PERRYBLOG: What’s worse than Ebola? A statesman like Gardner making political hay with it


I’ve seen some low-life stuff before, but among the slimiest rackets ever is gaining speed as morally and intellectually stunted politicians exploit public fear about Ebola for their own political gain.

And guess who’s having a field day with this cruel scam right here at home? Congressman Cory Gardner.

Fellow Tea Party types are whipping themselves and Americans into a frenzied fear about Ebola, blaming the Obama administration, because that’s what they do, and because they hope to make political hay out the calamity in the ongoing mid-term elections.

more ebolaPolitical pundits say Republicans see new advantage in whipping Obama and Democrats with the scary Ebola stick since Americans have grown tired of the Obamacare beatings. Who cares that absolute public panic and endless tragic consequences are at stake? Not Gardner and Co. Burn the witch, or get out of the way so I can do it.

They disregard experts from all over the planet and even fellow Republicans with better than a third-grade science education such as former Sen. Minority Leader Bill Frist. Frist is a freaking doctor. A very, very conservative doctor.

“Former Sen. Frist said a travel ban “would be ineffective from a public and personal health perspective and would be grossly counterproductive to ensuring a cooperative, inclusive and closely aligned effort to eradicate the virus.”

Who cares, politicians ask? It’s a popular sentiment from a country where half of the citizens don’t understand or “believe in” evolution, and a whopping 25 percent think the Sun orbits the Earth. I’m not exaggerating that. So Americans are easy prey when it comes to scaring the living hell out of them and turning the country into a living Monty Python epic.

GOP Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado rejected the contention by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that banning air travelers from West Africa would encourage people to enter the United States by methods harder to track. “That’s like saying all children with chicken pox should stay in school so we know where they are,” Gardner said.

His race against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall crystalizes the partisan divide on Ebola. In a recent debate, Udall said doctors and other health experts should decide whether to “close borders. ..Senators and congressmen shouldn’t be making those decisions.”

But Gardner called for “an immediate travel ban” from the affected areas. When asked if there was a medical justification, Gardner called current policy “an unacceptable danger,” adding: “An overwhelming majority of the American people believe that we should put this in place.”

This from a man who doesn’t understand the science of human reproduction. This from a man who thinks global climate change is a political stunt. This from a man who thinks the environment just kind of heals itself after bad things happen.

So here’s your choice, Colorado, you have to believe that Gardner’s grasp of simple principles of very recent history, science, epidemiology and sociology are so tenuous that he would make the same mistakes we made during the SARS scare about 10 years ago. Then, numerous countries also tried to ban incoming from SARS-infected countries. What happened was people with SARS simply came to the United States and other countries via places where they easily passed through. Once the new and worse threat was uncovered, it began to look like every human flying, driving or floating into the United States every day was going to have to be screened for SARS. That went nowhere. It isn’t just that flight restrictions aren’t very effective, they actually create increased danger. That’s not an opinion, just history, common sense and unanimous opinion of scientists and leaders who’ve been there, done that.

Of course the other option here is that Gardner is so morally impaired that he would pretend to not understand history and science so that he could exploit American ignorance and fear for his own political gain.

Is there another option I’m missing here? I didn’t think so.

So what all this political hysteria and theater does is take away from the need for real, non-politicized discussions about what we should do. Clearly, people exposed to the disease and becoming ill should be kept off public airliners. Federal officials need to communicate with every American hospital and clinic to prevent another disaster like the one at the sad Texas hospital that messed this up in the first place.

Beyond that, the best strategy is to contain the disease in African countries where it’s starting to spread, which is what the World Health Organization and the Obama administration wanted us to do in the first place.

The Ebola problem is difficult enough without the likes of ignorant, hysterical or simply immoral politicians making it worse. Stick to throwing mud at each other over something that isn’t as dangerous and flammable as public health fears.

— Dave Perry, editor

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7 years ago

Hey Dave, how about “Never let a good crisis go to waste!”? Sound familiar? No, of course not, that must have been a dream! It would only be poetic justice if you contracted it!

Just thinking
Just thinking
7 years ago

Perry, You need your head examined!!! If there is a Republican or a Christian in the crowd you would smell them out and start berating them. You are so opinionated against them it isn’t even funny. How you can be editor of a newspaper is beyond me. You don’t report the news, you try to make it! That is the quality of a BAD newspaper reporter.

7 years ago

This is the worse newspaper in Colorado.