The Hannity show welcomed a publicity-hound doctor last night and gave him a platform to declare it “absolutely inevitable” that Ebola will spread from Africa around the world and infect much of white America any day now.
Last week, Missouri doctor Gil Mobley showed up at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in a Hazmat suit with “CDC is Lying” written on it. Naturally, that won him the favorable attention of Fox News. From Media Matters (with my emphasis):
On Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, Mobley was interviewed for nearly 9 minutes, exclaiming that “people need to be scared.” He then warned that Ebola will soon “get to every third-world country, and it’s going to devour them,” leading to daily Ebola cases in the U.S. He complained that “I came through international customs last night. Although on the front page of USA Today it says we’re screening at airports, there’s no thermal screening, they didn’t ask where I’ve been, they didn’t ask if I’ve been sick ... they asked if I had tobacco or alcohol, that is it.” But travelers are being screened in affected countries - Mobley arrived from Guatemala, which has not seen a single case of Ebola.
Nevertheless, Hannity presented Mobley as a credible guest raising a legitimate concern about our untrustworthy government headed by our (African) president.
“You think this is far worse than the government is telling us,” Hannity prompted at the beginning of the discussion.
“Either they’re lying, Sean, or they’re grossly incompetent,” Mobley announced. Of course, he went on to take a swipe at Obama over it. “The chances were overwhelmingly that we would be importing Ebola to the United States by the end of October. Yet, the president was saying there’s a very small chance just a week before the first patient came. And it just makes sense that … the whole world will be seeded eventually with this.”
Hannity further promoted the fear mongering as he asked, “Do you think America could be overwhelmed with Ebola?” As if he didn’t know what Mobley would answer. Hannity sounded dubious. But he did nothing to suggest there was a reason to distrust Mobley - like, say, pointing out that his publicity stunt involved a country not affected by the Ebola virus.
And sure enough, Mobley replied, “Absolutely! …It’s going to consume every third world country on the planet.” By then, he said, “We’ll be importing Ebola on an hourly basis.”
Similarly, Hannity asked if Ebola will be “coming to a community near us. Is that what you’re saying?”
Yes, that’s exactly what Mobley was saying. “It’s inevitable …absolutely inevitable,” he declared.
To give Mobley a little further cred, Hannity announced, “There’s a part of me that doesn’t trust the government,” and cited a few reasons why.
The other guest, Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel was put in the position of rebutting Mobley, not as an equal presenter. To his credit, Siegel shot down Mobley’s fear mongering pretty well. But not before getting in his own jabs at Obama. Siegel called Obama “late to the game” of combatting Ebola and suggested Obama was “attaching himself to the problem now” for political gain.
SIEGEL: This is a very hard virus to spread. With one case in the United States, we should not cut off all air travel. …We don’t need widespread panic here. We don’t need it there. We need science.
Good of you to say so, Dr. Siegel. But you should know by now that science - and everything else - takes a backseat to Fox's political agenda.
Yes, many viruses do mutate, but there has never been a blood-borne virus that suddenly became airborne. That would require a whole slew of mutations in key parts of the virus, not just one small change. That would be like modifying, say, a cake recipe to make pie crust.
The same goes for the viability of the virus outside the body, which is very low in Ebola because the virus particles aren’t encapsulated. These particles die with only a few hours exposure to light, heat, and/or dry conditions, never mind plain old soap and water.
There’s not absolutely zero risk, but then you could step out your front door and have an engine fall off an airplane onto your head.
Don’t get your scientific information from novels. They’re novels. They’re intended to be as scary as possible. Instead, Google “Science” magazine + Ebola. They’ve put together a special non-subscription section on it with a whole slew of their articles on this.
The reason this spread so fast this time in Africa is because it’s in two places, Liberia and Sierra Leone, that have virtually zero public health or health care infrastructure, and the first cases were bungled or unrecognized and the contact tracing and isolation wasn’t done.
You might actually feel more at ease if you read up on what’s going on there in the so far losing battle to contain the disease. You’d see how incredibly remote the conditions there are from what we have here. Also, read up on Nigeria’s response, which has resulted in stopping the spread there in just a few weeks.
Lastly, get your damn flu shot. Your lingering cold is a lot less unpleasant than being flat on your back, or worse, with a bad case of flu. Americans have a far, far, far greater risk of dying from the flu than catching Ebola.
And while you’re at it, get a pneumonia shot, too. That’s a one-time deal and doesn’t need to be repeated.
Not the first time you’ve fondly appraised the FNC building. Methinks you’ve been there on occasion?
Actually, the building itself is no worse than any of the 2nd and 3rd phase Rockefeller Center buildings along Sixth Ave.
Fox though, has made the plaza outside truly hideous! That way oversize, all-red news zipper is an eyesore.
At least some years back, they had a ground-floor studio with large windows open to public view. I remember seeing Catherine Crier inside, on the set, many times in the 90s (so carefully making sure every strand of hair was in place during those brief breaks when the cameras’ tally lights were off). If I’m not mistaken, she left FNC in protest against their increasingly strident right wing agenda; maybe one of the few who ran FROM Ailes instead of to him?
These days, my journey back uptown once or twice a week involves my waiting for a bus at 42nd and Sixth. Since there is no bus shelter there, I usually stand in a doorway and stare across the street at the (relatively) new Bank of America tower (one of NYC taller buildings, with it’s broadcasting tower).
This BOA headquarters is a major architectural disgrace: a cold, sanitized lobby, a dark, brooding facade, and an ugly atrium that no one ever visits. This sterile monstrosity replaced a number of low, 2-story buildings with pizza shops, discount stores, peep shows, etc. — i.e., real New York diversity!
If old man Giannini (who founded BOA to help businesses rebuild after the 1906 SF earthquake) could see what his bank has become, he’d roll over in his grave multiple times.
Maybe one of these days, if it’s not too cold and I have time, I’ll walk up and wait for the bus at 47th St. instead. I could watch the FNC news zipper, or maybe hang at Mickey D’s (and maybe catch Slanthead coming in for his pre- or post-taping gorging on Big Macs!).
Maybe it was Keith Ablowme in disguise . . .
I didn’t mean to suggest that the CDC had any sinister motives. Just maybe that they and other experts really don’t understand everything about Ebola.
And isn’t this the largest outbreak ever? Don’t these viruses mutate over time?
Politics aside, this is a really scary time. I read a novel some years back about a Marburg outbreak in Africa and it was truly horrific!
And it’s affecting everyone’s health decisions. For example, many legit doctors are stressing the importance of getting flu shots this year. They point out that should one come down with severe flu symptoms and wind up in an ER somewhere, what are the chances that another patient there might have Ebola? I’ve avoided getting a flu shot for the past few years; I always have a low-level lingering cold after getting one, and have managed to keep healthy every Winter with natural stuff even though my own immune system is somewhat compromised. The VA is always pushing me to get a flu shot. I imagine this year, they’ll be relentless.
A lot of things to think about.
If Ebola was killing Irish people in Northern Ireland these frauds would blame President Obama for not doing enough to save the Irish people from this virus.
The rhetoric Hannocchio speads over the airwaves is just as deadly as the Ebola virus.
One characteristic of Ebola is that it takes no more than one virus particle to result in full-blown disease— ie, one fragment of a drop of blood that gets transferred to your mucous membranes in eyes or mouth or into a crack in your skin. That’s why medical people are dressed heat to toe in hazmat suits when dealing with patients.
The camera guy, from what I’ve read, admits he was probably less careful than he should have been, so he could have been infected by one of those flukes.
The point is that it’s uncommon for it to be transmitted so casually. For any one person, the risk is there, but because it doesn’t happen easily, the risk of a full-blown epidemic here is slim to none.
Consider the fact that if it was more easily transmissible than we’ve been told by not just CDC but every single researcher and virologist who’s studied this, wayyyyy more than 3,000 people would have been infected with it in West Africa, and elsewhere, by now, 7 months into the outbreak there. This disease has an average RO factor (Google it) of 2. Even AIDS is higher than that. Measles, for crying out loud, has an RO factor of 18— meaning for every one person who comes down with it, an average of 18 more are infected as a result.
And finally, there’s absolutely no conceivable reason why CDC would want to deceive us on this. None.
News Corporation/21st Century Fox employs hundreds of workers who come through the doors daily at this hideous skyscraper in mid-Manhattan. Anyone of them could carry the Ebola virus and not know it.
The Fox “News” set could have a drop of the virus from the infected person. The stage manager? Camera operator? Control room? The studio could be a breeding ground right now!
These frauds are in direct contact with people who travel on a regular basis. Is one of them infected with the virus?
Watch out if any employee comes down with a fever. That intern working with a Fox “News” host does not look well. Does he/she have…?
Photo Op Hannocchio shakes hands with a lot of people who come in contact with other people. Hmmm…
Now with my own skepticism out of the way … I listened to a little of this bullshit from this so-called “MD” on Slanthead Hannity’s radio crapfest on Monday. What a jerk!
And yes, he only plays right into Hannity’s fear-mongering agenda. How is the virus getting to Amerika? Through the “porous” Southern border? Surely not through the wide-open Northern border!
If the little brown people aren’t carrying carrying plutonium cores in hollowed-out guavas, or (even worse) cooties, then surely they are infected with Ebola.
Or maybe the Ebola is reaching us via the ISIS-trained be-headers who are swimming across the Rio Grande every day?
Truth is, the major fear Slanthead is trying his best to foment is fear of black people (as he has done for all his broadcasting career). As Ellen implies, as long as Ebola kills black Africans and other non-whites, true Amerikans like Sean Hannity have nothing to worry about.
I’ve been finding Siegel’s reactions fascinating, as he’s had to shoot down a lot of this crap on both Fox News and Fox Biz, and he’s clearly not a happy camper to be confronted with the irrationality of his chosen political bedfellows. His politics (and his economics) suck big-time, but every time I’ve seen him interviewed on a medical issue, he’s totally mainstream and responsible in his medical advice/analysis.