"Why should we believe you?": The worst politicizations of the Ebola crisis

"Responsible leaders would close this country off to anybody who had been or was from one of the origin countries"

Published October 1, 2014 9:32PM (EDT)


Yes, Ebola has come to the United States, but, for better or worse, President Obama actually didn't have anything to do with it. Still, the conservative impulse is to somehow link a highly infectious virus with politics and blame Obama for refusing to shut down the borders to the United States. Um, could you be serious?

Still, we do have sympathy. Often when something scary or inexplicable happens, we seek to place blame somewhere so that we won't have to tolerate the feeling of existential meaninglessness. Like, for instance, why we have religion.

Here are some of the most tasteless politicizations of the Ebola patient in the U.S.:

  • On Oct. 1st's edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh said, "Responsible leaders would close this country off to anybody who had been or was from one of the origin countries... No matter how mean it sounded."
  • Laura Ingraham chimed in: "Why did Obama let the Ebola virus into the United States?... I believe our leaders' first and foremost obligation is to protect the security of our country... Why does it seem so difficult for these people to do?"
  • Steve Doocy spoke with CDC Director Tom Frieden, an extraordinarily accomplished doctor and preeminent mind in the field of public health. "This is a political thing, but you're part of the administration," Doocy said. "They feel that the administration has misled a lot of people on a lot of things. Why should we believe you when you're telling us this stuff?"

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h/t Media Matters

By Joanna Rothkopf

MORE FROM Joanna Rothkopf

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Blame Conservatives Ebola Politicization United States