What this really comes down to is an essentially shameless example of someone trying to use an actual threat to the well being of the country to score political points in an election season.

How are we going to deal with the arrival of Ebola on America’s shores? It’s a subject which is on the lips of every politician and media talking head in the country right now. But for anyone who’s been watching politics in DC for longer than, let’s say… five minutes, we all know what the real question is. It’s not what we should do, but who can we blame?

MSNBC contributors Krystal Ball and Anne Thompson have analyzed the situation and come up with the answer which I’m sure will provide us all with one of those why didn’t I think of that moments. Clearly we need to blame the NRA. Their logic boils down to the fact that what we really need is a medical explainer-in-chief, and the gun rights group is preventing that from happening.

If only there was someone around who could educate the American public about the actual level of risk. Someone who was trusted as a public health expert and whose job it was to help us understand what we really need to worry about and what precautions we should take.

Actually, that is one of the primary responsibilities of the United States surgeon general. There’s just one problem: Thanks to Senate dysfunction and NRA opposition, we don’t have a surgeon general right now. In fact, we haven’t had a surgeon general for more than a year now — even though the president nominated the eminently qualified Dr. Vivek Murthy back in November 2013.

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