By Jesse Byrnes / http://thehill.com/
Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) warned that it was “very dangerous” for the U.S. to overreact to Ebola and urged “common sense” to contain the deadly virus.
“I know there’s a lot of reason to be concerned. It is a serious problem, but in my lifetime, when we have been frightened by this so-called coming epidemic — most of it has never materialized,” the veteran lawmaker and former physician said in an interview with conservative Newsmax TV Wednesday.
“Common sense should be able to handle this because they know what the virus is, they know how it is spread,” he added. “I think sometimes overreaction can become very dangerous as well.”
Paul acknowledged, however, that “this one may turn out to be a lot more serious.” His comments came as health officials dare dealing with the first confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S.
Officials on Thursday placed four people under quarantine and have been monitoring 100 overall who might have been exposed to the virus by Thomas Eric Duncan, an Ebola patient hospitalized in Dallas.
Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in an interview early Wednesday morning struck a different tone than his father, accusing the Obama administration of “underplaying” the threat from the disease.
“I am concerned about it, and it’s a big mistake to downplay it and act as if it’s not a big deal. … This could get beyond our control,” said Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, on the Laura Ingraham Show.
Both Ron and Rand Paul have questioned President Obama’s plans to send 3,000 troops to West Africa to help stem the spread of the disease, noting the soldiers could themselves become infected.
Asked about 2016, Ron Paul said he had “no intention” to run for the White House.
“You won’t hear of me. You won’t even see my name on a ballot. I’m not even going to run for Congress,” the two-time presidential candidate said.
When the interviewer said he would play those remarks for Rand Paul, the elder Paul chuckled, joking “yeah, he’s been worrying about that.”