I was watching the evening news last night, and I was treated to this spectacle of media villagers chasing after nurse Kaci Hickox and her husband while out for a bicycle ride in their hometown in Maine. A full-blown media clusterfuck!
Ms. Hickox, who volunteered her time and professional skills to go to Africa to treat Ebola patients — something few Americans would ever do — and all the other medical professionals who put their calling in life to treat the sick ahead of their own self-interest, ought to be considered exemplary Americans and treated as heroes.
Instead, Ms. Hickox has been demonized. There was one reporter (not pictured) who actually had the nerve to assert to Ms. Hickox that her violating her state-imposed quarantine caused reporters to have to cover her, instead of covering Ebola in Africa. WTF?! I guarantee you that this reporter has no intention of ever setting foot inside Africa to cover Ebola patients. I wanted to beat the snot out of this reporter.
What the corporate media has done over the past month is the most disgraceful example of ignorant fear mongering to create unnecessary panic and hysteria for TV ratings that I can recall in my lifetime. Do you know who needs to be in quarantine? Every goddamn media villager who is spreading the hysteria of “Fearbola”!
And that goes double for the geniuses at the RNC who decided that it would be a really good idea to fold this unhinged media hysteria over Ebola into their biennial campaign of fear mongering in American elections.
There has been so much stupid from politicians over the past month, if there is a “disqualifying” event for political office (looking at you, Chuck Todd), this is it. From Governors, a Mix of Hard-Line Acts and Conciliation Over Ebola:
In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, issued a stern warning on Thursday to medical experts coming to an international conference on tropical diseases that they should stay away if they had been in Ebola-affected countries in the past 21 days, and that those who defied would be confined to their hotel rooms.
But in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, who last week called for mandatory quarantines for health care workers returning from West Africa, sounded a more conciliatory note, joining Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce financial incentives to encourage health professionals to go to West Africa to treat Ebola patients.
And here in Maine, Gov. Paul R. LePage, a Republican, said he was simply trying to enforce federal guidelines when he called for quarantining a nurse who recently returned from Sierra Leone. But the nurse, Kaci Hickox, has called the quarantine unjustified because she had no symptoms of Ebola — and she went on a bike ride Thursday to register her protest.
And let’s not forget the loud-mouthed Bully of the Boardwalk from New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie, who Ms. Hickox made a fool of earlier this week. “ When Kaci Hickox stood up to Governor Chris Christie for quarantining her against her will and claiming she was ‘obviously ill’ when she wasn’t, she did more than bring a little sanity to our Ebola-panic politics.” Nurse Kaci Hickox Takes on Bully Governors Christie, Cuomo and LePage.
After being kicked around like a football for the past two weeks by politicians and media villagers alike, today the legal system stepped in and delivered a triumph for science over ignorance, hysteria and fear. Kaci Hickox 1, ignorant hysterical fear mongerers 0. Maine Judge Rejects Ebola Quarantine for Nurse:
Less than a day after restricting the movements of a nurse who treated Ebola victims in West Africa, a judge in Maine has lifted the measures, rejecting arguments by the State of Maine that a quarantine was necessary to protect the public.
Within an hour of the decision, state troopers who had been parked outside the nurse’s house for days had left.
The order, signed on Friday by Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere, the chief judge for the Maine District Courts who serves in Kennebec and Somerset counties, said the nurse, Kaci Hickox, “currently does not show symptoms of Ebola and is therefore not infectious.”
The order requires Ms. Hickox to submit to daily monitoring for symptoms, to coordinate her travel with state health officials, and to notify them immediately if symptoms appear. Ms. Hickox has agreed to follow the requirements.
Ms. Hickox’s lawyers said the decision is likely to end a standoff between the nurse, who has resisted being quarantined on the grounds that she is not symptomatic for Ebola, and the state authorities, who say that a quarantine is needed to ensure the public’s safety.
The lawyers said there may be a further hearing on the issue on Tuesday, but said they do not expect it to change how things stand.
Politicians who sought to deprive Kaci Hickox of her civil liberties without any due process of law or medical necessity out of political grandstanding and fear mongering in an election year have demonstrated how little concern they have for the Constitution and civil liberties when acting out of ignorance, hysteria and fear mongering.
If these politicians were willing to do this to an exemplary American citizen who should be considered a hero for her service — someone who is not sick and is asymptomatic, and who poses no threat to public health — what convenient excuse will they concoct to deprive the rest of us of our constitutional rights and civil liberties in other situations? You had better ask yourself this question.
Kaci Hickox, I salute you! You are a true American hero. You are a triumph of science over ignorance, hysteria and fear.
And as for you America, you are not going to die from Ebola. But you anti-vaxers out there who do not get your little snot bag kids vaccinated, you and your little snot bags are the real threat to Americans health. And if you haven’t already got your flu shot, so are you. Focus on the real threats, America! Start behaving like “the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”