While appearing on an internet “talk show,” Dr. Jane Orient, best known for her quacky platform as Executive Director of the fear-mongering Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), claimed that Border Patrol informants told her that “as many 100,000 West Africans are in Central America” — and they have been taught to speak Spanish and are coming across our Southern border,” according to a writer on the conspiracy-filled WorldNetDaily website who interviewed her on his radio show.
Dr. Orient further complained that “Ebola screening practices” had not been implemented at the border with immigrants that were being detained. (Of course, if they’ve learned Spanish along their journey, they can totally blend in with the influx of minor children, right?)
While Dr. Orient is technically a medical doctor, her various theories on the science of medicine have been found to be full of fear-mongering, Obama-hating and other assorted quackery. As Rational Wiki explains, “The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is a small group of “conservative” quacks, cranks and fundamentalist zealots which likes to rail against such timeless evils as abortion, vaccination and the idea of universal health care coverage.”
She also told the WorldnetDaily writer that terrorists could somehow infect African immigrants purposefully and use them as an agent for biological terror, leading the writer to conclude that “The drug trade in West Africa is tied to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and now probably ISIS. This is an ominous discovery because it now opens the possibility that Ebola could be purposely sent to the United States with West African drug couriers. An organization, such as Hamas, could arrange to have a number of West Africans to become exposed to the virus and then fast track them across the southern border under the guise of trafficking in drugs.”
African immigrants account for only roughly 3.3% of total immigration to the United States since 1965, according to Wikipedia. Reports of the drug trade out of Africa have been touted by Fox News in recent years, but the traffickers are fairly sophisticated and travel by plane through Ghana, usually directly to Cairo and Dubai, Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt and New York City, avoiding the trafficking areas frequented by violent and dangerous Mexican drug cartels.
Because of the perilous journey and the United States’ fairly liberal immigration policy for West Africans (making it easier to enter the United State legally) only about 3 to 5,000 immigrants travel from African countries through Central and Latin American countries fleeing their homes. Many of these immigrants land in Central American countries and seek asylum, while a small portion makes their painstaking way to US borders. The journey is among the most treacherous migrations they can choose as a pathway to citizenship, often taking in excess of 30 days to arrive in Central or Latina American destinations alone, with several more weeks of travel and the possibility of drowning or dying of dehydration along the final leg of the trip.
The incubation period for Ebola 2-20 days, with most patients becoming severely ill very quickly, unable to sit up in bed or walk on their own. Ebola cannot be caught through air, skin to skin contact (unless a person is sweating profusely) or from sharing food or sleeping space. According to the World Health Organization, “People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, stool, urine, sweat etc. of an infected person and soiled linen used by a patient. It can be spread through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected secretions.”
Dr. Orient is not the first quack to raise concerns about Ebola being transmitted via children who have yet to, or have already crossed our border. Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey made similar claims, stressing that border agents are also very “fearful” of an eminent Ebola outbreak risk. (These claims were debunked thoroughly, earning a Politifact “Pants on Fire” rating the same day they came out.)