Why the Government Can’t Keep Ebola Facts Straight

The President’s Ebola Facts Contradict Other Government Sources.

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.

There are theoretical reasons to expect the government to hide the truth and even put out contradictory information.

In theory, one duty of the modern state is to protect the population from diseases or plagues. But, given the needs of government, this translates into three drives or agendas of the state:

  1. Protect people from disease by informing them how to protect themselves.
  2. Prevent the people from panicking by misinforming them about what kind of protection is necessary.
  3. Panic the people about the great dangers they face so that they rely and depend on the civil government to save them.

These agendas are not compatible and, if followed, would lead to a contradictory message. So this recent CNS News Headline shouldn’t surprise us: “Obama: You Can’t Get Ebola ‘Sitting Next to Someone on a Bus;’ CDC: ‘Avoid Public Transportation’.”

“First, Ebola is not spread through the air like the flu,” Obama said in the video released by the White House Thursday. “You cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone one a bus. You cannot get it from another person until they start showing symptoms of the disease, like fever.”

Obama also said that “the most common way you can get Ebola is by touching the body fluids of someone who is sick or has died from it, like their sweat, saliva or blood, or through a contaminated item like a needle.”

The CDC, however, is advising aid workers and others who travel to countries currently experiencing Ebola outbreaks to “avoid public transportation” if they develop a fever or experience other Ebola-like symptoms while on their trip.

Listed among their online recommendations for travelers journeying to Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria or Sierra Leone, the CDC advises travelers who begin to exhibit possible Ebola symptoms and choose to visit a doctor to “Limit your contact with other people when you travel to the doctor; avoid public transportation.”

The CDC also told travelers with Ebola symptoms, “Do not travel anywhere except to the doctor’s office or hospital.”

“If you get symptoms of Ebola, it is important to stay apart from other people and call your doctor right away,” the website continues.

The CDC also explains a person may contract Ebola if he or she “spends a long amount of time within three feet (one meter) of a person who is sick with Ebola.”

[See also, “Private, For-Profit Company Fighting Ebola Successfully.”]

I don’t know for sure where the truth lies in all these messages. But regarding the government as a neutral and thus reliable purveyor of information is a baseless fantasy.