Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Gabby McDaris

Red, Blue & You: No single person is to blame for Ebola

Only in America could something like the Ebola outbreak turn into a political battle.

Only in America could something like the Ebola outbreak turn into a political battle.

If you have turned on the news the past month, chances are you have seen some sort of news coverage about Ebola.

The problem is not that the news is covering the spread of Ebola, but rather how they are covering it and how things have been blown out of proportion in order to instill fear and create blame.

One of the biggest rumors being spread about the virus is the possibility of it becoming airborne, much like the flu. Conservative radio host Glenn Beck did this on his show, The Blaze. He said, “all of our lives are at stake. The entire future of humankind could be at stake, for the love of Pete. Nobody realizes what a pandemic means. This could wipe out a third or half the population if it would go airborne like the flu.”

America is nowhere close to having an Ebola pandemic. Maybe if we were another country — Liberia, for example, has had 2,458 deaths from Ebola, according to an article from The Guardian — there would be cause for concern, but right now only one American has died from the disease and only four have been infected, according to Forbes.

In his radio segment, Beck also talks about the possibility of Ebola becoming airborne “like the flu.” According to an article by The Telegraph, the likelihood of this happening is slim to none.

“Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and co-discoverer of the Ebola virus, said: ‘To suggest that Ebola could become airborne is completely irresponsible,’” the article reads.

When Glenn Beck and other media people make these hypothetical statements, the goal is to create fear and ultimately blow the situation out of proportion so that people feel the need to place blame.

In America there is always one person who is an easy target to blame: the president.

No matter the size of the problem or the role he had in creating it, he will take the most heat, and because of this, people will see the Ebola outbreak as a way to gain political ground.

President Barack Obama’s biggest criticism has been his decision to not impose a travel ban on West African countries.

Fox News Contributor Keith Ablow claimed that Obama made this decision because he is loyal to Africa. He claimed, “his affinity, his affiliations are with them! Not us! That’s what people seem unwilling to accept. He’s their leader. We don’t have a president.”

Even if you disregard the racist aspect of Ablow’s claim, it’s still a ridiculous statement. Obama’s decision not to impose a travel ban is in no way an indicator that he is more loyal to Africa or that he does not care for the well being of Americans. Once again, it’s just another example of things being blown out of proportion for political gain.

Politics can play a role in almost any situation if we try hard enough, but sometimes it’s best to leave it out of the equation if it only leads to unnecessary panic.

There is no single person to blame for the virus making its way to America, but it’s here and something needs to be done to fix it. Regardless of how it got here, there is no need to instill so much fear and panic across the country.

Gabby McDaris is a freshman studying screenwriting. Email her at

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH