There’s a new buzzword to add to the list of things not to shout in an airport: Ebola. Ebola has taken not only the nation but the world by storm since it began in West Africa, with what researchers believe was a single person who con­tracted the virus from fruit bats of the Pteropo­didae family. Because these bats infected other animals through close contact in the wild, all it took was one person to eat an infected animal or touch an infected carcass for the disease to take root in the human pop­u­lation. That single person has now infected nearly 9,000 people just in West Africa.

While Ebola is sur­vivable if detected early and its symptoms are treated, it is claiming so many lives because of its quick transfer ability. And the longer the virus can prop­agate, the more it will adapt, and the harder devel­oping a vaccine will become. Luckily, Ebola only “spreads through human-to-human trans­mission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous mem­branes) with the blood, secre­tions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with sur­faces and mate­rials (e.g. bedding, clothing) con­t­a­m­i­nated with these fluids,” according to the World Health Orga­ni­zation. Bodily fluid con­t­a­m­i­nation and transfer is not a huge problem in the United States thanks to our sewage systems, health codes, water dis­persion, etc. which many poorer nations lack.

But, regardless of where Ebola came from and what it’s doing, it’s here and it demands action. Unfor­tu­nately, our country’s lack of pri­or­ities and desire to push unre­lated agendas has created con­fusion about the disease. There was no imme­diate response to the threat of it coming into America, and now it is here. Many con­ser­v­ative politi­cians have blamed Pres­ident Obama. While the president’s actions con­cerning Ebola, like sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to help “control” the out­break, are ques­tionable, Ebola itself is not his fault.

We can sit here and crit­icize the pres­ident all we want, but that won’t help.  Blaming Ebola on our country’s obsession with political cor­rectness, despite the out­ra­geous and foolish concern over the need to be so polit­i­cally correct, also will not help.  Rush Lim­baugh said last week on his radio show that, “The impulse might be to isolate these coun­tries. If we do that, if we isolate, see, this is this political cor­rectness crap. It’s not fair that they are the ones that have Ebola. It would be unfair and it would be pro­filing and it would be stig­ma­tizing if we told them that they have more Ebola than anybody else. So we can’t isolate these coun­tries.” Lim­baugh does not under­stand the inability to isolate a country in the 21st century.

Since when did Ebola and political cor­rectness have any relation? People like Lim­baugh are taking advantage of the con­fusion to push their own agendas instead of actually addressing the problem. Disease is not the next political bat­tle­ground. Whether or not you are in favor of the travel sanc­tions or health screenings or deployment of troops, one thing is for sure: The focus must be Ebola and the pro­tection of American cit­izens from it.

Rea­sonable pre­cau­tions should be taken. The gov­ernment should warn Amer­icans against travel to infected areas. But medical per­sonnel will need to travel. Banning business travel will depress the African economies, making it harder to obtain medical treatment. All trav­elers from affected areas must be screened as they enter the U.S. The medical com­munity must develop and rig­or­ously practice con­tainment pro­ce­dures. The media should keep the public informed, but not pan­icked. The medical com­munity will be most effective and the media will be the most influ­ential in han­dling the issues of Ebola. When gov­ernment gets involved, unre­lated agendas get pushed.  We need a pri­ority check. Only once we have the country’s pri­or­ities in check — one of most important being the pro­tection of the life, liberty, and hap­piness of American cit­izens, which an Ebola out­break could severely com­promise — can we take the rea­sonable pre­cau­tions nec­essary to contain Ebola.