The results of a two new polls suggest that Ron Klain, the president’s Ebola PR Czar, has his work cut out for him.
A CBS News poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly support quarantines for citizens returning from Ebola-effected countries – a position the president has indicated he is steadfastly against.
The poll, from CBS News, shows a whopping 80 percent of people want American citizens and legal residents returning from West Africa to be quarantined until it is determined that they are Ebola-free. Another 17 percent think they should be allowed to enter the country if they are symptom-free at the time.
These results come in the wake of an aggressive PR campaign by the White House to counter moves made by some states to quarantine American health care workers who have returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa – as if the freedom to spread a deadly, highly contagious disease is a civil right, and any opposition to that is “anti-science.”
As White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler noted yesterday, Obama made a statement on the South Lawn to highlight “the need to support health care workers when they return home,” suggesting that support does not include isolating them.
And in a staged event designed to draw attention to the issue, Obama will meet at the White House Wednesday with a group of health care professionals who have been treating Ebola patients.
The combative, almost political nature of the effort suggests the fingerprints of Ebola coordinator Ron Klain, whose background is as a Democratic political operative.
On Tuesday, the president pointed out that the protocols for the health workers should be guided by “science” and “facts,” as opposed to “fear.”
“America in the end is not defined by fear,” Obama lectured. “We don’t just react based on our fears – we react based on judgments.”
80% of the American people have made a fact-driven judgement that a 21 day quarantine should be imposed for health care workers returning from West Africa. Their position is not based on irrational fear, but on the unfortunate fact that over 200 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers fighting Ebola in West Africa, have died of the disease since June of this year.