FIRESIDE CHAT: The Politics of Ebola

Facilitator: Diane Duffin, associate professor and chair, Department of Politcial Science
Date: Friday, Nov. 7
Time: 12:20 to 1:10 p.m.
Place: Fireplace Lounge, Nebraskan Student Union
Topic: With more than 10,000 cases of Ebola documented worldwide this year, the presence of four Ebola patients in the United State has infected our political system. Fueled by media hysteria, many politicians call for travel bans and quarantines of health workers who have treated Ebola patients.
Meanwhile public health experts argue that such measures do more harm than good. They urge policymakers to let science, rather than fear, inform their decisions, while still others question the legality of quarantining people who are not actually contagious.
Altogether, recent events surrounding the Ebola crisis raise a number of important issues:

  • Have the news media handled this issue responsibly?
  • Is the U.S. government doing enough to protect Americans from a domestic outbreak?
  • Are states violating civil liberties by quarantining people who show no symptoms of the disease?
  • How much of this response is driven by politics, and how much should we care?

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