If the disastrous Ebola virus goes rampant worldwide (highly unlikely), I wonder how comfortable we will all be with our porous borders?— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 28, 2014
Thank you, James Woods. The actor and, incidentally, not a doctor of any sort, is the perfect example of conservatives trying to tie the tragic Ebola outbreak to immigration.
It's just another scare tactic conservatives are using to make Americans believe they're under attack from immigrants. Never mind that Ebola has never been reported in Mexico or central American countries, the regions in conservatives' cross hairs over immigration. Indeed, the types of Ebola deadly to humans has never been found outside of Africa.
It turns out even doctors can be this stupid. Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Georgia Republican, actually holds an MD. That didn't stop him from sending an anti-immigration letter to the Centers for Disease Control that contained this gem:
"As such, reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning."
If someone in the U.S. arrived with Ebola, outside of the patients transported here under the strictest of quarantines, that surely must be a surprise to the rest of the U.S.
Conspiracy theorists nutters are already spewing venom about President Obama using Ebola as a biological weapon and an excuse for mass quarantines to ... well, we're not sure why Obama would want to do that. It's easy to dismiss these whackadoodles for what they are. It's the more insidious commentary from people like Gingrey and Woods that tries to connect two very unrelated issues and turns up the dial on xenophobia.
Unfortunately, Woods and Gingrey have serious competition when it comes to the stupidest reactions to the Ebola outbreak. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump started flapping his gums:
The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2014
Yes, how dare the U.S. try to help American doctors who put their lives on the line to fight back against the deadly Ebola outbreak?
Compassionate conservatism, indeed.