Real Talk SATURDAY
The headline for all major news outlets has been about the Ebola virus. It started over the summer with news of the horrible situation in West Africa where thousands of people were dying from the serious disease. But even at that point, the coverage, in America, started to turn to the question of what if Ebola came to the states. Once there was the first American diagnosis of Ebola of a man that traveled from West Africa, the coverage has been nonstop; in fact, it has been a bit too much.
In part because of the amount of coverage of Ebola in the media, American fear continues to grow. Many people are wondering how many more Americans will contract the virus and how much the virus will spread. Unfortunately, this fear amongst the public has been used politically from those in Washington. Republicans are using the over-hype in the media and the fear of the American people in midterm election politics.
Now, the Real Talk…
Ebola is a serious virus and it does deserve coverage as an important story. However, I am starting to question the motivation of all of the coverage. There are thousands of medical conditions and diseases that make people sick and even kill people in this country. But it’s interesting to me to see all of the coverage over a virus that originated from Africa. Yes, nobody wants to be sick from any disease or virus. But this particular disease has received an unusual amount of attention in America, where only three people in this country have been diagnosed with the disease. With the American patients getting all of the coverage, the continuing spread of Ebola in West African has largely ignored.
Furthermore, the fact that this virus has been politicized is absolutely ridiculous. Republicans were quick to blame President Obama for a poor handling of the Ebola outbreak. There were many calls for the president to appoint an Ebola Czar by Republicans so that things can get under control. The concept of a czar is ironic since that is something Republicans usually don’t like to happen. But I guess Ebola was “too” important of an issue that it required such government management.
Naturally, Democrats have began to fight back by producing ads blaming Republicans for cutting funding for the Center for Disease Control (CDC). You can’t necessarily be mad at democrats for defending themselves on what has become the election year issue, and for essentially defending the president. However, the facts that this becoming a bigger political issue every day is just disappointing.
It is important to cover this story. But there are so many other issues that deserve attention in this country. In addition, midterm elections are happening and deserve more attention so that more voters are informed and encouraged to vote. Furthermore, if the media is going to cover Ebola, why not cover more about the West African victims and their struggles and successes to contain the disease? Why not put more attention on efforts to find a cure? The media needs to do a lot better as the main source of information for many Americans.