Chris Matthews on Ebola: 'Obama Said It Was Unlikely. It Has Happened. It's Here'

Chris Matthews on Ebola: 'Obama Said It Was Unlikely. It Has Happened. It's Here'

On his Tuesday “Hardball” broadcast, MSNBC host Chris Matthews reacted to the news that the first Ebola case had been diagnosed in the United States in Dallas, TX.

That led to an exchange between Matthews and his guest, so-called ObamaCare architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who later downplayed the threat of Ebola to the American public.

Partial transcript as follows:

MATTHEWS: I’m just trying to follow the logic here. Everybody’s being told, don’t worry unless they have the infectious symptoms, you can see them that you don’t have to worry about catching them. Yet, this guy picked up the disease apparently from somebody who did not have the infectious symptoms. 

EMANUEL: Again, don’t hypothesize because we just don’t know. We have no idea what he did or didn’t do and how he got it. I’m sure that’s going to be vital information to try to understand the transmission, but the idea that there’s going to be a widespread outbreak here, I think is just, again, it’s a bit of fear mongering. We have a single case. This is not a big, widespread —

MATTHEWS: Yeah, yeah, but I’m just going back to the president’s statement, doctor, and that is that the president said it would be unlikely if we had a case in this country. Unlikely to even have one case. You want to see the tape again?

EMANUEL: He said there wouldn’t be an Ebola outbreak.

MATTHEWS: No, and in the second part of his sentence he said in the unlikely case someone brings it here. In the unlikely case someone brings it here. Well, they’ve done it. We’re living in the world of the unlikely already. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not fear mongering. I’m stating the facts and I wonder if everybody else is.

Later in the segment, despite Emanuel’s reassurance the United States could handle Ebola, Matthews reacted by noting President Barack Obama was incorrect with his statement two weeks earlier.

Partial transcript as follows:

EMANUEL: The reason we can be assured here that this isn’t going to be a major outbreak is we have a CDC that can do very good contact tracing. We have a very good health system that takes universal precautions on all patients, with the gloves. And you’re not regularly in contact with people’s bodily fluids the way it is much more common in Liberia. I think those things distinguish it. And I don’t think we should get into a panic because we were reassured it would never be in the United States.

MATTHEWS: No, the president said it was unlikely two weeks ago. Well, it’s not the unlikely, it has happened. It’s here.

(h/t RCP Video)

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