Wingnut Week In Review: If Ebola Doesn’t Kill You, Wingnuttery Will

Terrance Heath

Republicans finally have something to run on: fear. This week, it’s fear of Ebola. Of course, right-wing fear-mongers always leave out how conservatism made the Ebola crisis worse.

Fox News contributor Stacey Dash called for the federal government to establish “special centers for Ebola in each state.” Dash must have forgotten that the government could just use those empty “FEMA camps.”

Dash criticized the Obama administration, saying “We need a surgeon general. We need a pinpoint person.” She’s right. We could use a Surgeon General right now. America could benefit from an “explainer in chief” to educate people, and cut though some of the hysteria, as Dr. C. Everett Coop did in the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, Dash left out that Republicans are the reason America doesn’t have a surgeon general.

President Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy nearly a year ago. But Dr. Murthy’s nomination has been held up by right-wingers, the NRA, and red-state Democrats, because of his support for an assault weapons ban, and for this 2012 tweet:

Dr. Murthy may have a point. According to the National Safety Council, you’ve got about a 1 in 356 chance of dying as a result of gun violence. Those odds are likely to get worse, because gun deaths are set to exceed traffic fatalities as one of America’s leading causes of non-medical deaths by 2015.

Your chances of dying from Ebola are roughly … zero.

But we don’t have a surgeon general to tell us that, thanks to the gun-loving wingnut brigade. Meanwhile, wingnuts are squawking for an “Ebola Czar,” — after suggesting that the use of “czars” was turning us into Russia — and then attack the president for appointing one.

Something else we don’t have are national public health institutions sufficiently funded to handle crises like Ebola. Right-wing budget slashing cut the Center for Disease Control’s emergency preparedness budget nearly in half. The CDC’s discretionary funding was cut by $585 million between 2010 and 2014. Funding for public health preparedness and response efforts were cut by $1 billion between 2002 and 2013, resulting in about 45,700 job losses at the state and local level — at a time when vaccine-preventable diseases like Ebola are a growing threat.

Conservatives like Erick Erickson can claim that “fat lesbians got all the Ebola dollars,”, but it was wingnuttery that got us into this mess. More the same wingnuttery isn’t going to get us out of it:

Here’s the rest of the worst in wingnuttia this week:

Get updates in your inbox