Fight the spread of Ebola by wip­ing out Malaria

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY CHARLES HURT

It is good to see Pres­i­dent Obama and his po­lit­i­cal ma­chine fi­nally wake up, sound the alarm and spring into ac­tion against the on­go­ing global hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis that is Ebola.

Only now that it has reached Amer­ica’s shores, threat­ens to wreak havoc on the world’s econ­omy and, most im­por­tantly to the pres­i­dent and his po­lit­i­cal al­lies, ap­pears poised to de­liver a stag­ger­ing blow to the Demo­cratic Party and their bor­der­less agenda of reck­less­ness and in­ep­ti­tude in Novem­ber’s elec­tions.

If it were not so tragic, it might be com­i­cal to hear his min­ions squirm, vacil­late, hem and haw about what Americans should do. One minute, every­body is to re­main calm. Then next, we are all sup­posed to “think Ebola” and mon­i­tor our fevers and cease per­sonal con­tact.

One thing is ab­so­lutely cer­tain: Th­ese peo­ple have been ex­actly, com­pletely, 100 per­cent wrong ev­ery step of the way.

Re­mem­ber White House as­sur­ances that the virus will never reach our shores? And when it did, the as­sur­ances that it would be com­pletely con­tained?

In the end, the ad­min­is­tra­tion that never wastes a cri­sis de­cided to blame the nurse — a mere ca­su­alty in their pro­pa­ganda war to re­duce Amer­ica to a Third World coun­try.

The only prin­ci­ple that guides th­ese peo­ple is that “there shalt be no bor­ders.” All that mat­ters to them is that no one con­fuse the spread of Ebola and other vir­u­lent dis­eases as any kind of rea­son to, well, sim­ply en­force bor­ders, which have been drawn on maps since the dawn of civ­i­liza­tion.

And if any­one dares to sug­gest that just maybe a good rea­son to en­force the bor­ders might be to pre­vent the spread of Ebola and other vi­cious dis­eases — why then you are just a racist.

Well, I will tell you what is truly racist.

Epi­demi­ol­o­gists and vi­rol­o­gists tell us that the pri­mary rea­son that the Ebola virus en­joys a 70 per­cent mor­tal­ity rate among its hosts in Africa is be­cause of all the other smol­der­ing af­flic­tions that so many Africans suf­fer in the first place. And noth­ing in the jun­gle comes close to the sin­gle big­gest health drain for th­ese Africans: Malaria.

Ac­cord­ing to the health of­fi­cials, the world saw 2.3 mil­lion new cases of HIV in 2012 and 8.6 mil­lion new cases of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis. That same year, 207 mil­lion new cases of malaria were re­ported.

Of those who con­tracted the mos­quito-borne dis­ease, 627,000 peo­ple died. The majority of them were chil­dren un­der five years old in Africa.

Beyond those deaths, many more malaria sur­vivors car­ried on with de­feated im­mune sys­tems to com­bat HIV, TB and, now, Ebola. Mil­lions and mil­lions more carry on liv­ing in mis­er­able pain wait­ing for that next mal­ady to de­liver the fi­nal blow.

What is the world’s re­sponse to this liv­ing night­mare? Send them mos­quito nets. Are kid­ding me? Have you ever seen a swarm of African mos­qui­toes? And all it takes is just one bite from the right in­sect.

Send­ing th­ese peo­ple mos­quito nets is like send­ing squirt guns to chil­dren liv­ing in the lava path of an angry vol­cano. Would the pres­i­dent or any­body else in Amer­ica take such a chance with their own chil­dren? Of course not.

There is only one an­swer to malaria: DDT.

If the world — start­ing with this pres­i­dent cares about the chil­dren of Africa, they will take up the fight to rein­tro­duce vast spray­ing cam­paigns of DDT all over Africa un­til the malar­i­acar­ry­ing breeds of mos­qui­toes are en­tirely wiped out.

To the an­ti­hu­man ac­tivists out there who call them­selves “en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists,” this no­tion of sav­ing mil­lions of African chil­dren’s lives at the likely cost of sev­eral bird species and some crus­taceans and in­ver­te­brates sounds like an Al­fred Hitch­cock movie.

But bru­tally-ef­fec­tive in­sec­ti­cides such as DDT is what worked to elim­i­nate the scourge of malaria in Amer­ica, and the chil­dren of Africa de­serve noth­ing less. If you dis­agree, you need to look deep into the re­cesses of your soul and ask why not.

Now this de­bate has raged for years and it has been, pre­dictably, rather hot-tem­pered.

In the past, some have com­pared the anti-humanists who op­pose us­ing DDT to save mil­lions of African chil­dren to Adolf Hitler. This is reck­less and un­fair. Hitler killed 6 mil­lion Jews; it has been es­ti­mated that ban­ning DDT has killed some 20 mil­lion chil­dren al­ready and it very well could be many mil­lions more be­fore this Ebola cri­sis is over.

Charles Hurt can be reached at, or on Twit­ter at @charleshurt.

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