What drives the falsehoods: Ideology or incompetence?
And yesterday Obama did the unthinkable: he cancelled a precious campaign fundraiser to address an issue of intense interest to the American people. At a photo-opportunity disguised as an emergency cabinet meeting the president did what he always does: he lied and lied and lied.
"Here’s what we know about Ebola: That it is not like the flu," Obama told his groupies in government and the media in reassuring tones.
"It is not airborne. The only way that a person can contract Ebola is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is showing symptoms. In other words, if they don’t have symptoms, they’re not contagious."
To demonstrate his fearlessness, Obama bragged about canoodling with health care professionals:
I want to use myself as an example just so that people have a sense of the science here. I shook hands with, hugged, and kissed not the doctors, but a couple of the nurses at Emory [University Hospital, where Ebola patients are treated] because of the valiant work that they did in treating one of the patients. They followed the protocols, they knew what they were doing, and I felt perfectly safe doing so. And so this is not a situation in which, like a flu, the risks of a rapid spread of the disease are imminent. If we do these protocols properly, if we follow the steps, if we get the information out, then the likelihood of widespread Ebola outbreaks in this country are very, very low.
The White House website repeats Obama's lies: "You can only get the Ebola virus by direct contact with: Body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola; Objects contaminated with the virus; Infected animals."
My Capital Research Center co-worker, Dr. Steven J. Allen, happens to be an expert on the Ebola virus and he says Obama is not telling the truth. Allen earned his Ph.D. in biodefense from George Mason University's College of Science in 2007.
Although Ebola is indeed spread by means of body fluids there's a catch.
"We don't how long it can last on surfaces or as droplets in the air so when President Obama said earlier this month you can't get it from sitting beside someone on a bus that was a total lie," Allen said. "You can get the disease from such a small number of viral particles that logic says you can get it from someone coughing in your vicinity."
In other words, Ebola can spread through the air, contrary to Obama's remarks. This helps to explain why health care professionals who value their lives wear hazmat suits that look like astronaut gear when dealing with Ebola-infected patients.
Allen offered a brief primer on Ebola. He explained that currently there are five main varieties of the Ebola virus, but not all five can infect humans. "What used to be called 'Ebola Zaire' is now just called Ebola," he said. "When Ebola is unqualified it means Ebola Zaire."
Ebola causes patients to bleed throughout their bodies, particularly as it attacks organs such as the liver and spleen and causes them to fail. Even if you survive an encounter with Ebola you can still end up with infertility, arthritis, and other problems related to organ failure.
Some Obama critics like Allen characterize the president's behavior as examples of incompetence.
"It is Obama's ideology that makes him incompetent," Allen said. "Public health is supposed to be about fighting infectious disease and protecting people from environmental dangers. We have the Environmental Protection Agency to cover the environment and the Centers for Disease Control is supposed to be for infectious disease."
"The Obama people, continuing a long-developing trend, have reinvented public health to mean control over personal behavior such as what you eat, whether you have guns in the house, whether you drive drunk," Allen explained.
"Some of these concerns may be legitimate but the CDC is supposed to be dealing with infectious disease, not personal behavior. Anything else is mission creep and getting away from protecting us as was intended when the CDC was created."
Truth-averse left-wingers have been shrieking for days that Republican lawmakers in Congress are somehow to blame for Obama's Ebola outbreak because they supposedly cut its budget. It's another lie.
"At $7 billion, the Centers for Disease Control 2014 budget is nearly 200 percent bigger now than it was in 2000," according to investigative journalist Michelle Malkin. "Those evil, stingy Republicans actually approved CDC funding increases in January larger than what President Obama requested."
Despite its massive budget, the CDC is barely responding to Ebola and the polio-like enterovirus D68 that was likely brought into the U.S. by the illegal Central American immigrants who have been fast-tracked across the southern border under the administration's Democratic voter importation program. An aggressive response to these lethal viruses is out of the question because it might stigmatize or offend members of certain ethnic groups, after all.
Malkin aptly dubs the worse-than-useless CDC as "The Centers for Everything But Disease Control." In her words the CDC is a "power-hungry busybody brigade of politicized blame-mongers." She's right.
In the Obama era the CDC has pushed a dizzying array of social-engineering proposals that have nothing to do with disease. These nanny state initiatives include a federal universal motorcycle helmet law, a study of video games and television violence, a "national action plan" to prevent accidents in children's playgrounds, and studies and campaigns “promoting positive community norms” and “safe, stable, nurturing relationships (SSNRs)” in homes and schools.
But actual success in the real world is of secondary importance to leftists. Only intentions count.
Obama praised several officials including Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and his perpetually bungling CDC Director Tom Frieden, who has been busy more or less full-time in recent weeks issuing clarifications of his infelicitous, inaccurate statements from the previous day.
Obama said the officials have done an "outstanding job" so far, but that with flu season upon us and Department of Homeland Security officials also working on combatting ISIS, "they also are responsible for a whole bunch of other stuff."
Despite all the fabulous work Frieden, who used to labor for then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on vital projects like limiting the size of soda pop servings, Obama is warming to the idea of appointing an "Ebola czar" to coordinate the government's response to the crisis that his boneheaded policies have created.
Frieden has been coming under increasingly heavy political fire in recent days. It doesn't help that he has no idea what he's doing, Allen said.
"The problem with Frieden is he is a prohibitionist zealot who is clueless about the threat we are currently facing. He has no expertise in public health as properly understood."
Obama may jettison Frieden to reduce the growing political heat he has been feeling as result of the Ebola crisis he has caused.
"It may make sense for us to have one person ... so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process just to make sure that we're crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's going forward," Obama said.
Although quarantining infectious patients has been practiced with impressive results ever since the invention of medical science, Obama refuses to halt travel to the U.S. from Ebola-afflicted parts of the world, even from Ebola-devastated Liberia, home of the patient who recently succumbed to the disease at a Texas hospital.
Defying common sense, Obama says a "flat-out travel ban is not the way to go."
Critics point to Obama's stubborn refusal to stop residents of Liberia and other affected countries from visiting the U.S. as incompetence or a lack of leadership.
This criticism may be unfair. Obama is more likely acting out of principle.
Obama's neo-Marxist, identity politics-infused worldview holds that America is an imperial power that has victimized other nations merely by being wealthy and powerful. Meanwhile, Obama romanticizes backward countries like those former colonies in Ebola-rich West Africa and views imposing a travel ban on their citizens as adding insult to the grievous injuries that the perpetually guilty United States has inflicted on them.
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