A Democratic congressman compared Republicans’ Ebola “fear-mongering” to the fight for Terri Schiavo’s life and accused politicians of stoking fear to take back the Senate.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) argued on CNN that Maine nurse Kaci Hickox, quarantined after returning from Sierra Leone, “has a right as a citizen of the United States — unless she’s committed some criminal act or is a danger to the welfare of the public — to have freedom of access of movement.”
“This is just part of a fear, it’s kind of understandable, but unfortunately, it’s been stirred up and caused by fear-mongering politicians who see poll-driven numbers in their anticipation of next Tuesday’s election to try to take the Senate for Republicans and for the White House in 2016 for Republicans, who are doing everything they can to avoid science,” Cohen said.
“Same Republicans who many don’t accept evolution, don’t accept climate change and don’t accept biology. We had them in 2012 saying women couldn’t get impregnated when they were raped. They refused science. They’ll say whatever they think is attractive to their base and have done that in this circumstance.”
The congressman said “we really haven’t had a great problem” with the deadly virus.
“One person came back from Dallas. That — Mr. Duncan, he passed. The two nurses were treated immediately. I think we learned the proper protocols, and maybe the way they put their equipment on, they’re free of Ebola. The doctor in New York followed all the protocols. He’s being treated. Nobody else has had Ebola,” Cohen continued.
He said he didn’t know why Ebola czar Ron Klain has been AWOL since being appointed, “but I’m sure there’s a good reason.”
“He’s very — he is outstanding on policy, he’s been an outstanding government official.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statements should be enough to sway states on quarantine, Cohen argued.
“They wouldn’t listen to him. They don’t listen to 97, 98 percent, whatever it is, of the scientists who say there’s climate change. Ron Klain saying something doesn’t make any difference. I think this is strictly driven by politics, fear-mongering, and I think we’ll look upon it one day like Terri Schiavo.”
Schiavo was the woman in a vegetative state who was starved to death in 2005. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, began living with another woman in 1994 and remarried soon after he won the right in court to have Terri’s life taken.