Rachel Maddow is
Her distortions are
much greater than
those in this caricature.
(2014 Nov blog post)
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This page on Rachel Maddow's distortions about Ebola
(in an MSNBC broadcast)
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This letter was prompted by a Rachel Maddow broadcast on or about 2014 Oct 30 on the subject of the Ebola outbreak that was just hitting the United States in the previous month or so.
Some of the things that she said in that broadcast were such distortions of the truth that it was simply maddening.
I had recently read the book 'Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus' by David Quammen that had just come out around 2014 September.
Maddow needs to read that book to get her facts straight. For example ...
She was saying things like the Ebola outbreak is confined to "three teeny tiny countries" in Africa.
And, in her usual irritating style --- as if she is trying to fill the time until the next barrage of MSNBC commercials , she repeated the phrase "three teeny tiny countries" multiple times.
On around the same date, Chris Hayes did a broadcast in which he was propagating the same kind of distortions.
Both of them were lambasting the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Maine for violating the rights of the nurse Kaci Hickox who was refusing to cooperate with a 21 day quarantine after returning from Africa, having been in close contact with Ebola patients.
Rachel's exact (repeated) wording was that the governors were "threatening" Hickox.
Hence I was prompted to write the following letter and send it to email@example.com and an nbc email address --- after the 'Send' function failed at the Rachel Maddow web site at www.nbcnews.com.
Letter to Maddow :
It is amazing how you and Chris Hayes are mis-interpreting the comments of the Governor of Maine (and the Governors of New York and New Jersey).
You are calling their statements 'threats' to the nurse Kaci Hickox.
They are obviously balancing the health of millions against the short-term (21 day) monitoring of one individual.
Your statement tonight (30 Oct 2014) that Ebola is in "three teeny tiny" countries in Africa is a SUPER, SUPER distortion of the situation.
Since 1976, there have been about 20 Ebola outbreaks all over Sub-Saharan Africa --- as far east as Uganda, as far north as South Sudan (and Nigeria), as far west as Guinea, and at least as far south as the Democratic Republic of the Congo --- in at least 12 countries.
See the attached 3 map images, below.
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There have been outbreaks in Gabon, the Congos, Uganda, etc. --- in multiple locations within these various countries.
And a KEY problem is, scientists have not yet positively identified the 'RESERVOIR HOST' of the Ebola virus --- the host that keeps the virus alive and replicating between these outbreaks in humans.
Bats are suspects due to 'secondary' evidence, but there may be other hosts (insect or plant, as well as mammal).
You people at MSNBC need to read the recent (2014 Sep) 'Ebola' book by David Quammen, a science writer who has been writing about virus outbreaks over many years.
I used to think MSNBC was an outpost of liberal realism in a sea of increasingly tea-party-like manufactured-news organizations.
You, Maddow, and Chris Hayes and Chris Matthews (and Lawrence O'Donnell) are giving liberalism and the Democrat party a bad name.
You are going to do more to help the tea party candidates take over the Senate than any truth-warping Republican campaign ads.
You, Maddow, and the two MSNBC Chris's drive more and more 'liberal-tarian' people away from voting for Democrats.
These voters would rather stay away from the polling places than vote for someone endorsed by you sad excuses for 'political analysts' and 'news reporters'.
END OF THE LETTER
Maddow and Hayes are distributing more misinformation than just
Maddow and Hayes are also spewing the nonsense that
I saw a couple of (women) doctors interviewed on a couple of different TV programs that pointed out that, although it is less likely to contract Ebola through the air than through direct contact with fluids, it would be possible for Ebola virus to be emitted in fluid particles from the cough or sneeze of an Ebola 'carrier'.
And if a person were right next to that 'carrier', it would be possible to inhale the virus and thus contract the disease.
This is just simple common sense.
It is when people like Maddow and Hayes and some CDC officials claim absolutely and without exception that it is impossible to contract the virus through the air, that these people cause the general public to lose all confidence in any words coming from their mouths.
Similarly, it defies common sense to believe that absolutely and without exception a person cannot contract Ebola from a person if that person is not yet showing outward signs of the Ebola disease.
Consider this scenario:
Say 20 seconds (or a few minutes or so) before an Ebola 'carrier' starts showing outward signs like a persistent headache, a 'potential victim' comes in close contact with the 'carrier' (say sharing a spoon or shaking hands or planting a kiss or having sex).
Then it is impossible for the 'potential victim' to contract the disease from the 'carrier' ?!?!?!
This is like saying the Ebola virus was not in the 'carrier' a few seconds before a virus-caused headache became apparent to the 'carrier', and then a few seconds later, the 'carrier' suddenly had Ebola virus in their fluids.
To take another disease as an example, it is like saying a carrier of cancerous tissue is not afflicted with cancer until a test is performed that shows that they have cancer.
If this is what Maddow and Hayes and certain top CDC officials believe, then I think they should put their bodies on the line. Put some 'skin in the game'.
Maddow and Hayes:
And keep riding that bus all day, every day, for at least a week.
Maddow and Hayes should sit next to some bus passengers who are coughing and sneezing.
According to Maddow and Hayes themselves, they should be doubly safe, right?
(1) The virus can't be transmitted through the air, AND (2) these people are not yet showing outward signs of the virus.
I think Maddow and Hayes would be taking a much more cautious approach in their reporting, if they had to put their bodies in the presence of potential Ebola carriers.
But they are not in such a position.
They are in a nice air conditioned TV studio in the United States --- and shooting off their mouths without a real care about what people next to Ebola 'carriers' are being exposed to.
It is no wonder that Maddow and Hayes are spewing so much mis-information and distortions about Ebola.
The CDC has not been a fountain of good information.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have been stumbling to get their act together in the months around 2014 October as I have indicated in a page on Ebola and CDC obfuscation.
Talk is cheap, Maddow, Hayes, et. al. Life is dear.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION :
Here are a few keyword WEB SEARCHES you can use to get more information on this topic.
Here is a list of Ebola outbreaks (1976 to 2012) --- with fatalities figures :
Note that this list does not include data for the 2014 outbreak near Liberia --- nor others that are sure to follow.
Keep in mind that scientists have not determined for sure the 'reservoir host(s)' for Ebola --- that is, the hosts (mammal, insect, plant) that can sustain the virus in between outbreaks in humans.
Hence the outbreaks in Africa are destined to continue --- and not just in "three teeny tiny countries", Rachel.
Even if they find the host(s), humankind may be far from a solution.
Note that quite a few life-threatening viruses are known to be harbored in mammals like raccoons and transmitted via mosquitos.
Even though those life-cycles are known, those viruses are still uncontrolled.
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Page was posted 2014 Nov 16.