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Ebola? Didn’t That Happen Around the Time of the Black Death?

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Can we get in the Wayback Machine for a minute? All the way to a month ago. In early November, in the days before the midterm election, Ebola was the greatest threat this nation ever faced and who was to blame for that but the African in the White House himself, Barack Hussein Obama. Vote Tom Cotton! Funny how as soon as the election passed, Ebola completely disappeared from the headlines. Coincidence, no doubt.

Ebola has fallen so far out of the public consciousness that Obama is now trying to remind people that it exists and is a public health problem we need to which we need to pay attention.

Amid nationwide protests over police tactics, intense scrutiny of an expansive immigration policy and growing concern about military strategy in the Middle East, President Barack Obama will drive 10 miles northwest on Tuesday to discuss a crisis that’s largely slipped the public consciousness.

Appearing at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, he will reacquaint America with Ebola.

According to the advisory for the event, a portion of the president’s remarks will be devoted to praising work done by the medical research community in combating the deadly virus — including slowing the growth rate of infections in West Africa, treating patients in the United States and conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial for a promising vaccine.

And I’m sure no one will pay attention until the next election cycle when conservatives need some less than subtle race-baiting to get out their voters.

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  • Phil Perspective

    Ebola has fallen so far out of the public consciousness …

    Will liberals finally realize that Brian Williams, George Snuffleupagus and 60 Minutes aren’t their friends?

    • What are you even talking about?

      • brownian

        I think Phil is saying that the ostensibly liberal media isn’t very liberal, and played their part in making Ebola an issue pre-midterms and dropping it now.

        Edit: sorry, shouldn’t presume to speak for someone else. That’s just what I got from his comment.

        • I know that’s what he’s saying, but what he is really saying is that both political parties suck and the media sucks and Democrats suck for not thinking the media sucks. Which isn’t really helpful for the point at hand but it is literally the only point he can make about anything.

          • Phil Perspective

            I said liberals, not Democrats. They aren’t the same thing. Anyway, keep thinking whatever you want to think. Just because you think that doesn’t make it correct.

            • NonyNony

              You do have to admit Phil that you get awfully repetitive around here.

          • brownian

            Ah, okay. Look, it’s my first day on the job as comment translator, and I’m not really getting paid anyway, which is good because I’m kind of terrible at it, and I just scribble all over these HR forms with crayon, so I’m just going to let myself out…

          • brugroffil

            Well, the Democrats do generally suck at working the media, especially compared to Republicans.

        • Phil Perspective

          brownian:
          Congratulations on being 100% correct. You nailed it exactly.

    • joe from Lowell

      Wait a second – are there any liberals who believe the media is our friend?

      I know Republicans keep saying we do, but I haven’t seen too many liberals agreeing with them.

      • NonyNony

        I think a lot of liberals fall into the trap of thinking that the media is “supposed to” be reporting facts, and they accuse the media of “falling down on the job” when they are instead just repeating what they’re told or even making it worse by hyping up ridiculous doomsday scenarios.

        We would all be better off if we all admitted that at best the job of the media is to make money for the people who own it, and tabloid hyping of crap is a good way to make money. We should also assume that the owners are doing everything they can to protect their own interests – including lower taxes and a more unequal distribution of income – because why should we expect them to be doing anything else?

        • Dennis Orphen

          Your comment is as relevant to any discussion of the mainstream news media as “Christ, what an asshole” is to New Yorker cartoons. It works EVERY time.

        • UserGoogol

          Saying the media’s job is to make money seems vapidly tautological and meaningless, since it’s true of every for-profit organization and arguably many of the non-profits, but nevertheless different companies have different goals in mind. There’s more distinguishing the New York Times Company from General Motors from PepsiCo from Bain Capital than just their names. If companies just mindlessly sought to make money, news organizations would close themselves down and reinvest their resources in more profitable industries.

          News organizations are in the business of news. And all news organizations have some degree of internal culture which internalizes the idea that they are there to do the news. At the same time, the pressure to make money pushes them in other directions. But if they were willing to do anything it took to make money, they wouldn’t be in the news business.

  • n00chness

    Clearly what happened is that Ebola went from being a Clear and Present Danger like ISIS (“BREAKING NEWS”) to a mere abstract and theoretical threat, like climate change.

    The short-term reptile-like thinking that has taken over our decision-making doesn’t do too well with comprehending abstract and theoretical threats, let alone handling them.

    • NonyNony

      Clearly what happened is that the election ended in a Republican victory, and the need for Republicans to use Ebola as a scary foreign thing that Obama was going to let into the country to infect everyone and turn us into Ebolobama Zombies died off.

      The press dropped this story like a hot potato exactly when Republicans stopped talking about it. Because by about a week before the election the US medical complex had finally ramped up their procedures to deal with it, new infections weren’t showing up, and the only US-centric newsworthy elements about it were all Republican fearmongering and overreaction. When they stopped, the story disappeared.

  • Dr. Waffle

    This reminds me of the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy from a few years ago, which also magically dropped off the radar once the midterms were over. There’s nothing like a little xenophobia to rally the base!

    • brownian

      I have that one on my “Sam Harris’ Greatest Hits” album. I still bring it out when I’m talking to one of those younguns who think he started his career with “Estrogen Vibe” and “Bruce Schneier Handed Me My Ass, But for the Sake of the Dollars I’m Going to Continue to Pretend I’m a Victim of Political Correctness Run Amok”.

  • Todd

    Next election cycle may pit them against a woman, so a weird sounding African-origin infectious disease may lack the synergies they are looking for. I could ,however, see a newly found outrage over the availability of the morning after pill (“PHARMACIES AS DEATH MILLS!”), or a reinvigorated campaign against any preventative application of the HPV vaccine (“YOU’RE NOT GONNA TURN OUR DAUGHTERS INTO AUTISTIC WHORES!”).

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    Of course Obama wants you to pay attention to Ebola – why did he got to all the trouble of having ISIS smuggle it in via Mexico in the first place?

  • StuckinOz

    Google ads is giving me a video of a gigantic snake about to swallow a man right under your post.

    • witlesschum

      Unfortunately, I know that story won’t have a happy ending.

      • CD

        speciesist.

      • Could be worse. It could be a video of a gigantic man about to swallow a snake.

  • Barry Freed

    Ebola really had almost everything didn’t it? Fear of black people, the immigrant other and the “sanctity of our borders,” notions of purity and body horror including “bodily fluids” (where have we heard that one before?), death and disease, etc., it was only missing the Islam element though that didn’t keep some nutjobs trying to hitch it to fears of terrorism.

    • It was a very interesting 2 weeks. Some historian will have fertile material in the future.

      • D.N. Nation

        If I wanted to show an example of everything horribly wrong with American punditry circa 2014, I would use that Nooners column when she talks about how evil the pointy-headed intellectual CDC NERRRRRRRDS are because even a SAHM knows you keep lil’ Madysynne home until her sniffles are gone.

  • Barry Freed

    OT but your bailiwick, what the hell just happened to Steven Greenhouse at the NYT? I see that he took a buyout. Was he pushed out for some reason? What’s the background on this? NYT really is cementing its position as the paper of the 1%.

  • BruceFromOhio

    I think we should raise the Threat Level to Orange.

    Oh, wait

    • brugroffil

      Blackwatch Plaid

      • Just_Dropping_By

        I think we need to go straight to the cover of Rush’s Moving Pictures. It would be irresponsible not to.

        • BruceFromOhio

          omfg you guys are awesome

        • Halloween Jack

          “The Final Countdown” or GTFO.

  • wengler

    Remember how badly Obama handled the Obama epidemic? He followed the advice of ‘infectious disease specialists’ instead of trying to lock up health workers like brave Governor Chris Christie.

    • That was Chris Christie showing presidential leadership there.

      • Lee Rudolph

        Pregnant sow, health workers…cage’m all!!!

    • NonyNony

      Remember how badly Obama handled the Obama epidemic?

      Did you do this on purpose, or was it an accident?

      Because I think “Obama’s handling of the Obama epidemic” pretty much sums up Republican complaints about the man from 2008 until today…

      • He could have been a white Republican president but he. Didn’t. Even. Try.

    • Lee Rudolph

      trying to lock up health workers like brave Governor Chris Christie.

      Actually, leaving aside Chris Christie’s qualifications as a health worker, I think that locking him up would be a fine thing.

      • I think he should be free to roam…out of an airplane.

  • Bob Loblaw Lobs Law Bomb

    Hey, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve heard anything about the Ground Zero Mosque since the 2010 midterms either….

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