Once again, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Health took on a Fox News host and shut down their effort to stoke fear over Ebola.
Fauci appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday morning for an interview with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. As expected, Hasselbeck attempted to use the virus as an excuse to close America’s borders and institute a sort of isolationism until the situation in West Africa subsides. But Fauci slapped down Hasselbeck’s fear mongering and her idea to solve the problem.
The segment began with Hasselbeck reminding viewers about the case of Ebola currently being treated in Dallas, Texas and an NBC cameraman who is being flown back to the United States for treatment.
“Why are we still letting people into the country who could have possibly been exposed?” she wondered. “Why not just shut down the flights and secure the borders? Many of you want to know…”
She then introduced Dr. Fauci and posed the question to him and asked why he hasn’t recommended shutting the border down.
HASSELBECK: Why not, just as a precaution until we get things under control, seal off the border temporarily?
DR. FAUCI: From a public health standpoint, that doesn’t really make any sense. It’s understandable how people can figure that that might help but when you completely seal off and don’t let planes in or out of the West African countries involved, then you could paradoxically make things much worse in the sense that you can’t get supplies in, you can’t get help in, you can’t can the kind of things in there that we need to contain the epidemic and the best way to protect America is to suppress the epidemic in West Africa.
And if we completely isolate them—don’t let anything in, don’t let anything out—we know from experience with public health, that marginalizes them. And you could have civil unrest, governments could fall. And then you wind up having spread the virus to other countries in west Africa, which would only compound the problem. So, it’s understandable, that thought–‘lets just close them off’–but that just doesn’t work.
Hasselbeck, clearly disappointed that the health expert didn’t blindly go along with closing down the borders, then suggesting severely restricting flights to just those that provide aid to combat Ebola.
“I’m sorry but that doesn’t work,” Fauci responded.
If you look at the newspapers, if you look at the TV coverage, you’d think that west Africa is this nation of the people you see on the front page of the New York Times, sick in Ebola treatment units… This is nation of millions and millions of people. Multiple nations, not one. You have Americans there, you have business people there, people of dual citizenship who have to go back and forth. It’s completely impractical. In fact, from a public health standpoint, not helpful to do that. And I think every public health official feels that way.
Here’s the video:
Dr.Fauci has certainly been making the rounds on Fox News lately, and he’s done nothing but disappoint the conservative propaganda machine. While Fox is trying to ramp up the fear of Ebola to help Republicans in November, Dr. Fauci is smacking those fears down and explaining why Americans shouldn’t panic.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Dr. Fauci told Chris Wallace that the idea that undocumented immigrants could carry the virus across the border is “far-fetched.”
“I wouldn’t be worrying about illegal immigrants coming from southern borders when we have an issue right now with Ebola in West Africa. That’s a hypothetical that’s very far-fetched,” Dr. Fauci said.
Later that day, PBS science correspondent Miles O’Brien also had strong words about how Fox News has covered Ebola.
I wish everybody could take a deep breath and take a break from trying to pull viewers in by scaring them. And that’s what we’re seeing here. It borders on irresponsibility when people get on television and start talking that way when they should know better. They should do their homework and they should report in a responsible manner… It’s offensive on several levels. And it reflects a level of ignorance, which we should not allow in our media and in our discourse.