Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin (R), who’s running for Congress in the state’s 1st Congressional District, suggested that immigrants from Central America could bring the Ebola virus with them, even though the outbreak has mainly been contained in West Africa.
Tobin’s comments were flagged by Tucson Weekly.
“Anything’s now possible,” Tobin said. “So if you were to say the Ebola virus has now entered [the country], I don’t think anyone would be surprised.”
Tobin’s suggestion comes a month after Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that said there were reports “of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning.”
Tobin, TPM readers should recall, is running in a primary against state Rep. Adam Kwasman, the congressman who accidentally protested a bus for the YMCA that he thought was filled with illegal immigrants.
There are things to keep in mind when considering this argument. For one, Ebola isn’t found in Central America. It’s also hard to contract. And, as Mother Jones points out, vaccination rates in Central America also happen to be higher than in Texas.
(H/t: Mother Jones’s Tim Murphy)