For those who are confused as to what the United States and slavery have to do with Liberia, Liberia was founded as an American colony under the presidency of James Monroe as a place for freed slaves and their families to live. Â The US basically set them up and severed the colonial cord in 1847. Â So, while it is technically true that Liberia exists because of the United States and slavery, they have been on their own since before the U.S. Civil War. Â In the meantime, after the Americo-Liberian minority lost power in 1980, there have been two Liberian civil wars, if that says anything.
As for cutting them off, as David Quammen puts it, there is no iron-clad way to do this. Â However, given that Liberians are willing to lie to immigration officials in order to come here for Ebola treatment and not caring who they expose or infect with the Ebola virus along their journey, we CAN refuse entry to the US to anyone who is from or has traveled in Liberia or any other country where Ebola has reached epidemic proportions other than our own citizens. Â It would be helpful if the rest of the world would play along, or there’s going to be Ebola everywhere and not a darn thing we can do about it. Â At least Americans infected overseas are voluntarily quarantining themselves.
When it comes to helping the countries that are infected, humanitarian efforts are, of course, laudable. Â However, until those countries themselves take some sort of quarantine measures, nothing is going to change and millions of people are going to die. Â We in the United States cannot do this for them. Â And that is the point that Quammen misses.