With a confirmed case
of Ebola in New York City, the relevant officials and agencies, who have prepared extensively for these circumstances, are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing. Some anxiety is understandable, but the public can have confidence in the public-health system.
And while they're at it, Americans should probably ignore
a certain Republican congressman from NYC.
Republican Rep. Peter King thinks the doctors are wrong on Ebola, suggesting the deadly virus might have mutated and gone airborne in an interview with Long Island News Radio last week. "You know my attitude was it's important not to create a panic and it's important not to overreact and the doctors were absolutely certain that this cannot be transmitted and it was not airborne and yet we find out the people who have contracted it were wearing all protective gear," said King.
The Republican lawmaker, who made the comments before
learning about the new diagnosis, added
, "I think the doctors have been wrong. I don't think it was any conspiracy, I think they have been wrong.... It's time for the doctor's to realize that they were wrong and figure out why they were wrong. Maybe this is a mutated form of the virus."
To understate matters, King isn't helping. First, it's true that some nurses in Dallas became infected while caring for a patient, but the CDC has concluded that a breach in protocol with the protective gear was responsible. This does not mean Ebola is "airborne."
Second, while it's possible for medical professionals to be wrong, there's no evidence whatsoever -- from King or anyone else -- that the doctors have been wrong about Ebola.
The congressman, in other words, is just throwing around reckless opinions, based on nothing but fear, and making bogus assertions that may scare people for no reason. It's the exact opposite of what responsible public figures, communicating with the public, should be doing right now. Peter King has no background in science or medicine, and there's simply no reason for him to tell Americans that doctors "were wrong" about Ebola when the evidence suggests the exact opposite is true.
In case that weren't quite enough, King also wants the government to start aggressively spying on Americans based on their religion
Republican Rep. Peter King says the United States should respond to the shootings Wednesday morning in and around the Canadian Parliament, which left a soldier dead, by increasing surveillance on Muslims. The New York Republican, speaking with NewsMaxTV's America's Forum also placed blame on "morons" on the New York Times editorial board, Associated Press, and American Civil Liberties Union for limiting the New York Police Department's ability to surveil Muslim communities. "We can have all the technology in the world, the fact is we have to find out what's happening on the ground in these Muslim communities and we can only do that through increased surveillance," King said.
Taking a step back, so long as folks keep a level head, follow guidance from knowledgeable officials, and ignore Peter King, we should be all right.