Things are moving rapidly as the nation continues to respond to the Ebola “crisis.” Schools are closing (NYT). The military is in on the action, as CNN reports, “forming a 30-person “quick-strike team” equipped to provide direct treatment to Ebola patients inside the United States.” Most significant, President Obama has named an Ebola czar, Thomas Klain, whose qualifications include serving as an aide to Vice President Biden. Hopefully, Klain (who was also a top lawyer for the 2000 Gore Recount Committee) will not take responsibility for counting the number of Ebola “victims.” It remains stubbornly stable at 3: Eric Duncan, “patient zero,” who contracted the disease in Liberia and died, and two nurses (Nina Pham and Amber Vinson) who appear to be recovering.
This number–three–is not the number that matters. The web is ablaze with stories, as a Google search reveals:
- US Ebola crisis: 27.4 million hits
- Eric Duncan: 86.1 million hits
- Nina Pham: 18.3 million hits
- Amber Vinson: 1.26 million hits
And then there are the polls. Opinion polls reveal little faith in the Centers for Disease Control and the President’s handling of the “crisis.” A new Politico poll reveals a larger percentage of respondents believe that George W. Bush “was more effective at managing the basic functions of the federal government” (38 percent) than Barack Obama (35 percent)…26 percent see them as equally (in)effective.
All of this is a concern for a simple reason. As the Washington Post reports, Democratic strategists “fear President Obama’s response to Ebola in the United States could become a political liability in the midterm election and Republicans see an opportunity to tie increasing concerns about the disease to the public’s broader worries about Obama’s leadership.”
With the election in two weeks, one can only imagine that the government response to the continuing “crisis” will only escalate.