West Africans have nothing to fear from European nations and firms who want to experiment and maybe find a cure, for which they will charge billions? lol White Europeans and White Americans have never taken advantage of or lied to West Africans before have the? rotflol Tests on African-Americans without their informed consent were OK, until people found out what was really going on – giving men VD and seeing how long it took to die, giving massive radiation to dying people saying it might cure them, when they were really testing the amount of radiation soldiers might be able to endure before dying? wtf!
It seems that if we’re fortunate enough to find a drug that works, soon, treating Ebola will require trust that approximates a leap of faith (in medicine), and beneficence – that doctors will order and give these drugs because they think they’re more likely to help than harm those affected. Without that trust, we’ll be stuck, unable to give therapy to most people infected or at risk. Is it possible that meaningful consent can be a barrier to care?
The most definitive takedown of the Newsweek piece appeared at the Washington Post website (8/25/14), where Laura Seay and Kim Yi Dionne place the article in a historical context:
Far from presenting a legitimate public health concern, the authors of the piece and the editorial decision to use chimpanzee imagery on the cover have placed Newsweek squarely in the center of a long and ugly tradition of treating Africans as savage animals and the African continent as a dirty, diseased place to be feared.
While Newsweek zeroed in on the wild game risk as being “all but but ignored by the popular press and public,” Seay and Dionne write: “The reason this ‘risk’ is ignored is because it is infinitesimally close to zero.”
During a BBC discussion of the story (8/26/14), host Nkem Ifejika noted that Ebola experts stress that the risks of Ebola exposure come from hunting and dissection–which would seem to undermine the point of Newsweek‘s cover story. The magazine’s senior editor Elijah Wolfson responded by appearing to back away from the article’s premise:
I would say that the risk for contracting Ebola by eating or handling bushmeat that arrives in the U.S. through illegal importation is minimal. But that doesn’t mean it is a zero risk.
That’s a far cry from the message the magazine is telling us–unless they plan on rewriting that headline to say, “Not a Back Door for Ebola: Smuggled Bushmeat Is Unlikely to Spark a US Epidemic.” And replacing the chimp with a photo of a bat. As Seay and Dionne put it:
Newsweek’s piece is in the worst tradition of what journalist Howard French calls “Ooga-Booga” journalism: the practice of writing in exoticizing and dehumanizing ways about Africa.