Politics Magazine

U.S. Has More Fear Of Ebola Than Is Warranted By Facts

Posted on the 21 October 2014 by Jobsanger
U.S. Has More Fear Of Ebola Than Is Warranted By Facts
U.S. Has More Fear Of Ebola Than Is Warranted By Facts
U.S. Has More Fear Of Ebola Than Is Warranted By Facts
The fear of the Ebola virus here in the United States is reaching ridiculous proportions. About 70% of the general population say they are concerned about an Ebola epidemic breaking out in this country, while 45% say they are at least somewhat worried about contracting the Ebola virus themselves.
Why is there so much unwarranted fear in this country? Part of it is because the corporate media has played up the threat, even though that threat is almost non-existent to the general public in this country. By playing up the threat they can get more viewers, and more viewers equals more profits (which is far more important to the corporate media than reporting the truth in a responsible way). They also allow people to spread lies on their airwaves in the interest of "fairness" (i.e., acting like there are two sides to this story, instead of just reporting facts).
Republican candidates must also share part of the blame. They have been unable to find an issue this year that counters the voter anger toward Congress -- so they have jumped on the Ebola issue. In the final few weeks before election day, they hope to scare voters into voting for them by making Ebola sound extremely dangerous to the public -- and by trying to blame the Obama administration for "mishandling" the non-existent epidemic. It is an excellent example of gutter politics, and sadly, it is fooling at least some voters.
The third chart above shows that some of this misinformation is seeping through to the general public. Note that 82% of people now believe the Ebola virus can be contracted from being near an infected person who sneezes (or coughs). This is an outright untruth. First, sneezing (and coughing) are not symptoms associated with people sick from the Ebola virus -- and even if an infected person was to sneeze (or cough) they would have to sneeze (or cough) bodily fluids directly on you, because the virus is not spread through the air.
The truth is that there is very little chance of an Ebola outbreak in this country, or in most other countries. Even some African nations have effectively stopped the spread of the virus in their country and eliminated it. Nigeria is a prime example. The only countries that have a problem with Ebola are those that do not have an effective quarantine procedure in place. The U.S. is not one of those countries, and it mistime for the media (and the right-wing) to stop trying to scare the American people to accomplish their own ends.
These charts were made from information gathered in a new Economist / YouGov Poll -- done between October 11th and 13th of a random national sample of 1,000 adults, with a margin of error of about 4 points.
U.S. Has More Fear Of Ebola Than Is Warranted By Facts

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