A writer living in Nigeria turned the tables on American’s overreaction and fear that travelers from African nations might bring Ebola into the United States, expressing his concern for “the measles-ravaged country America” on Twitter.
Elnathan John, a writer and lawyer living in Abuja, Nigeria, wrote: “Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa.”
Concerns about citizens of African nations bringing Ebola to America reached epidemic proportions of its own last year, with members of the public signing a Whitehouse.gov petition stating, “The Ebola virus has reached unprecedented epidemic proportions in West Africa. The citizens of the U.S. are scared. We do not want any more Ebola-infected individuals bringing the epidemic to our shores.”
Fox News coverage of the Ebola epidemic was considered so over-the-top that a PBS science writer chided the network’s coverage for its “ignorance.”
“It borders on irresponsibility when people get on television and start talking that way when they should know better,” Miles O’Brien of PBS explained. “They should do their homework and they should report in a responsible manner.”
“Unfortunately, it’s a very competitive business, the business we’re in, and there is a perception that by hyping up this threat, you draw people’s attention,” he added. “That’s a shame to even say that and I get embarrassed for our brethren in journalism.”
The U.S. is currently experiencing a measles outbreak, due in part to parents who are part of what is called the ‘anti-vaxxer movement,’ borne out of a belief that childhood vaccinations can cause autism in children. Health officials have pushed back against the movement, pointing out a study often cited by anti-vaxxers has been thoroughly discredited.
John’s comment on Twitter was retweeted over 7,000 times, with a majority of commenters joining in on the mocking.
One writer added, “OMG maybe we should build a big fence to make sure they don’t bring it to Canada!!” while another wrote, “Pray for us. All we can do is sit here and wait for the Nigerian aid to arrive.”
Another mocked American’s short attention span for over-hyped crises, writing, “every 30 mins, a child in America catches… Oh look, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is on!”
See John’s tweet below:
Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa.
— Elnathan John (@elnathan) February 1, 2015