Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX) accused the federal government of waging a war on women in its effort to contain the Ebola virus, claiming that the Obama administration and the Centers for Disease Control is throwing female nurses “under the bus.”
The comment first originated as a half-serious joke on Beck’s radio show on Thursday, but bubbled up into a substantial charge on Fox News the following day. The network invited Gohmert to discuss his claim under the chyron “War on Women?” and during that segment he complained about CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden blaming the two nurses who cared for index patient Thomas Eric Duncan and were later diagnosed with Ebola, for contracting the virus.
“Instead of asking forgiveness and explaining they had not gotten protocols where they needed to be, they come out and say, well, this nurse got Ebola because she violated protocol,” he said. “I mean, it is a war on these poor women nurses and they are doing the best they can.”
Nurses have in fact publicly condemned the Dallas hospital where Duncan was treated for inadequately training the staff and failing to immediately diagnose the condition and isolate the patient. The staff members did not, however, accuse the hospital or the government of deliberately leaving them exposed.
Meanwhile, in Liberia, where women serve in caretaker roles, Ebola is actually having a disproportionate impact on women. According to the Ministry of Health, 75 percent “of the Ebola deaths it has counted are women,” BuzzFeed reports.
Later in the segment, Gohmert theorized that American troops helping western African countries combat Ebola will be “exposed to terrorism” as well as the virus. He also added that Obama has struck “some deal” with the African nations that is preventing the administration from imposing a travel ban against the region. Health and medical experts have repeatedly claimed that such a policy would be ineffective in preventing an outbreak of Ebola in the United States and could actually spread the virus further.