Over the weekend, Governor Scott had followed the earlier lead of three of his fellow-governors by ordering close monitoring of travelers entering their states who had come from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone -- an action which in Mr. Scott's case didn't impact the polls. As Scott campaigned across Florida alongside one of those same governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey, it became clear to the reporter one of the most likely reasons for the lack of voter interest in the order -- Scott was simply "too late jumping on the Ebola train."
Scott had failed to heed the old adage: If you're going to exploit a deadly disease for political purposes, you need to get ahead of the crowd.
...The New Jersey governor...had not only gotten the jump on Scott in ordering special restrictions on travelers coming out of the three stricken West African nations, he had locked up an actual, heroic nurse, just to show he meant business.
...Christie described her [Kaci Hickox] as “obviously ill,” though she was obviously not. “First of all, I don't think he’s a doctor; secondly, he’s never laid eyes on me; and thirdly, I’ve been asymptomatic since I’ve been here," Hickox told CNN.
Dr. Christie finally Monday as Hickox’s lawyers were closing in and allowed her to head home to Maine. But the big, brash wise guy from Jersey had managed to dominate the tough-on-Ebola optics all weekend. And it allowed him to make a show of ignoring public health scientists like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who had , futilely, “The best way to protect us is to stop the epidemic in Africa, and we need those healthcare workers, so we do not want to put them in a position where it makes it very, very uncomfortable for them to even volunteer to go.”
The good news for the governor, though, is what lead to the journalist's headline suggestion -- and to perhaps his best and most spot-on pointed line in the article. "Florida, however, has plenty of flights out of Texas, particularly from Dallas, the virtual Ebola capital of the United States"
If anything rooted out the sense of irrational hysteria that politicians (and media) are throwing out about Ebola, that might be it. Two nurses in Dallas were infected by the virus, which after all is twice as many as the next highest state in the country. Not to mention that pretty much all medical advice from actual experts on the subject have stated bluntly that banning flights (whether or not any come into your state...) is the very worst thing that can be done.
Still, as quippy as Fred Grimm might have been about his own suggestion, I think it's at least worth closer scrutiny. After all, I've long been advocating similar actions about Texas for years. After all, Texas has been yammering about seceding from the Union from years, and I've said it's time we took them up on it. And now, we have the even greater justification to do so. Consider -- if we did let Texas secede, then everyone living in the state would become foreigners. And by law, they would need passports and require that every Texan pass through Immigration Control when trying to enter any part of the United States. And this secession would cover all "strict monitoring" of flights from Texas, as well, whether one was a Texas foreigner or not. Because being a foreign country, anyone at all who left the Republic of Texas and arrived back in the good ol' U.S. of A. would need a passport to pass through Immigration. It's a win-win!!
If you'd like to read Fred Grimm's entire article, you can find it here.