Elisabeth Hasselbeck is definitely not in the minority of the pundits on Fox News, who believe that Ebola is a major threat to the American public. She somehow managed to knock down her own opinion that the United States needs to “close the border” to prevent an outbreak when she invited an expert on to her program Monday.
Hasselbeck prepped up for a hard-hitting Fox News pundit session with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. The subject of the interview was about why he had not yet closed U.S. borders in order to quarantine the nation from the possibility of a hit from the Ebola virus.
“Why are we still letting people into the country who could have possibly been exposed [to Ebola]? Why not just shut down the flights and secure the borders? Many of you want to know… Why not, just as a precaution until we get things under control, seal off the border temporarily?”
Fauci did not mince words with Elisabeth, instead giving her a momentary blank stare and then wondering what she could possibly have meant by the question. Fauci told Hasselbeck that it made no sense to close borders, as that could potentially block aid that may eventually be able to contain Ebola.
“And if we completely isolate them — don’t let anything in, don’t let anything out — we know from experience with public health, that marginalizes them… and you could have civil unrest, governments could fall. And then you wind up having spread the virus to other countries in west Africa, which would only compound the problem.”
Fauci went on to tell Hasselbeck that media misconception about the spread of Ebola in West Africa is contributing to calls to close the borders. He told Elisabeth that many American citizens either work in the region or have dual citizenship, duties that they still need to carry out despite the threat of Ebola.
“You have Americans there, you have business people there, people of dual citizenship who have to go back and forth. It’s completely impractical. In fact, from a public health standpoint, not helpful to do that. And I think every public health official feels that way.”
Hasselbeck’s claim that most Americans are worried about getting Ebola may appear to stand up against the media firestorm created around the viral outbreak, but new poll results show that the majority are not especially concerned about contracting the virus. Countering Hsselbeck, Pew Research Center released results Monday that indicate only 11 percent of Americans are “very worried” that they might contract the virus, while more around 67 percent are either “not too concerned” or “not at all concerned.” The poll also concluded that a majority of Americans believe the government is capable of thwarting the threat of Ebola, again opposing Hasselbeck’s comments.
Do you agree with the questions Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked?
[Images via Fox News, Pew Research Center]