In a stunning interview, Senate minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took the side of Barack Obama over that of most of his caucus on the subject of managing Ebola, ignoring both the administration's ineptitude and basic principles of epidemiology.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R-Ky.) thinks the United States should heed expert advice on whether to impose flight restrictions on Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa, contrary to what some lawmakers in his party have been saying for weeks.
"I think we ought to listen to what the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] thinks they need either in terms of financing or certainly they'll decide the procedures for travel and all the rest," McConnell told NBC News in an interview. "I think we need to follow the advice of the experts who know how to fight scourges like this."
The Obama administration and top health officials charged with responding to the outbreak maintain that a flight ban would impede the work of aid workers who need to be able to travel to and from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea in order to contain the virus at its root.
In this interview, McConnell manages to accurately parrot everyone of the administration's talking points. Even the stupid ones:
"The way we’re going to reduce risk to Americans is to do the steps of protection and stop Ebola at the source in Africa," he said. "If we do things that unintentionally make it harder to get that response in, to get supplies in,” it will “become much harder to stop the outbreak at the source."
I suppose a big-brain guy like McConnell sees "stop[ping] Ebola at the source" as being compatible with a free-flow of travel from Africa despite the extensive travel bans put in place by other countries.
McConnell's call to listen to the CDC on this issue makes no sense when one considers the lack of candor, utter incompetence, and shameless dishonesty the CDC has exhibited so far. In fact, at every step along the way the CDC has failed America. The travel ban, now derided by McConnell, would have prevented Michael Eric Duncan from ever bringing Ebola to the United States.
In the big scheme of things, this statement by McConnell bodes ill if he becomes Senate Majority Leader. If he throws his colleagues under the bus on something this obvious, in what can only be interpreted as a peace offering to Obama, then he will lead the Senate in a way that is indistinguishable from Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).