Imagine if the debate over closing the border for the protection of Americans was not over the entry of Ebola sufferers, but of suspected terrorists. The Tea Party crowd, and many others, would say it is time to shut the border completely to anyone coming from areas in the Middle East where the young are being trained in jihad by the Islamic State
Would the Obama Administration say that since those areas are the breeding ground of terror and if we close our borders they will respond in kind. How then will we be able to stop terror if we cannot get people in there to help shut it down at the source?
If it isn’t terrorists at the border, but the deadly smallpox virus about which panic is spreading how would we react? After eliminating smallpox from human contamination in 1980, two stores of the virus have been maintained for potential study. One is at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and another is in Russia.
Might Russia make some available to radical Islamists to infect themselves and then get on an airline and play out the remainder of their lives as suicide coughers?
That seems unlikely since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “reset” our relations with Russia just months after taking office in early 2009. Surely Russia would be in lock step with us in eliminating unnecessary risks. But just maybe…
From April through June tens of thousands of children came across our southern border, many bringing disease with them. There was some concern that we might see smallpox for the first time in over 30 years.
At the first hint of a smallpox outbreak we would hear an outcry from many demanding that we stop from entering anyone who could not show that they had been vaccinated for smallpox. The rest should be quarantined until it was certain they were not contagious.
Would this administration oppose any border closings on the argument that we couldn’t quash smallpox at the fount if we closed our borders? The best way to defeat this is to let them into our country and into our health care system so that we could do epidemiological work and trace it back to its origin.
But neither terrorists nor smallpox are the risk du jour. Today we are only dealing with Ebola, a highly communicable disease that is deadly to about two-thirds of those who contract it. Those cautious or frightened want to stop those attempting to enter the U S with a visa from the nations of origin of the disease from being allowed to enter our country.
Our health care professionals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, in spite of changing their protocols a few times in a few weeks, now believe that they have all of the public health parameters under control and thus are at liberty to spout the political line: “We should never close our borders, else how will we get help into the areas most affected in order to try to stop the spread of the disease into other nations.”
We even hear from doctors who have replaced their stethoscopes with the more remunerative television microphone, telling us not what medical risks Ebola portends, but instead regurgitating the most recent political spin from the White House.
Peggy Noonan had it right a week ago when she suggested that what we are hearing from the political class, which now includes much of he media, is asinine. Put a bunch of 11 year olds in a room, she said, and put before them the scenario of death possibly coming through the door.
Whether the threat was a terrorist, a smallpox carrier or an Ebola victim the kids would, without hesitation, tell us to shut the door.
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