Human rights would be empowered by a proportional and rational response, but knee-jerk fear has a history of racism in this country when it comes to public health. Unfortunately, current media reactions, prevalent in mainstream and social media, are fanning flames of xenophobia in America and withholding care from those that need it most.
We should act to strengthen the Office of the Surgeon General by protecting it from political manipulation. In our hyper-partisan political world characterized by gridlock and great political poetic license in the interpretation of science to support preconceived political biases, who will have the responsibility to speak scientific truth to power?
The challenge of mobilizing aggressively on the current scale is a daunting one, even without second-guessing from people with no experience in fighting disease. Wasting resources by following casual advice -- even if adamantly spoken and mightily propelled -- would make the tragedy of this disease even greater.
More distressing than the profound lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS among the 431 adult men who participated in the survey is the fact that it reveals a startling failure -- even an absence -- of HIV education among gay and bisexual men, despite the fact that we account for the nation's highest number of those living with or at risk for HIV.
I recently had the chance to speak with Jean L. Patterson, Chair of Virology and Immunology at the Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. She has conducted extensive research on hemorrhagic fevers (Marburg, Lassa, and Ebola viruses). Dr. Patterson tells us what role she thinks science plays in combating Ebola.