Fear of an Ebola epidemic is circulating throughout the United States. In Europe, by contrast, one reacts more professionally to the situation.

Actually, Americans like to make fun of German angst. For them, the Federal Republic is a country of worriers who seldom have the courage to do something, and who freeze when they feel threatened. Not so these days. Fear is spreading in the U.S., while Germany and Europe are generally reacting more professionally and relatively calmly to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Television networks broadcast scary images of quarantine stations. Parents no longer send their children to school because an Ebola patient is being treated in a hospital one kilometer away. At a hearing, Republican Representative Darrell Issa asserts erroneously that one can be infected by sitting next to an Ebola patient on a bus. A nurse is forced to temporarily live in a tent after returning from Sierra Leone, although she exhibits no symptoms.

All of this is of no use in the fight against the disease. However, it permits the Republicans to make the Obama administration responsible for the hysteria — which is essentially being caused by the Republicans themselves. After all, it’s election season. The worst thing about it is that this tactic could ultimately help them to win. Now that is truly to be feared.