Rep. Jack Kingston is a Republican who represents the 1st Congressional District of Georgia wrote an editorial today called We need an Ebola czar. In the article he wrote “The global response — and more recently America’s response — to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been characterized by a lack of leadership and organization.
Now, with the second confirmed transmission of the virus on U.S. soil, we cannot afford to continue this slow and ineffective approach. Our response both at home and abroad needs a clear “buck stops here” leader. We need a 21st century George Marshall with a 21st century Marshall Plan.”
Jack Kingston is not alone in his criticism. Republicans all over the country and certainly Nathan Deal and David Perdue in Georgia have also sharply criticized Obama for the lack of an “Ebola Czar” or words to that effect. Nathan Deal would be smart to keep his mouth shut when speaking about Ebola after hit utterly moronic comment recently.They demand he appoint an Ebola Czar but somehow seem to forget that they are the very ones along with some prodding from the NRA are the reason why the country has no Surgeon General who could fill this role and provide some leadership on Ebola.
“And their conclusion was that we are in pretty good shape here in Georgia,” Deal said. “They have reached out to all of the hospitals. They are continuing to reach out to EMTs, first responders, to make sure that they know how to react in the event they have somebody who is a potential case of Ebola. The most comforting thing that I heard from [Fitzgerald] was that water kills the Ebola virus. I’ve never heard that before. I thought it was something that was so contagious there wasn’t much you could do to prevent it or anything else, so her advice was ‘wash your hands.’”
Hard to believe someone this stupid could ever be elected to any political office let alone Governor but there you go. Andrew Hunt very correctly called Deal an idiot and rightly so. “[Deal] is not intelligent enough to make statements in this area. He doesn’t have the background or sense to make statements in this area,” Hunt said. “People who aren’t able to speak properly or get proper advice should just not say anything.”
David Perdue not to be outdone released this statement, ““Georgia is now at the forefront of our national response to Ebola. President Obama once again failed to lead and took a serious threat far too lightly. I have no confidence in how the Obama Administration has handled the Ebola crisis so far. This is government incompetence at the highest levels, and it’s now threatening public health. Georgians deserve to know their government is handling our domestic response to Ebola with a sense of urgency. The Obama administration must protect Americans with an aggressive comprehensive plan to stop the spread of this deadly disease, including immediate flight and travel restrictions to prevent additional individuals from entering the United States from Ebola-stricken countries.”
We Have no Surgeon General Who Would Be the Ebola Czar Because of Republican Filibustering
The reason I included the term “Height of Hypocrisy” in the title is President Obama nominated a very well-respected Surgeon General November 14, of 2013. The President nominated Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an extremely qualified candidate to replace ‘acting’ Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin. It took three months, but the Senate finally got around to holding a confirmation hearing for Dr. Murthy’s appointment. However, the National Rifle Association exerted its very substantial legislative prerogative and blocked Murthy’s confirmation because he does not recognize that the NRA is “fourth and all-powerful branch of the federal government” and called for sane gun restrictions to prevent more Americans from dying unnecessarily from the gun violence epidemic. It is exactly what a real medical professional, and highly-qualified potential Surgeon General of the United States, is supposed to do; help prevent a deadly epidemic from spreading to save American lives.
Obviously, Republicans are going to block any Obama nominee according to their race-driven obstructionism, but coupled with their dedication to the NRA and fear of crossing the second most powerful arm of government after the Koch brothers, Murthy will never get a vote until he calls for every man, woman, and child to carry loaded firearms in public. However, another part of the problem is a few red-state Democrats who are mortified of displeasing their NRA Senate leaders and were more intently focused on their re-elections back in January than confirming a Surgeon General intently focused on slowing the epidemic of gun deaths in America.
MSNBC’s Krystal Ball wrote in a joint op-ed with MSNBC producer Anne Thompson that ‘thanks to NRA power and Senate cowardice, we are left with no surgeon general during a time when, we not only have Ebola arriving on our shores, but are also dealing with the mysterious Enterovirus, which is infecting and contributing to the deaths of children in the U.S.’
Ball and Thompson said that Frieden has ‘his own vital work to attend to as both head of the CDC and the U.S. Ambassador to the World Health Organization’ and shouldn’t have to divide his time doing the surgeon general’s job, as well.
While the U.S. does have an Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, MD, he has opted to stay behind the scenes throughout the Ebola scare and defer to Friden, instead.
Back in March of this year Jon Stewart tore into the NRA and exposed the hypocrisy of the pro-gun senators who are helping the NRA block Obama’s surgeon general nominee, the extremely well-qualified Dr. Vivek Murthy. The video is posted below.
So what were Dr. Murthy’s comments about guns?
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER, R-TN (2/4/2014): In your tweets of October 16, 2012, “tired of politicians who are scared of the NRA”. Those are some of the words. And I would hope you would know that Americans have a First Amendment right to advocate the Second Amendment.
“Yes, Americans have a First Amendment right to advocate the Second Amendment. Apparently, you don’t have a First Amendment right to have a different opinion from that. Everyone knows the First Amedment only applies to saying positive things about the Second Amendment. That’s all. Says in there, you have the First Amendment right unless you don’t have anything positive to say about the Second Amendment. Then you have to shut the fuck up. You have to shut the fuck up, is what I’m saying.”
Not to mention that in addition to that tweet, Murthy also supports majority-popular ideas like background checks and an assault weapons ban. In other words, stop him!!
So the next time you hear Jack Kingston, David Perdue, Nathan Deal call for an Ebola Czar make sure and remind them why we don’t have one. It is a sad state of affairs when Republicans and their NRA masters are able to wield such powerful influence over some Democrats that they will not vote to confirm Dr. Murthy. Ebola is not an epidemic in America and a trusted Surgeon General would ease the fear and anxiety among the growing number of Americans worried they or their families will contract and succumb to the virus. However, because the qualified Surgeon General candidate believes easing the proliferation of guns driving the real American epidemic killing over a hundred Americans daily and injuring even more, the National Rifle Association, Republicans, and a few gun-shy Democrats will not allow his confirmation.