President Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham
President Obama has been "very hands off" about Ebola, according to Iowa Republican Joni Ernst. "He is just standing back and letting things happen, he is reactive rather than proactive." Because a massive Ebola outbreak was such a predictable thing that the president of the United States should have been on it
ahead of time, or something. But Ernst's hot take
on Obama and Ebola gets better:
“What should he have done about Ebola?” Esquire blogger Charlie Pierce asked her. “One person in America has Ebola.”
“OK, you’re the press, you’re giving me your opinion,” Ernst said.
“It’s not an opinion, only one person in America has it,” he said.
Yeah, Mr. Press Man, don't give me your opinions about the facts about Ebola.
We know that Ernst wants Charlie Pierce to not make accurate observations or ask her questions. But what does she want Obama to do? "Make sure that all of these agencies are coordinating together." He has sought to do that, a task made more difficult by Republican-pushed budget cuts to agencies like the Centers for Disease Control. Meanwhile, Republicans worked to stall funding to fight Ebola.
Aside from that thing that Obama is already doing, Ernst wants him to "make sure he is sharing with the American people he cares about them, he cares about their safety." Oh, look. This is another thing that Obama is already doing. On October 18, he dedicated a weekly address to Ebola, saying "the United States will continue to help lead the global response in West Africa. Because if we want to protect Americans from Ebola here at home, we have to end it over there." On October 24, he met with Nina Pham (photo above), one of the nurses who contracted Ebola in Dallas. On October 25, he again used his weekly address to talk about Ebola, saying "Patients can beat this disease. And we can beat this disease. But we have to stay vigilant. We have to work together at every level—federal, state and local."
Obama is doing exactly what Joni Ernst claims to want him to do. But she can't admit that, not only because the Republican playbook does not allow ever doing anything but attacking Obama, but also because she's following the Republican game plan of whipping up Ebola panic in search of fear-based votes.
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Iowa voters would do better to listen to the president's words on October 28
America in the end is not defined by fear. That's not who we are. America is defined by possibility. And when we see a problem and we see a challenge, then we fix it. We don't just react based on our fears. We react based on facts and judgment and making smart decisions.
And definitely, definitely, don't listen to the person who thinks the number of people with Ebola in the United States is an opinion, not a fact.