Six signs the US media can't cope with the Ebola story

Matthew Champion@matthewchampion
Tuesday 07 October 2014 13:30


This actually happened.

CNN's Ashley Banfield was trying to argue that Ebola was similar to Isis in that: "All Isis would need to do is send a few of its suicide killers into an Ebola affected zone and then get them onto mass transit."

Professional scaremonger Elisabeth Hasselbeck tried her best to instil panic


But her Fox News colleague Andrea Tantaros rose to the challenge of being the most misleading presenter on the sofa when she claimed: "In these countries they do not believe in traditional medical care, so someone could get off a flight and seek treatment from a witch doctor."

appearing on CNN

"I wish everybody could take a deep breath and take a break from trying to pull people in by scaring them," he added.


Fox News has consistently put forward the line that the US should be able to insulate itself from Ebola by closing its borders. Elisabeth Hasselbeck even asked the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases why this wasn't happening.

"From a public health standpoint that really doesn't make any sense," Dr Anthony Fauci explained.

"You could paradoxically make things much worse, you can't get supplies or help in... the best way to protect America is to suppress the epidemic in West Africa."

When Hasselbeck refused to give up and suggested a "partial" closing of US borders, he stuck to his guns, replying: "A closing of our borders? I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean by that. I'm sorry, but that doesn't work."


Staying with Fox News, Megyn Kelly asked a former Department of Justice official to talk about the legal options available to Barack Obama to counter the spread of the virus - something as an attorney he was absolutely qualified to discuss.

But the fact that J Christian Adams is not an infectious disease expert did not stop him from claiming the American man who was the first to come down with the disease in the US was vomiting all over the plane (he wasn't) and that you do not have to be symptomatic to spread the virus (you do).

When Kelly pointed out that went against what every doctor in the world was saying, the lawyer replied: "Well, we'll see."


Finally, and we should obviously take anything shock jock Rush Limbaugh says with a pinch of salt, he told listeners to his radio show that Barack Obama was being slow to prevent the spread of Ebola as the president believes white people in the US "deserve" to get the virus as punishment for slavery.

He based this almost entirely on the fact that Liberia was founded by freed slaves from the US.

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