02 Nov

Fox News, governors wrong sources for medical opinions

So here’s the question:

If your child had a serious medical problem, would you consult the Centers for Disease Control, or Fox News?

If your answer is Fox News, you’re probably for a quarantine.

Sorry about your kid.

People who are actual medical professionals don’t support quarantines for everybody who returns from Ebola territory, or for everyone who goes there to provide treatment and help. It’s unnecessary for the people who, like the nurse imprisoned by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, show no symptoms.

It hurts our chances of actually getting control of the epidemic.

As the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote last week about quarantine, “This approach is not scientifically based, is unfair and unwise, and will impede essential efforts to stop these awful outbreaks of Ebola disease at their source, which is the only satisfactory goal.”

That’s true even if declaring a quarantine can get a governor a TV sound bite.

Tuesday afternoon, President Obama said about dealing with Ebola, “We don’t just react based on our fears. We react based on facts and judgment and making smart decisions.”

It’s amazing that a president of the United States would even have to say that.

Public health should not be an argument between spin and science.

NOTE: This commentary first appeared on KGW-TV, 11/1/14.

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