The Corner

Elections

No, Kamala, Ebola Was Nothing Like Coronavirus

One of most egregiously misleading things Kamala Harris said during her first speech as Joe Biden’s running mate was to compare the outbreak of Ebola to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It didn’t have to be this way,” Harris claimed. “Six years ago, in fact, we had a different health crisis. It was called Ebola. And we all remember that pandemic. But you know what happened then? Barack Obama and Joe Biden did their job. Only two people in the United States died. Two. That is what is called leadership.”

Though the Ebola talking point might end up being a potent political attack, it’s also complete nonsense. It’s tantamount to the Trump administration taking special credit for its excellent work stopping the Eastern equine encephalitis pandemic of 2019. Ebola wasn’t a crisis or a pandemic, but rather an outbreak in West Africa. At the time, the highly esteemed Dr. Anthony Fauci noted that the risk of a normal person contracting was “extraordinarily low” and an “extraordinarily remote threat.” The Mayo Clinic tells us that Ebola is not “transmitted through the air and does not spread through casual contact.” Those who do contract it are obviously ill and easily avoided.

Not one person who contracted Ebola in the United States died from the disease. An American had a far higher chance of being killed by a bee sting or being eaten by a shark than they did of contracting Ebola. Coronavirus, on the other hand, is a highly contagious worldwide pandemic that nearly every nation has struggled to contain, with a fatality rate higher than the common flu.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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