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No Michele Bachmann, Iraqi Immigrants are Not Bringing Ebola into America

Michele Bachmann is eyeing a place on the 2016 Presidential ballot. Yet, if her recent talk on the issues are any indication, it is going to be one bat-crazy run.

Recently, she made the ludicrous and bigoted claim that the LGBT community will “abolish age of consent laws, which means we will do away with statutory rape laws so that adults will be able to freely prey on little children sexually.”

Her pandering to the far-right did not stop with gay-bashing though. When it comes to immigration, it seems Bachmann has made it her mission to up the ante on anti-immigrant fearmongering by branding those who enter the country as terrorists intent on bringing in deadly disease.

Drawing on the often-repeated and decidedly false claim that immigrants are going to bring third-world disease into the country and harm American kids, Bachmann told the conservative audience of Faith & Liberty on Wednesday that it is not just ordinary third-world illnesses that her fellow ‘patriots’ should fear. Instead, America should fear an Ebola outbreak from weapon-toting immigrants from the Middle East.

“People from Yemen, Iran, Iraq and other terrorist nations are making their way up through America’s southern border because they see that it’s a green light, they can easily get in,” the Minnesota Republican warned. “Not only people with potentially terrorist activities, but also very dangerous weapons are going to cross our border in addition to very dangerous drugs, and also life-threatening diseases, potentially including Ebola and other diseases like that.”

For the record, there is no known Ebola outbreak in Yemen, Iran, or Iraq, and never has been, according to the CDC. The current outbreak is limited to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone which makes it very, very unlikely that someone from the countries Bachmann mentioned would be infected by deadly Ebola at all.

Even if they did manage to find themselves in Africa to pick up an infection, the Middle Easterners still would pose little risk to American lives.

“The incubation period is two to 21 days, so theoretically, an African could fly from an infected area, land in a Mexican airport, take a bus toward the border, hire a coyote to take him across and then ‘present’ with Ebola,” Thomas Fekete, section chief for infectious diseases at the Temple University School of Medicine explained, not even considering that someone would fly into Africa to get infected in the first place. “But this presupposes a suicidal person who also has the resources for this kind of travel.”

That sort of trek would also probably kill the infected person before they ever stepped foot on American soil.

“You would be too sick to make it to the border by foot,” Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, said, stressing that the devastating impact of the Ebola virus on the body would prevent a person from making the arduous journey.

Even with experts ruling it a near-impossibility and no real threat, however, Bachmann and her fellow Republicans  just can’t help themselves from making a supposed Ebola outbreak the newest reason Obama is bungling the border crisis and putting Americans at risk.

“We have this invasion because a political decision was made by our president to intentionally flaunt the laws of the land and put at risk the American people, our culture, our way of life, our economic standing,” Bachmann said, spinning her  latest anti-Obama yarn and fear tactics to wow the right-wing crowd.  “He’s willing to allow a pandemic of disease to come into our country!”

Photo Credit: Justus Koshiol

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.