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On Ebola, Scott Brown Confuses ‘Political’ Correctness With Actual Correctness

Memo Pad Politics

On Ebola, Scott Brown Confuses ‘Political’ Correctness With Actual Correctness


Since the Ebola virus first appeared in the United States, many Republican politicians have been eager to exploit the public health crisis for political gain. But, with apologies to Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), none has been more determined to scare Americans to death than former Massachusetts senator and current New Hampshire senatorial candidate Scott Brown.

Trailing incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in the polls, and always keen to tie his opponent to the unpopular President Obama, Brown has missed no opportunity to try to spin the disease to his advantage. Among other examples, Brown has accused Senator Shaheen of putting “loyalty to President Obama and his policies above doing what’s right to keep Americans safe”; warned that Ebola-infected foreigners — who may or may not be terrorists — could cross the “porous” U.S.-Mexico border at will; and even declared that “we would not be worrying about Ebola right now” if Mitt Romney had been elected president in 2012.

Brown’s favored solution to the problem is to ban air travel from the Western African nations that have been stricken with Ebola. On Friday, he renewed his calls for a travel ban in response to the news of a new patient in New York City.

“Ebola has now spread to New York City, the largest city in the United States and less than 300 miles from New Hampshire,” he said in a statement. “The person who brought it there passed through enhanced screening at the airport and exposed himself to countless other people by riding the subway, taking a taxi and going bowling. Still, Senator Shaheen is waffling on a travel ban.”

“The way to stop mass infection is by swift and decisive action, including a travel ban and quarantining health workers returning from countries where Ebola is prevalent,” Brown continued. “This is not a time for political correctness; it’s a time for common-sense prevention mechanisms.”

Brown appears to be confusing political correctness with regular correctness. The available evidence suggests that a travel ban would not solve the Ebola problem. In fact, it could make it even worse.

That doesn’t trouble the would-be senator, however.

“We don’t need to be experts to deal with this issue,” Brown said during a Thursday night debate with Shaheen. “It’s common sense.”

(Ironically, during the same debate, Brown blasted President Obama for appointing Ron Klain — a man “with no experience in his field” — to coordinate the administration’s Ebola response. Apparently, while senators don’t have to be experts, czars do.)

It’s not hard to understand why Brown would like keep the Senate race focused on national issues. President Obama is far less popular than Senator Shaheen is in New Hampshire, and Brown doesn’t exactly have great credibility on local issues. But the fact that public health officials in New York City aren’t nearly as panicked over the latest case as the Republican candidate in New Hampshire is should speak volumes. Whether Granite State voters see it that way, however, could be a different story. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that national issues have swung a Senate race at the last minute.

Screenshot: YouTube

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Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Dominick Vila October 24, 2014

    Is this idiot aware that two of the doctors that contracted the Ebola virus while trying to help people in Africa are Americans? Does he realize that both of them, and Mr. Duncan, the Liberian immigrant, returned to the USA via our international airports? Why would anyone jump fences or crawl through tunnels when they can enter, legally, via our airports? Most importantly, is he suggesting that American caregivers infected by the virus should not be allowed to come home?
    The other caregivers that contracted the Ebola virus were nurses at the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. As opposed to Republicans, who don’t miss an opportunity to score political points by scaring people, President Obama embraced Ms. Pham, one of the nurses that contracted the virus and who has recovered fully. The contrast could not be more stark. One highlights people that rely on far, lies, and hyperbole to remain viable politically; the other demonstrates not only a great sense of humanity, but a way to calm the fears of many in a subtle but highly effective way. The difference of these two approaches is that one resembles the actions of High School bullies, and the other demonstrates the wisdom and commitment of a statesman. Is that one of the reasons President Obama is so unpopular in some circles?

    1. Independent1 October 24, 2014

      Dominick, I had a dim view of Brown when he was the Senator from Mass even though being from Maine I wasn’t that familiar with him, I just didn’t like some of the positions he took on some important issues while he was a Senator. But having read some of his statements over the passed number of months and some of the reports on how he’s acted at times, I find that my “dim view” has turned into a strong dislike. In my opinion, Scott Brown has neither the correct temperament nor the intelligence to be a legislator; our government needs people far better than Scott brown. If Scott Brown is the best the GOP can do as a Senatorial candidate, the party is certainly scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

      On another note, I keep reading about how ‘President Obama is so unpopular’. That puzzles me a bit given that his favorability rating has been holding steady between 46 and 49% over the past few months in one of the few polls that I have the least bit of confidence in – the Rasmussen Presidential Poll which is taken daily. Here are some of his recent daily poll numbers from Rasmussen.

      Obama’s favorabiiity percents (%) over the past 15 days backwards from today: 47, 48, 47, 47, 46,47, 48, 47, 48, 49, 48, 48, 47, 46, 47.

      I’m starting to wonder if Obama is really as unpopular as the media keeps making him out to be, or if it’s just that there’s a very dedicated minor contingent of Americans (maybe 30%) who dislike him so much that they are determined to make him appear terribly unpopular across the nation – and that includes the media.

      1. Dominick Vila October 25, 2014

        I take the results of polls with a grain a salt. Who can forget what happened in 2012, when polls, with the exception of Nate Silver’s, convinced Republicans that Mitt Romney was going to win by a landslide. I wonder how many of the ball rooms they reserved for their celebratory bacchanals were filled after the results of the only poll that matters – our votes – were counted and made public?
        The alleged unpopularity of President Obama is perplexing to me. I cannot imagine how a President who has achieved so much, whose policies prevented the total collapse of the U.S. economy and turned an average of 800,000 jobs lost every month, into a record of job creation surpassed only by President Clinton, and whose foreign policy successes include the end of OBL, the capture of al-Libby, ending the unfunded crusade in Iraq, and reducing our presence in Afghanistan, could be considered ineffective by anyone capable of rational thinking. Are ignorance, prejudice, and overt hatred so prevalent among a segment of our population, that they prefer a return to an era that is just a sad chapter in our history, than the prosperity that ought to be evident to everyone?

        1. adler56 October 25, 2014

          Yes they do.

        2. Independent1 October 25, 2014

          I’m as perplexed as you are as to how so many Americans can be so blind and absolutely so clueless as to what Obama has accomplished. The only explanation I can come up with, is that although the GOP has failed in keeping Obama from doing all you just mentioned and much more, they’ve succeeded in totally hoodwinking almost an entire nation with their 6 years of 24/7 lies, distortions, conspiracy theories and fake scandals.

        3. highpckts October 25, 2014

          As to the last part pertaining to ignorance, prejudice and overt hatred, the answer is YES!! They can deny it till the cows come home but it is pure, unadulterated racism!!

    2. highpckts October 25, 2014

      Wisdom of a Statesman is something they don’t understand nor aspire to!!

  2. Stuart October 24, 2014

    Well, the two nurses being watched for Ebola have been cleared. I’m sure Brown and all Republicans are disappointed at that. I would say all Republicans are disappointed there isn’t an Ebola epidemic in the U.S.

    1. Independent1 October 24, 2014

      Yes, and you may note that they had been promptly moved out of the state with the worst health care delivery system in the nation, Texas, prior to successfully being cured of Ebola. And on another note: in a recent news article, Texans are shunning the hospital in which these nurses became infected with Ebola has plummeted – use of the hospitals ER has dropped by more than 30%.

      1. adler56 October 25, 2014

        only 30%? are the rest non-readers?

        1. Allan Richardson October 25, 2014

          More likely too sick and poor to travel further to get EMERGENCY care. Or that’s where the ambulance takes them after an accident or injury or heart attack.

        2. Michael Ross October 25, 2014

          Unfortunately, when you need the emergency room, you’re pretty much restricted to going whichever is closest and/or whichever one the ambulance driver takes you to.

          Wouldn’t surprise me, however, if the hospital also has had a spike in patients checking themselves out early.

  3. Independent1 October 24, 2014

    I didn’t listen to the debate, but I would have hoped that Senator Shaheen was up on the Ebola issue enough to have pushed back on Brown’s comments about travel bans and the like, by reminding him the audience, that virtually every expert on the issue has stated categorically that travel bans are not only virtually impossible to implement since there are no direct flights from the nations in Africa with the Ebola epidemics and our country – But that even if they could be implemented, it’s the opinion of these expert medical specialists that travel bans would make the situation worse rather than better.

  4. adler56 October 25, 2014

    Brown should have stuck with posing nude for Cosmo. At least that didn’t reveal his stupidity- just his shortcomings.

    1. latebloomingrandma October 25, 2014

      Ha! How did his career get this far after that posing? A woman would never have lived that one down.

  5. oldlion October 25, 2014

    So far, twice as many people have died in the school shooting near Seattle than have died from ebola in this country. Gun death is the epidemic we should be concerned with, not ebola.

    1. Michael Ross October 25, 2014

      Fun statistic: More Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than died from Ebola.

    2. Independent1 October 25, 2014

      Absolutely!! And to me, it’s probably very likely that there wouldn’t have been even one death in America from Ebola yet, had the hospital not discharged Duncan when he came in with a 103 degree fever. Apparently, being a religiously affiliated hospital, it may not get federal funding and therefore is not required by law to treat patients coming to the ER even if they don’t have insurance to pay for their care.

      So it was 3 days later that they had to rush him back to the hospital. It’s my sense that what may be a big reason why so many in Africa die from Ebola, is because many of those dying may be people who came in to get care too late, when the virus had progressed too far in their bodies – like Mr. Duncan.

    3. CPAinNewYork October 28, 2014

      So, more people have died from a school shooting than from Ebola. What does that prove? Are you suggesting that we stop worrying about Ebola and concentrate on gun control?

      If Ebola gets to be a full fledged epidemic, it will kill far more schoolkids than guns ever will. Read about the “Spanish Influenza” epidenic of 1918. it started in Kansas and killed millions worldwide.

      The civil authorities kept telling their citizens to not worry”

      1. oldlion October 28, 2014

        Not suggesting anything except to put it perspective. Thousands die each year from the flu and pneumonia and I don’t see the panic spreading over that like the freak out over ebola. You are far more likely to get shot, die from the flu, or get in a car wreck than catching the ebola virus.

  6. johninPCFL October 25, 2014

    There are no flights from West Africa to America, so does Brown propose that we invade three more countries to stop them? The latest victim in New York is an American, so does Brown advocate leaving Americans overseas to die rather than bringing them home for proper care?
    What an idiot.

    1. FireBaron October 26, 2014

      Actually, there are a handful of direct flights. All are from specific airports. Of course, fear mongers like Brown would probably love to impose an Ellis Island type system, complete with isolation ward.

    2. CPAinNewYork October 28, 2014

      You’re the idiot. Anyone wanting to fly to the United States only has to fly to Europe first. Then, they can get on a flight to the United States.

  7. Allan Richardson October 25, 2014

    If the Ebola epidemic WERE in Europe, would the Republican screamers be yelling for banning passengers from France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, the UK (thankfully still UNITED for now), or Ireland? Not on your life! For one thing, their corporate buddies are always flying in and out of those countries for business meetings, and the Cruzes and Browns in the Senate have to get to Switzerland and back to do their banking. And besides, those are mostly WHITE countries! No, they are tying the fear of disease to the fear of NONWHITE people, especially AFRICANS, which they connect with the “un-American because part African” President they hate so much.

    1. FireBaron October 26, 2014

      Hell, they already want to ban anyone with a muslim sounding name from coming to the US from any of those countries. Let’s just include anyone who coughs or sneezes, too!

  8. mah101 October 25, 2014

    It is shameful that republicans would rather win votes by exposing Americans at home to even more risk, while endangering countless lives around the world, rather than deal rationally with an issue such as ebola. Their use of fear to pander for votes is disgusting.

  9. Scoop Jaxson October 25, 2014

    Why does Obama feel the need to lie so much about Obamacare?

    1. highpckts October 25, 2014

      What???? I believe this is about Brown!!! Just can’t miss a chance to bash the President can ya!!!

      1. FireBaron October 26, 2014

        Guys like Scoop cannot help themselves. They have to find the need to bash the president every chance they get.

    2. Independent1 October 25, 2014

      Could you clarify that a little??? Lie in what way???

      Here are just a few facts on Obamacare:

      In just 9 months of being fully effective, Obamacare is:

      BOOSTING THE ECONOMY – In the early part of 2014, when the
      economy was actually stumbling because of the bad winter weather, it was ACA that helped boost the economy by freeing up spending money for millions of Americans who no longer had to pay, or worry about paying, for the healthcare they were getting or may need in the future. Even in the red state of Arizona, experts are predicting that ACA will boost the Arizonian economy by billions over the next few years because Arizona chose to expand Medicaid. And it’s also projected that ACA will be the driver for creating about 15,000 new jobs in Arizona over the next 3 years

      .SAVING LIVES – A projection has been made that ACA may
      already have saved the lives of as many as 15,000 Americans by having provided them with insurance they never had before, which prompted them to see a doctor who determined that they had a medical condition that may be fatal if it wasn’t treated in time. And in some cases, by forcing hospitals to be more careful of their treatment so fewer patients have gotten illnesses while in the hospital which have been fatal. A projection has also been made that in the red states where Medicaid has not been expanded, that as many as 17,000 Americans may die prematurely because of their decision to not expand Medicaid.

      .SAVING HOSPITALS AND STATES MONEY BY REDUCING READMISSION RATES – ACA has been found to be driving down readmission rates because hospitals are not fully reimbursed for the cost of treating patients that are readmitted to a hospital when it’s evident that they really weren’t well when they were discharged, or they actually picked up an additional illness while in
      the hospital. And hospitals are finding that reducing the reimbursement rate is saving them, and the state, money.

      .SAVING HOSPITALS AND STATES MONEY BY REDUCING THE UNINSURED RATES – ACA is also driving down the uninsured rate which is in some cases greatly reducing the number of people
      that are coming into emergency rooms who cannot pay for their care, and instead, allowing these people to be examined in a doctor’s office where they should. The combination of reduced readmission rates and decreased uninsured rates, has resulted in not only greatly improving the profitability of many hospitals in states that have embraced ACA, but has also resulted in many states seeing millions and maybe billions in savings because
      of the reduction in the monies they need to send to hospitals to reimburse them for the healthcare patients have been unable to pay for.

      .SAVINGING AMERICANS MONEY –ACA is saving all Americans
      money today by having contributed to slowing down the rate of increase of healthcare costs since it was enacted. I couldn’t locate an article I read on this some time back but I remember reading
      some experts projected that today’s average healthcare premiums would be at least 25%-40% higher than the are now had healthcare costs continued to rise at their normal pace. And in addition, millions of Americans are saving money not only because of the health care subsidies but also because the increased competitiveness created by ACA has forced more health insurers to provide Americans with lower rates than they would have without ACA.

      And if you’re talking about the idiocy of “You can keep your plan and doctor” – Obama DID NOT LIE, IT WAS THE INSURANCE COMPANIES THAT LIED!!!!!

  10. Jack Ross October 30, 2014

    Obamacare is little more than an ever-shifting mirage of illusions conjured up to exploit the sympathies of the gullible and the ignorant.


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