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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Mark Steyn On The CDC As The DMV With Test Tubes

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ML: Mark Steyn is back with us here, New York Times bestselling author. In fact, another new book coming out in just a couple of days on the 20th, officially, the Undocumented Mark Steyn: Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned, and I’ve got to tell you, Mr. Steyn, the cover on, the Steyn photo here, looks extra intense. Did you know what was coming? Were you briefed earlier about the Ebola madness?

MS: Well actually, now you mention it, I look slightly flushed. I have, as they say, on the cover of that book, Ebola-like symptoms.

ML: You look a little feverish. Yeah, had you been on a plane?

MS: Yeah, I have a, like a kind of high color on that book. By the way, I don’t believe that Ebola can be spread by reading my book.

ML: Well, that’s good to know.

MS: But the way it’s mutating, that’s probably about two weeks about. But yeah, that comes out on Monday, and you can pick it up as easily as Ebola at all good bookstores.

ML: Well, and of course, everybody is panicky, and understandably so every time the President speaks about this, or Josh Earnest comes out, and as he said today, well, it’s likely that there are going to be some additional health care workers getting Ebola, and this is, what, just two, three weeks ago, President Obama said no, it’s not likely. Now, he’s changed it. He has a rhetorical dance move going on where he says it’s unlikely it’ll be widespread. So what do you make of that?

MS: Well, that is right. Médecins Sans Frontières, the Doctors Without Borders, I gather, nine out of fifteen of the doctors in the hot zone have died. It is a risk to health care workers. The problem here, the problem in political terms, the problem is that the government is not being honest with us. You saw that in this ridiculous fellow, Thomas Frieden from the CDC in his appearance today who couldn’t tell us about the travel ban. I mean, it is a basic thing going back thousands of years that when you have something infectious, you quarantine it. When I was a schoolboy, I learned about the great plague in London in 1666. The reason why it’s a great plague in London, and it never spread up the country to northern England or Scotland is because they quarantined it. It turned up in some Derbyshire village that had received some clothes from London, and that Derbyshire village was quarantined so it didn’t spread to all kinds of other towns and villages in the north of England. And the question, and the inability of the government to give an answer as to why they’re not quarantining this in West Africa is at the heart of this. Obama has now dispatched, according to the Pentagon, 4,000 U.S. troops will be in West Africa dealing with this. The official death toll is 4,500. He’s sending one American soldier…

ML: For every dead one.

MS: …for every fatality. Why?

ML: Wow. Well, he’s also now by executive order going to drum up a few National Guardsmen or women to deploy them in there, I mean, a handful to start. We can’t put National Guard on our borders in this country, but we’re okay sending them to Monrovia. What’s that?

MS: Yes, well again, the official explanation according to Thomas Friden is that these are fledgling democracies. That’s actually not true in the case of Monrovia and Liberia. It’s supposedly been a democracy since the 19th Century. But the question, but that’s not the job of the Centers For Disease Control or the president of the United States. He has a duty to the United States and to the American people in the same way that the French president has a duty to the French people, and the Australian prime minister has a duty to the Australian people. And what’s fascinating about this is that it seems to conflict with some weird kind of citizen of the world ideal that Obama operates to, where in effect, the CDC is like, has to serve as basically some super U.N. clinic for West Africa rather than actually trying to do the job for which it was set up and funded.

ML: Mark Steyn on the Hugh Hewitt Show, Mark Larson sitting in for Hugh today. Hugh is off on assignment. He’ll have a full report on tomorrow’s show. We may even report during the show today. Everywhere you look at this CDC director Frieden’s testimony or his other comments, you can’t connect the dots, Mark Steyn, because it just makes no logical sense when he says we can’t cut the flights off because that would mess with the economy, or it would limit, more likely limit our chances of dealing with it. It’s all so backward and disjointed, it seems like he keeps digging a bigger hole there. And I don’t understand that, then coupled with the other doctor who said things like we’re concerned, I think the threat level is up to very, really, really concerned now.

MS: Right, right.

ML: But it’s gobbledy-gook. And meanwhile, we’ve got scares everywhere today, it seems.

MS: Yeah, and I think the issue here is that there may be a reason, but they’re not leveling with us. And he’s not a good enough liar. You know, if Bill Clinton was the director of the CDC, he’d have had, he’d have been practicing in front of the mirror before he went to Congress, and it would sound cheesy, but at least superficially persuasive. This guy is not a good enough liar. And when he was asked directly whether it was pressure from the White House that was the reason for this lack of a travel ban, you know, all the time, for the most stupid reasons, Lebanon Airport in New Hampshire, which is some miles south of me, a little nothing airport in New Hampshire, for years before 9/11, they used to have these stupid signs. You could fly to Boston and New York from this place. That’s all. And for years behind the counter, it had these stupid signs saying you know, the FAA has determined that Lagos, Nigeria…

ML: Lagos.

MS: …is unsafe.

ML: Yeah, Nigeria, right. For years, you’re right.

MS: But now, but suddenly now they can’t say it’s unsafe. They’re not leveling with the American people. That’s the issue.

ML: How can they, Mark Steyn, blame this on Bush? You know that’s got to be there somewhere in the middle of this.

MS: Yeah, well, if they’re clever, they’ll figure out a way. I mean, the fact that this is all happening in Texas, they’ll figure out that patient zero lives at a ranch in Crawford, and he’s to blame for the whole global epidemic.

ML: Yeah, that’s where it started. Mark Steyn with us, Hugh Hewitt Show, now the President in his remarks yesterday said at one point, and this is mind-boggling, he had to inject himself into the conversation. He said, “ I want to use myself as an example.” Gee, what a surprise. “Just so people have a sense of the science here,” because this is Dr. Obama, as you know, and he said I shook hands with, hugged and kissed no the doctors, but a couple of nurses at Emory because of the valiant work. And I thought why not the doctors? What’s going on there? First of all, I guess it’s better than Bill Clinton being in a position saying he was kissing everybody, but what gives with that? There’s all kinds of phobias in that statement.

MS: Right. Now, and I don’t even know what he’s trying…

ML: Were they all men? I don’t know, but it’s curious. It’s classic.

MS: I know, and it’s even, I mean, nothing, you get the strange feeling that they’re just winging it, that these elite institutions, I said yesterday or today that they basically, you know, that people think that the CDC and the National Institute for Health, they’re not like the usual government department of paperwork. And when it turns out that when something like this hits, actually, yes, they are. They’re just talking, they’re winging it, they’re talking jibberish, they’re giving out contradictory stuff, and they’re not following their own guidelines. They’re basically like the DMV with test tubes. That’s the act they’re pulling.

ML: There’s also a quote today from a member of Congress who ought to know better that well, we can’t have the travel ban because, and follow the goofy logic here, because that would mean people would be forced to come in over the borders. And this is a Democrat admitting then that the borders are porous. And it was Guiterrez, I believe, who said that, stepped in that. Yeah, we’ve been pointing that out. There’s all kinds of diseases, including some we thought went away for the most part, like TB that’s come back because of porous borders here.

MS: Yeah, and that’s the reason you have a border.

ML: Oh, that’s why. Yeah.

MS: It makes, none of this makes any sense, because if the border is porous, then terrorists, people with Ebola, all kind of people can get across that border. Mind you at the same time, as I always point out, the northern border, that’s the southern border. At the northern border, they’re cracking down on it. And if you’ve got a bagpipe, if you’ve got Kinder Chocolate Eggs, if you’ve got all kinds of other stuff, they’ll…

ML: Then are getting the full wrath of the government, yes.

MS: Yeah, they’ll get you for that.

ML: Mark Steyn, the new book is coming out next Monday, The Undocumented Mark Steyn. Of course, you can find him all the time, www.steynonline.com. And there is also a way to follow on Twitter, @MarkSteynOnline. Thank you, Mr. Steyn, good to have you back in the saddle here. We’ll talk to you more as the book unfolds and launches, and with a very stern look on the cover, just in time for the season of Ebola, apparently. Thank you, Mr. Steyn.

End of interview.

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