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“Ebola: The Isis of Biological Agents?” The problem with this question asked on CNN last week goes beyond cheap sensationalism. It’s flat out stupid.

But that didn’t stop CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield from posing it and also asking: “Does that mean that [Ebola] is that deadly, that dangerous or just that it needs to be treated with the same kind of strategy?” 

One critic calls this sort of approach to the Ebola outbreak “fear-mongering.” It’s also just gross miss-information—sad really for a news platform such as CNN.

Trust  Teju Cole to step in. In a roaringly funny piece published in The New Yorker, he satirizes the CNN headline. Speaking as a crazy epidemiologist of sorts, Cole rattles off comparisons that are far more cooky than Ebola and ISIS.

Enjoy!
Cole-Ebola-ISIS-2-690

Is Ebola the ISIS of biological agents? Is Ebola the Boko Haram of AIDS? Is Ebola the al-Shabaab of dengue fever?

Some say Ebola is the Milosevic of West Nile virus. Others say Ebola is the Ku Klux Klan of paper cuts.

It’s obvious that Ebola is the MH370 of MH17. But at some point the question must be asked whether Ebola isn’t also the Narendra Modi of sleeping sickness.

And I don’t mean to offend anyone’s sensitivities, but there’s more and more reason to believe that Ebola is the Sani Abacha of having some trouble peeing. 

At first there was, understandably, the suspicion that Ebola was the Hitler of apartheid, but now it has become abundantly clear that Ebola is actually the George W. Bush of being forced to listen to someone’s podcast.

Folks, this thing is serious.

The World Health Organization calls it the Putin of Stalin. In layperson’s terms, that’s like saying it’s the Stalin of U2.

Now we are seeing the idea thrown around that it could be the Black Hand of the Black Death, not to mention the Red Peril of the Red Plague.

If you don’t want to go that far, you have to at least admit that Ebola is the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb of Stage IV brain cancer.

At this point, it’s very possible that Ebola could become airborne and turn into the Tea Party of extreme climate events.

Throughout the country of Africa, Ebola is the Abu Ghraib of think pieces. Look, I’m not the politically correct type, so I’m just going to put this out there: Ebola is the neo-Nazism of niggling knee injuries….

Read More at NewYorker.com

 

Listen to audio

 

 

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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