Hilltop Voices: Cole Allee on U.S. reaction to Ebola

Cole Allee discusses the reaction of the United States to the Ebola outbreak.

The Guinea Ministry of Health announced an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever March 25, 2014.  Seven months later and the United States has just started to talk about it. Like anything else in the United States, we are only focused on with which we have to deal.  The three confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States have lead to massive overreactions by the press and members of the government. This has caused unjustified fear among civilians and even sparked conspiracy theories, because what insignificant American problem is complete without the fear of conspiracy?  Here’s the problem: there have been over 9200 cases of Ebola announced in the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past seven months.  Even though Ebola has only been in America for one month, there has been an average of 1314 cases announced every month in West Africa.

So why are Americans worried about Ebola? Some of us are overly-worried about the stress of this disease on our economy and the so called “tyrannical actions” of President Obama, but in reality this is nothing but another ploy by many right-wing newscasters and politicians to gain support for their conservative agenda.

Great efforts have been made by groups such as the United States Agency for International in West Africa Development to help treat the affected people and to prevent further spread of Ebola, but they need more support. The most effective way to help is to change the lens through which we are viewing this disease.  Our ignorance of the outbreak has caused it to spread here, and setting our sights on the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will stop further spread there and in any other country that could become affected.  As a nation, we need to turn our focus away from ourselves and focus on the real issue in Africa.

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