Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How the Snarling Tea Bags Started the 2014 US Ebola Virus Epidemic

EBOLA!! No, Just Relax. It's Time for Tea
Wing nut GOP terror mongering at its sleaziest.

Put the roll of construction plastic and the duct tape back in the closet.

Of course there is no ebola epidemic in the United States -- that was just a eye catching title for the post. Still, because there may be MeanMesa visitors not familiar with this viral pestilence, we should probably look briefly at what the ebola virus is actually like in the places where it's a problem. This particular malady wasn't chosen lightly by the fear spewing Republicans. It is hideous.

The problem in their terror soaked scheme comes from an unexpected defect. The robotically manipulable hill billies, bigots and, of late, immigrant children haters, in their Party's base have practically no idea what ebola is. Even worse, aside from the implied suggestion that it should be very very frightening fostered by the GOP "spokesmen," that base of theirs has no interest in knowing anything about it, either.

In fact, the GOP base reveals astonishingly little interest in learning anything about anything besides the twisted talking points eagerly pumped out by those "closer to the oligarchs' think tanks."

A Little Bit About Ebola
Sub-Saharan Africa -- not Guatemala

Where ebola actually occurs [WIKI]
Although the "ebola scare" is extremely cheesy, claptrap nonsense, we should briefly look at exactly why the story falls apart without requiring any additional contradictory facts. 

It does.

The map [right] shows the locations of recorded ebola virus outbreaks -- primarily limited to the time span when such records have been kept. Although there are different strains of the viral infection, the fatal mortality rate is uniformly high across all of them. [Read the WIKI article  here.]

Because of the virus's high mortality, it is a potential agent for biological warfare.
Given the lethal nature of Ebola, and since no approved vaccine or treatment is available, it is classified as a biosafety level 4 agent, as well as a Category A bioterrorism agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has the potential to be weaponized for use in biological warfare. [WIKI- source cited above]

Those infected with the ebola virus generally get much too sick to travel fairly quickly, making the prospect of infected Central American immigrant children making their way across Mexico to the US border extremely unlikely. Even more complicating, ebola virus has never historically appeared anywhere on the American continent with a handful of exceptions of laboratory workers accidentally infected while studying the disease in reseach environments. The lethality of ebola infection is fast moving, making even the transportation of a contagious ebola victim on a direct airline flight into the US very unlikely.

This brief run-down sets the scale for calling the Republican "terror rumor" utter, unabashed nonsense.

The Current Ebola Epidemic in West Africa
There is an actual ebola outbreak going on right now.

The site at offers some good reporting for those who might like to know more. Coverage of the Western African epidemic has been over shadowed by competing events in the domestic media's "news world."

Norman Byrd, Newport Beach News Examiner
June 21, 2014
[Links remain enabled. Excerpted. Read the entire article  here.]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated their case count in the Ebola outbreak in western Africa, noting that the death toll has reached a staggering 337 individuals thus far.

Al Jazeera reported June 19 that the Ebola virus is suspected to have infected over 500 people so far in Guinea, where it is believed that the outbreak originated, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The outbreak is the largest on record.

Most of the cases uncovered so far have been detected in Guinea. Most of the deaths have occurred there as well. This stands to reason, as the Ebola virus, a horrific hemorrhagic contagion, has no known cure and, according to the WHO [World Health Organization], has a fatality rate of 90 percent.

The most recent cases have come from Sierra Leone and Liberia. There previously had been no known cases in those countries for two months.

It's NOT a Viral Virus - It IS a Viral Talking Point!
All that's needed is a loud mouth GOP wing nut, a microphone and an audience.

The main thread for this post isn't an ebola epidemic at all. In fact, that imaginary "epidemic" has practically nothing to do with the message here. Instead, we'll have a look at the viral toxin which oozed out of the pink little mouth of this nit wit. did a pretty good job of reporting the facts.

Fear Mongering GOP Congressman Warns Immigrant Children Carry Ebola Virus

July 16, 2014
[ Read the original article  here.]

Republican congressman Phil Gingrey of Georgia wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in which he listed unsubstantiated claims that the immigrant children coming across the Mexico-US border were unvaccinated carriers of disease.

Mother Jones reported July 14 that Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), an avid anti-immigration conservative, stated that there were reports that the undocumented immigrant children, some of which are being temporarily housed for processing and almost assured deportation back to the Central American nations from which they fled, were carriers of swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus, and tuberculosis.

"Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning," the congressman wrote. "Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles."

What is particularly troubling about Gingrey's letter is that he is a physician by trade. And then there's the claims he makes, which have no substantiation in fact, a sort of urban myth kind of support system -- like when Rep. Michele Bachmann told her story on the "Today" show about the woman who said the HPV vaccine had caused her child to become "mentally retarded." Add to that the fact that Rep. Gingrey is an advocate of not vaccinating children from certain diseases himself.

As Mother Jones noted, the congressman has himself pushed legislation to discourage some kinds of mandatory vaccinations in the United States. He has a long-standing relationship with the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a far-right medical group that opposes all mandatory vaccines.

Besides, there has never been an Ebola virus outbreak in the Americas where humans contracted the pathogen. (However, there was an outbreak at a medical holding facility for test monkeys in Reston, Virginia, where a variant strain, Ebola Reston, was discovered. No humans were infected during that outbreak.)

At present, there is a catastrophic outbreak of the Ebola virus in western Africa. In fact, it is the worst outbreak in history and just recently topped 600 in dead, according to Reuters. The disease, however, is so far relegated to the nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

According to the CDC, the Ebola virus is actually a family of viruses and are some of the world's most dangerous pathogens. Hemorhaggic fevers, they generally present with influenza-like symptoms and progress to massive internal bleeding. Contraction of Ebola is fatal more often as not.

If his pestering the CDC with a letter that carries spurious information wasn't time-wasting and ignorant enough, Gingrey was also wrong about those diseased immigrant children. The Texas Observer reported that not only are Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadoran children (the Central American nations the children are primarily from) more likely to be vaccinated than their counterparts in the United States, but NBC News reported that many of the immigrants are carrying their medical records with them to the U.S.

It would appear that Rep. Phil Gingrey has conflated the very real crisis in Africa with the immigrant children situation slash border security concerns presently affecting the Mexico-US border. But doing so is not only distracting, it places the congressman at the forefront of irresponsible fearmongering in his efforts to push for stronger border security and stricter immigration reforms. He joins, among others, fellow Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) in brandishing fear and ludicrous responses to the current border security and immigrant children situation.

Last week, congressman Gohmert said that President Obama should send troops into Mexico to stop the immigrants and the drugs. He also stated that terrorists were using the border to get into the United States, a claim that he said was informed by unnamed border officials.

Gingrey's Phony "Hemorrhagic Virus" Goes Viral  
On the Right Wing Peripheral Media
Oh boy! Happily, the "no facts" were injured while preparing this rumor.

We're talking "really peripheral," here. Once the Congressman "quoted" the "unnamed border security" guard, the ebola, Dengue Fever and tuberculosis tale instantly "grew legs" of its own. The usual right wing -- fact free -- mouth junk pundits grabbed it up, broadcast it for a few minutes, then finally actually "tasted" the ridiculous story and promptly dumped it.

However, a little ways farther back into the darkness the little stinker encountered its next strange collection of grotesque "pet owners." In the basements of moms' house across the nation creepy little doom and terror forecasters seized on the rotten thing immediately -- promptly claiming that it was the best bit of whore house propaganda since Reagan invented sliced bread.

Briefly ascending from their "low readership" wet dream fantasies, Gingrey's tall tale emerged as a nothing less than a "shining beacon of hope and opportunity" which could usher their little home spun "news outlets" into an atmospheric dream realm inhabited by two digit audiences in practically no time.

Surprised, mom was so encouraged by the extraordinary, frothy optimism she heard from her usually morose off spring in the basement that she made pork chops and kraut for a special dinner.

Let's have a look at a few samples which illustrate just how far back in the "back woods" the Congressman's awesome "breaking news" fabrication ventured before the train wrecked. Our first visit will be to Natural News, a heady, inebriated mix of vitamin suggestions and Obama-phobia masquerading as a self-help site. [Visit the site here.]

Natural News
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Mike Adams

Natural News: The federal government's policies of allowing the mass migration of infectious disease-carrying people into the United States while transporting them to America's largest cities is a "perfect blueprint" for seeding a deadly pandemic. Right now, we are witnessing the engineering of a public health and humanitarian disaster optimized for rapid disease transmission that puts all Americans at risk.

The perfect blueprint for causing 
a nationwide pandemic of infectious disease

When I realized the pattern of what was happening here, it suddenly become obvious: this the "perfect storm" of infectious disease. And the White House stance of standing down while this public health crisis worsens is beyond reprehensible... it is negligent and dangerous to us all.

It almost seems as if a runaway pandemic is what this administration wants. Unable to accomplish anything based on its failed philosophies of usurpation and despotism, this administration's only remaining tool seem to be fomenting crisis, then exploiting that crisis for political gain.

After all, compare the government's handling of unvaccinated school children to its handling of illegal immigrants. Infectious disease is so dangerous and deadly in public schools, we're told, that even a healthy child with excellent hygiene and zero symptoms of any sickness must be denied a public education if they refuse to be vaccinated against diseases that haven't existed in America for decades (such as polio).

But at the same time, the White House and its supporters openly welcome massive waves of illegal immigrant children flooding across the border in the United States regardless of what diseases they may be carrying: AIDS, swine flu, tuberculosis, influenza and others. After all, those are future Democratic voters!

This unrelenting wave of immigrants -- which the White House has no intention of stopping -- is already infecting U.S. Border Patrol agents to potentially deadly diseases. "...Doctors providing medical care for immigrants being released by U.S. Border Patrol ahead of their court dates say those recent detainees were not appropriately screened or treated for illness while in federal custody," reports the Texas Tribune.

Our next example is this breathless "breaking news" from someone named Dr. Rich Swier. Clearly, the brave All American mom with the sign in the photograph has received Congressman Gringrey's "startling revelation" about the dangerous outbreak of ebola trying to sneak through the border to infect her "little darlings." [Visit the site here. ] It looks like the "riot police" and "Federal Marshals" part of the Doctor's report must have "crept in" somewhere along the line before Dr. Rick had a chance to spread his "urgent" tale.

See, there really were a few Federal Marshals in Murietta [Ca.] trying to protect the bus loads of immigrant children from these "ebola fighting" wing nuts, but by the time the tea bag "Road Warriors" had finally found an actual bus [it turned out to be a load of YMCA kids from a near by town headed for summer camp], the actual immigrant children has already crossed the "border" several days previously and thousands of miles to the east in Texas. If the Congressman's wild fantasy had any shred of credibility while it was still fresh, that is, while he was still ranting about the unnamed border guard in the "Dengue Fever stage," by the time it got to Murietta not even the outright lies survived to reach Dr. Rich's pronouncement intact.

Our next example comes from the Latino Rebels web site. MeanMesa was somewhat heartened by the picture because it shows that the Congressman's hare brained, now already quite road weary, fish story had finally joined up with the calibre of tea bag misspelling which could serve as comic relief. Perhaps. the short skirt, under better circumstances, -- forget it.

What began as Gingrey's "fantasy quote"
[Image - Latino Rebels]
There really is a point to be made amid all these complaints and guffaws.

This crazy, fabricated tale was originally cooked up by some think tank psych tech working for an oligarch PAC somewhere. Neither knuckle dragging Gingrey nor anyone in his staff could have ever assembled "all the moving parts" without the assistance of someone who had read Encyclopedia Britannica at some point.

Yet, we can look at the examples -- Natural News and Dr. Rich Swier -- and see the incredible depth to which this icky little fantasy penetrated into the wing nut world all around us. There is, unmistakably, a real constituency of health care free Obama-phobes still grumbling and stumbling to the constant propaganda of the oligarchs.

Further, that "constituency" is not specifically just a geopolitical phenomenon. To be a member, one must be eagerly naive to the degree that stories such as Gingrey's ebola epidemic are comfortably credible.

THAT state is not the result of political persuasion. No "silver tongued" propagandist convinced these people to be stupid. No political strategy produced the spelling on that woman's sign. The "work" which has carefully groomed this bizarre demographic into such an embarrassing place was, necessarily, accomplished slowly, relentlessly -- and perhaps most importantly -- quite maliciously.

We are staring at the results of an accumulated effort. Congressman Gingrey's half baked scheme is not the problem. The possibility that Gingrey's scheme could infect such a wide spread collection of voluntary "hosts" is the problem.

THAT's the epidemic.

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