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It’s time to stop being Americans and become Global citizens, with global concerns, needs and solutions. The Ebola outbreak in Africa has spurred a group of mindless individuals (such as Donald Trump) here in the United States to suggest the President should put a ban on travel from Africa; it seems a logical solution to prevent the spread of the virus in the country. In the minds of the mentally challenged criminals (forgive the oxymoron), it is logical to kill indiscriminately. I digress. The time has come when the pride of being American can no longer supersede the needs to attend to global catastrophes, epidemics and disasters.
While Africa is now in the spotlight for the Ebola outbreak, one must wonder whether Mr. Trump (and company) would feel the same way had the deadly virus originated here in the United States; would he have suggested that the President ban Americans from traveling to other parts of the world? Don’t answer that. This is not to suggest a laissez-faire attitude, far from it. It is widely suggested – and wise – to quarantine for 21 days (the incubation period for the virus to manifest within a host) travelers from the affected regions. Although inconvenient to the travelers, it is prudent to control the movement of those most prone to be infected; this is not the perfect solution and perhaps not even the best but it would help curbing the spread of the virus.
Despite the severity of Ebola, Cuba, a small country that’s been isolated by the US government for no reason other than internal politics and childish bickering in Washington, has been working tirelessly helping the affected regions cope with the disease. Although our colleague at the New York Times suggests that the move by Cuba is to spite the United States, this is not so; for well over half-century now, Cuba has always been deploying both medical and humanitarian aid to various parts of the world affected by disasters, be they natural such as hurricane, earthquake or man-made such as wars. Cuba is the only country in the world which has the most doctors deployed wherever disaster strikes. Even when Katrina occurred here in the United States, Cuba had teams of doctors and humanitarian personnel ready to help those who were affected; needless to say that our government declined any such help because it had everything under control (sarcasm here). So, Cuba is not competing with or showing off for the United States. As our colleague at the New York Times rightly pointed out, has it not been for the senseless, useless, ridiculous embargo placed on Cuba, its government could do more in other affected areas of the world. Perhaps United States should learn some lesson from Cuba which is always well prepared to deal with most types of disasters despite the financial shortfall the embargo has placed on the country.
For the past few decades, various disasters (hurricanes, chemical spills, nuclear accidents, earthquakes, volcanoes, wars and yes terrorism) have struck different parts of the world. When those events happen, the United States is impacted one way or another. America must not isolate or cut off the rest of the world because of an outbreak in other regions much less would we want to be cut off if we had an outbreak here in America. It is time Americans learn to co-exist in a world where catastrophes, epidemics, plague can strike anywhere, anytime. Sooner or later, Americans may need others to come to their rescue.
Follow Mike Ducheine on Twitter: @mducheiney