In his opening remarks last night, Mike Huckabee said he's feeling a little sick, not from Ebola, but from paying for a government that he feels he can't trust.
"We're told that the government has to go overboard with TSA, the IRS and the NSA for our own protection," Huckabee said. "And then, tell the CDC to go easy on folks fleeing Liberia and lying about whether they've been exposed to Ebola?"
"I wish I could, but if they repeatedly lie to me, I just don't believe them anymore."
Watch Huckabee's remarks above and read a full transcript below.
The Ebola crisis is not a political crisis; it's a public health crisis, but the problem dealing with Ebola can't be divorced from politics. And more significantly, the Ebola scare goes to heart of a simple question: Do you trust the government?
Audience, do you trust the government? And why would you?
Less than a week after the President told us that it was unlikely, Ebola came to the US when a Liberian citizen lied about having contact with someone infected, got on a plane and flew to Dallas, after stops in Europe and Washington. As many as a hundred people in Dallas were exposed and are being monitored for symptoms.
I can truly appreciate public officials trying to reassure us and calm our unwarranted fears. But I most certainly cannot appreciate failing to take steps to isolate carriers of the virus before they get to the US and mingle among us. The President and the CDC Director has claimed that banning entry of those who have been in Liberia and other West African nations where cases of Ebola have been reported would hurt our relations with these nations.
Well forgive me, but hurting someone's feelings shouldn't be the concern of the President – protecting American citizens should be. I don't ever want to hurt someone's feelings, but if you are potentially carrying a disease that could kill one of my grandchildren, I'll gladly hurt your feelings before you hurt my grandkids.
Now the State Department has the authority to deny visas from countries where infectious diseases have been reported. Our government suspended flights to Israel in August when there was no reason to do so. But they say they can't quarantine travelers from West Africa is appropriate? According to a memo from August 13 of this year from the Congressional Research office, HHS and CDC have the authority to prohibit entry of anyone entering the United States who might pose a public health risk. That’s the law.
Now when the government says it can’t keep people out of the U.S., what it means is that won’t keep people out. And why should we be surprised? We've seen our borders routinely ignored. So if someone with Ebola really wants to come to the US, just get to Mexico, and walk right in.
No government of course can guarantee 100% protection of its citizens from all risks, including Ebola. And yes, it would inconvenience some folks from West African nations. But let me tell you something, since 9/11 we've inconvenienced every American who wants to fly on a plane and we make them take their shoes off and get a body search; we've engaged in unconstitutional searches of people's emails, phone calls and tax records. We've strip-searched elderly women in wheelchairs, and then you tell me we might hurt someone's feeling in Liberia? Well, la de freaking da!
We're told that the government has to go overboard with TSA, the IRS and the NSA for our own protection. And then, tell the CDC to go easy on folks fleeing Liberia and lying about whether they've been exposed to Ebola? You know what, I'm feeling a little sick myself but it's not Ebola; I'm just sick of a government I'm paying for telling me not to worry and just trust them. I wish I could, but if they repeatedly lie to me, I just don't believe them anymore.
Let's hope there's nothing to be worried about and that Ebola doesn't really threaten most of us. But hearing that from the federal government right now is like hearing that I can keep my doctor and my health insurance.