Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the George H.W. Bush Commemorative Center in Midland, Texas for a campaign stop Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. (Mark Rogers/Odessa American via AP)
As he often does, President Trump took to the Twitter machine this morning to, among other things, share his thoughts on the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and the administration’s efforts at combating it.
One of the things he reiterated is a point he has often made throughout his presidency about the need for the United States to have secure borders in order to protect the country:
THIS IS WHY WE NEED BORDERS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
You’d think at this point, with all the travel restrictions, travel bans, and border closings that have been put in place in countries all over the world including the U.S. that it would be pretty clear that the consensus is that tighter controls on borders can save lives. It doesn’t necessarily stop the spread, but it does keep more people from coming in and potentially spreading it or catching it.
This is a point that is completely lost on CNN’s Chris Cillizza, who must have thought he sounded impressive and woke to his liberal following by declaring that viruses “don’t, uh, recognize borders”:
Viruses don't, uh, recognize borders https://t.co/witGVrB1nJ
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) March 23, 2020
Bzzzzt! Wrong answer. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had a couple of rhetorical questions for Cillizza in response:
Then why are counties all over the planet closing their borders? https://t.co/Qj8hkXGDg9
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 23, 2020
So was it good or bad that the US halted flights in and out of China? https://t.co/Qj8hkXGDg9
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 23, 2020
Seriously. I mean, would Chris be on board with allowing direct flights into the United States from Wuhan at this time?
To be blunt, it was a really idiotic comment for Cillizza to make, for one big reason.
It’s crazy that this has to even be explained, but I’ll do it anyway. People carry viruses across borders. Though some research suggests the Wuhan coronavirus can stay in the air after a cough or sneeze for up to three hours, it’s not like the concern here is that the virus is gonna blow itself over the border. People can unknowingly bring it across the border or when they get off of a plane. Duh.
Not only that, but there’s a reason that many who have been diagnosed have been advised to isolate themselves in one room at home. That reason is because if you’re isolated away from others you have less of a chance of spreading the disease.
Same same goes for the social distancing in social or home settings. Maintaining a distance of six feet or more lessens the chances of someone nearby catching it from someone’s cough or sneeze.
I don’t want to pile on Italy here, because God knows they are going through unspeakable tragedy and horror there as we speak, but Italy not sealing off their borders after their outbreak started is a key reason why the virus spread there. Though flights to and from China had been suspended, flights from most other countries into Italy were not, meaning alternative routes from China could be used to indirectly fly into Italy.
Travel into Italy from EU countries was not cut off, meaning loads of tourists were able to travel in and either spread the virus or catch it and take it home with them.
That and Italy’s refusal to call on people to practice social distancing out of fear of being falsely branded as “racists” caused cases of the Wuhan coronavirus to skyrocket around the same time they put lockdowns in place in late February.
I’ll put it in simpler terms for folks like Chris Cillizza who claim “viruses don’t recognize borders.” When children are sick with a cold or the flu, their parents keep them at home so they can get better and so they can’t give other students their colds. Think of it this way: That child’s home is one country. The school is another country. To keep more kids from getting sick at the school “country”, they advise students who aren’t feeling well to stay at the home “country.”
Same same in a professional environment. When a co-worker in the office is sick, they are advised to go home in order to get better and so they don’t infect their colleagues with the same illness.
These are, in effect, “borders” put on people to stay as far away as they can from everyone else in order to prevent the spread of the sickness they are carrying.
Again, this should not have to be explained. But because of “journalists” like Chris Cillizza who allow their TDS to cloud their judgment, it has to be.