductive because private aide organizations “rely on commercial travel”. Of course, the possibility that they could be flown in by the US Military, or by specially chartered jets, seems to be out of the question. Why is that? If we can fly Obama to any golf course in the world, surely we could fly doctors and supplies to Liberia. Why is that not a better solution all around?

  35. Shikha….You’re wrong. Yeah, you’re right if that is the only thing done. But, quarantine does work. And, of course a quarantine does not mean medical workers can’t go to the infected areas.

    I do admit politicians often stop at the obvious gesture, both parties do this. But, to suggest open flights from a country with 1000s of people dying is reasonable is kind of silly.

  36. This ebola episode affects other issues as well. For instance:

    1. Public vs. private transportation. I would not be surprised if the ferocity of epidemics in third world countries is not aided by the forced proximity to complete strangers that public transportation requires. Maybe cars aren’t such a bad idea after all?

    2. Risk management. I would also guess that the potential harm you may suffer from my cigar smoke is substantially, perhaps massively, less than the potential harm you may suffer by catching an airborne disease from me. Based on currently accepted ratios of risk to penalty, as demonstrated by anti-smoking statues, this would result in new laws resulting in life sentences for sneezing in a theatre.

  37. I have never encountered Shikha Dalmia before, but I created this account just to say that this is the most illogical, irrational, uneducated and downright stupid article I have ever read in any normally intelligent journal. We expect babbling abuse of logic from the illiterate right wing, not a Senior Analyst of the Reason Foundation.

    1. How about the illiterate left wing? any comments?

      1. Yeah but unfortunately for reason readers there is no such thing. The left is generally much more educated than the right wing who get all their education from Bill O’Loofa and Lush Windbag instaed of reading books or newspapers. The left is more about Noam Chomsky and professors where as the right is more about Sean Hannity and talk radio. comparing the right and left the left always is shown to come out more intelligent and or educated.

        1. “being more educated” does not equate knowledgeable. Getting a college degree is this country is just a matter enslaving yourself to debt.

          Your side has MSNBC, Maddow, Joan Walsh, Ezra Klein and Sharpton. To be fair, these people get no rating, so I can’t accuse lefties of getting info from them. They’ll get it elsewhere.

          BTW, most criminals, college dropouts, and gangs lean left. Your side has a ton of elites.

          1. Even knowledge doesn’t mean much. What exactly would a black studies class really teach me of value? Will there be some truth being taught? Yes, but it will mostly be propaganda of no use in the real world.

        2. Your side doesn’t use common sense. You champion “global warming” when not one model has been correct in 16 years. You champion “common core” that is the most absurd Ministry of Propaganda nonsense since Mao’s little red book. You insist that deficit spending will create jobs despite proof that it doesn’t. You maintain that federal deficits don’t matter and endless currency printing will never come back to bite us but all the evidence is to the contrary.

          I’m college educated but I’ll stick with common sense from people who work hard and live in the real world and you can keep your ivory tower PHD’s.

          1. “I’m college educated but I’ll stick with common sense from people who work hard and live in the real world”

            Yes, while you sit there are use you PHD created computers, smart phone, web services, GPS, lasers and thousands of other things…and live better and longer due to those PHD and other medical advances…you will sit around and praise the local plumber and coal roller as being “the real world”.

            I get it. Makes sense…..in an old fashioned sorta way. But you really should stop using all this stuff since it can’t work…because the engineers who create it all lack any sense!

            1. I think a plumber or an electrician possesses skills that do the world more good than 100 Womens’ Studies or Chicano Studies or Sociology of Education PhDs.

        3. Yeah all that wisdom from the victim studies majors, sociology, and “education”. I’ll take the wisdom over at the local bar after the shift change over that any day.

          1. “I’ll take the wisdom over at the local bar after the shift change over that any day.”

            Wow, you guys turn from John Galt to Union drunks in one second.

            Have you given up on the whole Libertarian Worship the Great Man thing?

            1. I am a paleocon not a libertarian.

              1. Aaaand the puzzle pieces make sense.

        4. The confirmation bias is strong with this one.

      2. I already waste far too much energy trying to decide who is stupider, the right or the left. The right very cleverly targets stupid people with stupid arguments based on fear, all to the benefit of the uberwealthy and the detriment of the stupid. The left seems to me innately more intelligent, but are so obsessed with being nice to everyone (except heterosexual white males, of course) that they embrace any stupidity that makes them feel good about themselves, while simultaneously hating their own background in solidarity with all the self-appointed victims. This, of course, defeats the purpose of feeling good about yourself.

        In short, we live in a golden age of stupidity, huge fun for those of us who enjoy idiocy, but a death knell for the human race. Not a moment too soon.

    2. “ownright stupid article I have ever read in any normally intelligent journal”

      Believe me – this place is anything but intelligent – unless you want to keep up on the sex habits of youth, the best new TV shows and do some Kochsucking on the side!

      1. Turd.Burglar.

  38. Arrant nonsense. This is the sort of article which causes people to call libertarians “wackos”.

    So a travel ban would only delay the spread of the disease by “a few weeks”? First, I don’t believe that, but second, so what? A few weeks is better than none at all, which is what we now have. This is a classic example of the perfect being the enemy of the good.

    And any ban would only be on travel from the affected countries, not to them. There would be no problem getting relief (and volunteer medical workers) to those countries.

    Travel restriction wouldn’t be 100% effective in keeping ebola out of the country, but no one is claiming that it would. It’s just one tool, but an important one. Pretending otherwise is just stupid.

    1. Exactly, purity of political convictions is the enemy of the good as well.

    2. I don’t understand this whole “We don’t have time” nonsense.

      This is a disease with an R nought value of 2. Even HIV is more contagious. You can literally count the fatality rate on one hand in the US.

      1. Why aren’t you giving a talk right now at the CDC and WHO on what the disease is, how the disease is spread and how it mutates. You obviously have all the answers and the rest of us need to understand it.

        1. Because they already know all this. Ebola has been noted and studied since the 1970s and there have been past outbreaks contained. Scientists have already mapped out it’s 19,000 nucleotides and have studied it’s mutations.

          People pretend like it’s this new dark magic at work. It’s a disease that we know quite a lot about.

          1. We know so much about it that we can’t even say how it currently transmitted with confidence.

            1. That is literally bullshit. We do know how it’s transmitted.

              Jesus people.

      2. This is a disease with an R nought value of 2.

        That’s roughly like influenza and more than enough for a pandemic.

        And very little is known about the virus. There is a good chance that African populations have a high innate immunity to it (many people carry antibodies), while Americans wouldn’t. Also, it’s an RNA virus with a high mutation rate.

        I’m not afraid of it. But you’re extremely gullible if you think anybody can make any predictions about this virus.

        1. No. It isn’t. For something to reach pandemic levels it has to be easily transmissible. It isn’t airborne nor will it become airborne.

          Furthermore this whole “We don’t know anything!” claim is literally out of nowhere. That’s just bullshit. We know quite a lot which is the product of studying it for years. This is why we’ve contained past outbreaks.

          Lol no. Africans don’t have immunity and Americans aren’t uniquely at risk. Africans die more often because of terrible hospital protocol and literally no Americans have died of it in the US.

          (Yes it’s has a high mutation rate but that has little to do with it’s ability to become a pandemic unless it can mutate to the avelor cells of the lungs. Which it can’t (again according to the doctors who study it) and in 100 years no virus has changed it’s transmission mode.

          1. No. It isn’t. For something to reach pandemic levels it has to be easily transmissible.

            Ebola is easily transmissible, just not airborne.

            Furthermore this whole “We don’t know anything!” claim is literally out of nowhere. … Lol no. Africans don’t have immunity and Americans aren’t uniquely at risk.

            The Journal of Infectious Diseases Volume 204 “Risk Factors for Zaire ebolavirus?Specific IgG in Rural Gabonese Populations.” The authors found antibodies in around 15% of the population, with no corresponding history of overt disease. Nobody knows the source of these infections, why these people didn’t get seriously ill, or what the implications are.

            But of course for lulzing nincompoops like you, almost everything must appear to come out of nowhere.

            1. No. Ebola is not “easily transmissible” which is why it has an R value lower than comparable diseases. You can’t catch it before they are showing symptoms and just being near someone (like SARS and influenza) isn’t enough to threaten you.

              Secondly, your argument was that this is analogous to diseases coming to native America. That’s nonsense. The presence of antibodies in 15% of Gabon doesn’t suggest that Africans overall are “immune” nor does it suggest that North America is “virgin territory.” If they have the antibodies with no history of the disease then being “virgin” hardly matters anyways.

              So in reality, no it’s not like Columbus bringing smallpox. Have a drink and take a deep breath. Ebola isn’t going to get you. Outbreak wasn’t a documentary.

  39. This argument is bogus. If Bush was president all the arguing would be about Bush’s impeachment. And there would be protests around the globe demanding charges of war crimes for attacking black nations with Bio-weapons.

    1. Don’t give the left any ideas. This could very well be a time-released mutation designed to become more virulent and contagious after Bush left.

  40. Who is the stupid brain dead cunt that wrote this article. Of course, you have to quarantine the infected when dealing with a deadly disease that is not totally understood, has a nearly 3 week incubation time, and air travel.

    Protect the uninfected and treat the infected. Imagine Red saying, “Dumb Ass!”

    1. * who wrote

    2. Hmmm whose opinion to take? Red Foreman or the WHO/CDC?

      This decision is so hard.

      1. Given the facts and the lack thereof surrounding this disease, quarantine the smart thing to do. Being compassionate in the short term could have a multitude of disastrous effects down the road.

        Your appeal to authority is duly noted.

        1. Funny because it’s not just authority (ex. the very people who deal with infectious diseases) but also experience (ex. SARS outbreak, avian flu) that says travel bans don’t work and shouldn’t be used.

          I’d rather have an appeal to the correct authority than an appeal to the Red Foremans of the world.

      2. The same CDC that said Ebola would never get here, never infect someone else here, and blamed a nurse for a breach in protocol that never existed? Yeah, sorry. I’m not going to trust somebody Obama nominated on anything.

        1. No one in the CDC said Ebola would never get here or infect an American. BS flag number 1.

          Yes there was a breach in protocol. TX Pres in the initial response didn’t train their nurses correctly and the other nurses are calling BS on her story of “I followed all the protocol.”

          Between the “Top Men” worship and the “I don’t need none uh that tharr book larnin'” I really don’t know which is worse in America.

          1. You’re just making up shit as you go along, aren’t you?

            There is no protocol in this country for treating Ebola. It was made up on the fly WHILE they were treating Duncan and it continues to change as we speak. The CDC has done nothing to inform hospitals how to treat the patients or handle the hazardous waste material. The head of the nurses union has been at the forefront informing the public of both the hospital’s and well as the CDC’s inability and refusal to help.

            1. You seem to be confusing an inability to enforce a uniform protocol for a lack a protocol existing right?

              It isn’t “unknown” how it’s transmitted. We’ve known for years. The fact is that TX Pres and the CDC haven’t done a great job of preparing them on uniform protocol that has worked at other hospitals.

              I love how one person catches it who “swears” she was following all the rules and some goombas therefore conclude that we can flush decades of scientific research down the drain instead of chalking it up to simple human error.

          2. Also “Yes there was a breach in protocol. TX Pres in the initial response didn’t train their nurses correctly” is completely contradictory, but I’m sure you have too much CDC cum in your face to notice.

            1. When you don’t train people to follow the rules correctly, we call that a breach of the system set up since the goddamn 70s to deal with Ebola and related viruses.

              Also you do realize there’s a middle ground between fellating Top Men (I don’t think anyone here has done that) and their ability to respond and believing the decades of scientific research on how Ebola is transmitted.

              No wonder whooping cough is coming back with moronic attitudes like this.

  41. Haven’t these kumbaya chanters heard the phrase “avoid it like the plague”? How do you think you do that???

    Restricting people from plague countries – when plague victims are doubling every week and killing 70% according to WHO – is common sense.

    Charter flights can still carry medical workers into and out of the countries – after a designated quarantine period.

    What happened to common sense? Some people would rather be politically correct and dead than healthy and alive.

    1. The worst most heinous crime in the entire world for a “progressive” is to be a “racist”, whatever it means this week.

  42. Whatever happened to this website lately?

    It seems like half the articles these days are an exercise in employing as many fallacies as possible to support some sort of ideology-based thesis.

    1. Big-L libertarianism is one big fallacy

    2. “It seems like half the articles these days are an exercise in employing as many fallacies as possible to support some sort of ideology-based thesis”

      Because there is no such thing as the proposal the Kochs and Reason are putting forward – it’s all nonsensical, so they have fell back on talking about the sex habits of college students, pot smoking and eating, the best TV shows and anything else to get a few more slackers to call themselves Libertarians.

      Don’t worry – the Rand Paul articles will reappear very soon.

  43. I see it’s the weekly Let’s-Bash-Republicans-So-We-Look-Evenhanded set of articles, which is sure to appeal to all the neutral people coming here. Because everyone knows the Republicans are dumb, like when they give lip service to the free market and all those crazy small government ideas.

    Then again, pretty much anything Shihka writes should have the word “dumb” in the title.

    1. That said, this entire issue seems quite overhyped to me right now. I’m surprised to see so many on this board calling for a travel ban, after all the false “epidemics” (SARS, West Nile, and others) that were supposed to kill us all.

      I say, be cautious. If War is the health of the state, I’m not sure I want to find out what Health is.

      1. Exactly how is a travel ban to a few third world shit-holes a major inconvenience except to people in those holes wanting to get out?

        1. Because seeing how our parent, the government, works, has led me to suspect that what starts as a temporary travel ban to “a few third world shit holes” will somehow end up more than that. I can already imagine it…

          TSA OVERLORD: “Excuse me, peon. You need a visa to go to Paraguay. There are reports of Dengue fever there, and the state department has required a waiver in order for you to visit.”

          PEON: “Dengue is only in the northeastern part of the country, and is relatively unknown to where I am going.”

          TSA OVERLORD: “It doesn’t matter. The State Department requires express approval of a Ban-Waiver in order to travel to any of 72 countries reputedly dangerous to Americans for any one of 17 reasons. Did you already get the required physical from State Department certified physician? Were you also vaccinated for Yellow Fever 6 weeks before you left? Because that is a requirement, too.”

          1. Now you sound as delusional as the author if this article.

            1. You’re saying it’s “totally delusional” to think that government’s supposedly temporary fix-it measure might not be so temporary, nor be confined to its initial mission?

              Because yeah, it’s totally delusional to think that would ever happen. Just think about the government’s measured response to 9/11, meth heads using cold medicine, or reports about crack babies.

  44. Well, I don’t think Ebola is a high probability threat. But if it were, I doubt the CDC would be very effective at containing it.

  45. Serious subject deserves more than this schoolgirl snark treatment.

  46. I was trying to get a scientific view on the issue and found this:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re…..193535.htm

    1. This article seems to support air travel bans since the entry points to the US are in the highly congested East Coast airport hubs.

      In the simulation graphic, check out the infection graphic around Harstfeld.

  47. The constant comparisons to the flu are inapplicable. The Flu affects millions, but only kills a tiny percentage of those. Because it affects millions, however, that tiny percentage ends up being a significant number of deaths. Ebola currently only affects thousands and may be very less infectious than the flu, but its mortality rate approaches 70% (which is astronomically high from an infectious disease standpoint). If Ebola were to ever approach the types of numbers the flu did (I’m not saying it would, just hypothetically), it would probably be the greatest pandemic to ever hit the human race. Here’s hoping for saner minds to prevail to adopt appropriate, not overreaching measures to combat the issue.

    1. Of course it’s applicable.

      No one is saying they are the same disease. But by any of the same criterion if the risk of a few dozen dying in the US is reason to shut down travel, we’d have travel bans and quarantines in permanent session.

      If you are willing to shut down trade and travel for a disease that isn’t airborne and kills 1/4th worldwide what the flu kills in the US annually, then there’s no reason why you wouldn’t do so for any of the other diseases that continually kill thousands of Americans.

      Just another example of how we freak out at the scary unlikely incident instead of the mundane societal issues.

      1. Who is willing to shutdown “trade and travel”? Talk about a straw man. More like a giant wicker man, maybe you would like to step inside?

        1. Curious how you think a travel ban works here?

          1. When you say “trade and travel” without qualifiers I take it to mean ALL trade and travel everywhere.

            I would simply ban travel into the US from people who had recently been in certain infected countries/areas. No need to get melodramatic and proclaims a limited travel ban is removing “trade and travel” writ large. Get a grip Prog freak.

            1. Prog freak? That’s really the best you’ve got?

              Yeah I’m for a strict constructionism, free markets, limited state role in our lives and a general presumption on behalf of liberty. What a total leftie.

              That travel ban would functionally ban all trade and travel to and from west Africa. If I can’t come back Liberia into the US after my business trip I’m not going to go.

              But hey let’s start a huge, unnecessary, ineffective government intervention to save ourselves from a disease that’s killed one person in the US.

              Yeah, I’m the prog.

      2. We don’t do that much trade with Africa, and imposing stricter visa requirements for visitors from Africa is hardly the same as “shutting down travel and trade”.

        1. 25b in exports and 23b in imports. Also it’s probably a big deal to those whose business in the US/Africa relies on it.

          Again it’s my argument against this blanket travel ban that 60% of our sheep got scared into supporting, egged on by dumbasses on the left and the right.

  48. Second Dallas health car worker infected. Transmission mechanism seems to be unknown.

    1. It is known. TX Pres didn’t follow protocol and people got infected. What a shock.

  49. I can’t believe Reason has published such a lame unreasonable article as a means to weakly bash Republicans. This is so weak it makes Reason sound like it’s having a hard time thinking things through. Sigh. I’m not even going to point out the obvious.

  50. Then perhaps we should fly on over to the epidemic center, hang out for a few beers and head on back. After a couple of hospital tours, because it is kind of difficult to get infected. Just ask those Dallas nurses. I guess they broke protocol by posing for selfies with the guy? And what the hell, they would have gotten infected anyway, even if Duncan hadn’t “fudged” a few answers an a questionnaire.

    Any golf courses, if so then you know who we should invite.

    The military has transport planes that can provide logistical support.
    During the first great party in the desert, The Gulf War, hundreds of civilian airliner were chartered for troop deployment, for all those stuck on the idea that we just gotta have civilian aircraft used.

  51. Obviously the ban would be on people who have been in epidemic areas, regardless if they catch a connecting flight in whatever country. These people need visas to get into the country.

    The west does not have anywhere near the financial resources to help affected African areas. We are talking about millions of dollars per patient. Still, the ban would apply to those seeking to enter the US, not those who wish to leave the US.

    That the author misses such obvious points, raises questions about the seriousness of the article and the judgment of Reason magazine in reprinting it.

    Here is a much better and sane article by Wayne Root:
    http://www.rootforamerica.com/…..ll-killed/

    Who is the dumb one here? Let your reason, not Reason magazine, be the guide.

  52. For those coming into the US who do not need a visa, still their passports could be scanned to see if they have traveled to epidemic areas; and if they have, sent back to the country from which they came.

    1. One problem with this is that borders are often porous in the third world, so it is quite possible to miss any number of people who have traveled to danger areas, because their travel will not be reflected by their passport.

      Also, what about people with two passports?

  53. Like usualy only great articles keep going!

  54. Until you get a vaccine or can reliably treat the disease, you have to quarantine those infected. Especially, when a disease with a 21 day lag time is combined with essentially instantaneous travel times wrt to the incubation times. There is no other answer.

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