Ebola surprise

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You’re not going to get Ebola

The “outbreak” of the virus in the US has been traced to its source and contained. Earlier this week, Nigeria declared itself Ebola free, as did Spain. We should follow suit shortly.

Make no mistake: Ebola will make you bleed from your eyes. But the odds of contracting it in the North Carolina Piedmont Triad are as slim as a lottery win. Even slimmer — at least one person will definitely win the lottery.

It’s wise to consider the timing of the Ebola news. Funny how big things always seem to break in October, when there’s an election on the horizon.

That’s not to say that the entire Ebolarama was cooked up to gain votes, but it does make a handy device for candidates who traditionally rely on fear to motivate their voters.

We’re looking at you, Thom Tillis.

It was only natural that he latch onto the coattails of the deadly virus to improve his chances in the Senate race. And there’s a lot to grab on to.

The country’s response to the first Ebola case and its aftermath showed serious flaws in protocol. Dallas nurse Amber Joy Vinson told the Wall Street Journal that she was cleared by the Center for Disease Control for air travel; a lab technician who handled the virus in Dallas boarded a cruise ship, which was refused port in Cozumel before the man was declared free of the virus.

Tillis wound all these strands together earlier this month during a debate with his opponent, Kay Hagan, saying, “Sen. Hagan has failed the people of North Carolina and the nation by not securing the border. Ladies and gentlemen, we have an Ebola outbreak, we have bad actors who can come across the border.”

That’s a first-class conflation, right there.

Tillis again dropped the E-bomb at Guilford County Republican Headquarters on Sunday, reported in the Washington Post, as a single-word sentence.

“The crowd burst into hearty applause.”

Only during a tight Senate election in October can the name of a deadly virus that makes people cry tears of blood be used as an applause line.