Remember the Ebola panic? Oh, yeah, how we’re all gonna die and how nothing the government can do can save us, and sending troops to Africa was a huge waste of money and resources.
The American government’s response to the Ebola crisis has been not just good; it’s been nothing short of spectacular. It happened fast. And it changed reality for the better not on one but on two fronts—both domestically and in the three affected West African nations. Remember the panic, the media craziness, the potshots at Obama’s choice for Ebola czar of Ron Klain, because he had no direct health-policy experience?
Well, all of it looks completely ridiculous now. This time, government worked, in a huge way.
There’s been some reporting on the domestic response, like this article in this week’s New York magazine, which notes that last October, the United States had just three hospitals prepared to treat Ebola patients and now has 48. All that’s great. But the effort on the ground in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea—where, you know, lots of people were actually dying—has received less attention but is to me much more impressive. The record offers proof not only that government can work, but also proof that the United States must invest and engage in those parts of the world that too many American dismiss as not our problem.
Remind me again, right-wing nut-jobs, how the gummint can’t do nuthin’ and we’re better off just prayin’ to Jeebus. Now go get your measles shot.