Ebola has the potential to become modern plague. One would think that the first thing to do is to block the ways it reaches Europe, North America and other parts of the world. Think again. Welcome to the theater of the absurd.
So, Ebola. Since 1976, there have been 20 outbreaks of this horrible disease in Africa. Until recently, the outbreaks have been successfully contained within the African continent. However, epidemiologists were sure that Ebola would spread beyond its marked-out-with-flags territory. It was a matter of time. Now it is clear that the time has come.
Today, the origins of the virus are no longer of any importance; whether it came from wild animals or from dangerous experiments that aimed to create a perfect biological weapon (this theory has a lot of supporters by the way). Something else is important: How far will the disease spread? Ebola has the potential to become a modern plague. The survival rate is 50 percent. In West Africa, more than 7,000 people have been infected. More than 3,500 have already died. Vaccines against Ebola, just like the plague, don’t exist. The consequences of this threat are far grimmer than any terrorists or any Islamic State, regardless of what Barack Obama says.
One would think that the first thing to do would be to block the ways it reaches Europe, North America and other parts of the world. In other words, temporarily close air travel from West Africa. More than that, one would expect that the efforts of the U.N. and other international organizations to stop the outbreak in the affected countries would be stepped up.
Think again. Welcome to the theater of the absurd. More and more teams of doctors and health workers are being dispatched to West Africa. But each week, thousands of people travel from Nigeria alone, the country which is the biggest air hub in the West African region: 3,000 to 6,000 people arrive in the U.S., the U.K. and France; some 1,500 to 3,000 people arrive in Turkey, India, and Canada, and 300 to 1,500 people arrive in Holland alone. This is how Ebola spreads around the globe.
The World Health Organization, admitting its failure, states that it is impossible to stop the virus from spreading. Even if this is true, do we really need to help the virus spread?
From the West, with few exceptions, we hear politically correct statement calling for a stop to air travel from West Africa. How would this be possible? It is simply unacceptable. People must have freedom of movement and travel. To deprive anyone of this right would be contrary to universal human values.
Yes, people have the right to freedom of movement, but people also have the right to life, the right not to catch a disease because of liberal politicians obsessed with political correctness that can destroy all of humankind.
This is the message coming from high European cabinets: “The values that we as Europeans stand for – solidarity, dignity and respect for human rights – make our support for the countries affected by the epidemic our moral obligation.”*
Moral obligation is a wonderful thing. The affected countries need help; moreover, they need full support to stop Ebola. But European values obviously do not involve keeping air travel open with the countries afflicted by the epidemic.
We are told that all people arriving from West Africa will be screened. Nonsense. The passengers can be declared Ebola-free only after a 21-day quarantine.
It seems that Western politicians are blinded by liberal political correctness to the point that they no longer understand that by campaigning against restrictive measures with popular talk about human freedom and dignity, and with the mantra of universal human rights, they, in reality, provide people with a new and, quite literally, deadly right: the right to Ebola. The spread of the virus means that those hundreds of brave doctors, who have already contracted the disease, will die in vain. Like kamikaze fighters, the doctors are thrown to West Africa to fight Ebola at its source by those who are not able to understand that entire nations, not just separate people, need to be quarantined. It is an unpleasant fact, but one that has to be admitted.
However, liberal political correctness is at odds with the truth. It lives in its own world of abstract freedoms and hypocritical values.
Ebola couldn’t possibly have a better ally.
Editor’s Note: Aleksei Pushkov is chairman of the State Duma committee on foreign affairs, political analyst, Ph.D of history, professor and lecturer at Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
*This quotation, although accurately translated, could not be verified.