Frieden’s entire argument is so strange—and so at odds with what other epidemiologists prescribe—that it can only be explained by one of two causes: catastrophic incompetence or a prior ideological commitment. The latter, in this case, might well be the larger issue of immigration.Why has it taken the very real threat that immigration could kill literally millions of Americans to wake up the neocons? Is it because so many of them are centered in New York and Washington, D.C.? What didn't they learn after 9/11?
Ebola has the potential to reshuffle American attitudes to immigration. If you agree to seal the borders to mitigate the risks from Ebola, you’re implicitly rejecting the “open borders” mindset and admitting that there are cases in which government has a duty to protect citizens from outsiders. Some people on the left admit to seeing this as the thin end of the wedge. Writing in the New Yorker, Michael Specter lamented, “Several politicians, like Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana, have turned the epidemic into fodder for their campaign to halt immigration.” And that sort of thing just can’t be allowed.
What would happen in the event of an Ebola outbreak in Latin America? Then America would have to worry about masses of uninfected immigrants surging across the border — not to mention carriers of the virus. And if we had decided it was okay to cut off flights from West Africa, would we decide it was okay to try to seal the Southern border too? You can see how the entire immigration project might start to come apart. [Six Reasons to Panic, Jonathan V. Last, October 27 (Print Edition) ,2014]
Last raises this scenario: A jihadist purposely infecting himself, flying to New York and "riding the subway until he keels over. ... Can you imagine the consequences if someone with Ebola vomited in a New York City subway car?"
A guy named Rick Rescorla was asking a similar question before 9/11: Can you imagine if someone flew a jet into the World Trade Center?
The neocons didn't want to hear it. After 19 illegal immigrants took down towers went down, set the Pentagon ablaze and crashed an airliner into a field in Pennsylvania, they still didn't want to hear it. [Y is for Yahoo | Turning the GOP into an anti-immigration party could dash Republican hopes of becoming a long-term governing party, By William Kristol, The Weekly Standard, April 10, 2006]
Now, they're worried about open borders? It's about time.