The Ebola outbreak has stirred worldwide concern—and panic in some quarters. It is by far the largest outbreak of the deadly disease in recorded history. The media have jumped on the story for its obvious headline value, but at the same time they have served us poorly by misreporting, minimizing or simply refusing to report this administration’s glaring failure to protect American citizens. So what are the facts, and what kind of response can we expect from official Washington?
Just the Facts
As best can be determined at this point, the first Ebola fatality was a boy of two from the town of Gueckedou, Guinea, who died on December 6th, 2013 following a brief illness. He infected other members of the family, who in turn infected relatives and a health worker. These victims, in turn, carried the disease to other nearby towns. It took time however, for people to realize what was happening. A World Health Organization (WHO) timeline indicates the outbreak was first reported on March 14th, 2014, after eight people died in the city of Macenta, Guinea. Both Gueckedou and Macenta—about 50 miles apart—are major trading centers in the heart of the Guinean jungle and are located near the border with both Sierra Leone and Liberia. By March 19th, 23 deaths had been reported—all from the same area—with 35 suspected cases.
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Note: This Special Report from Accuracy in Media’s Center for Investigative Journalism was originally published on the AIM website.