Casting about for an issue that might save his senate seat, Sen. Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat, has released an ad accusing his Republican opponent, Tom Cotton, of being soft on the Ebola issue. The ad accuses Cotton of voting against measures that would prepare the United States for pandemics “like Ebola.” The Cotton campaign suggests that Pryor, who is slightly behind in the polls in red state Arkansas, is getting desperate, according to a Tuesday story on NBC News.
Fear of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is quite real, according to Boston.com. A poll released by the Harvard School of Public Health and SSRS, an independent research company reports that 39 percent of American adults are concerned that there might be an Ebola outbreak in the United States. 26 percent fear that they or someone in their immediate family might catch Ebola sometime this year. Most medical experts suggest that fear is misplaced.
Thus far Ebola has been confined to West Africa, despite fears that people traveling from that region of the world might spread the deadly disease. Recently two medical missionaries who caught Ebola while treating patients in Africa were air lifted to Emory Hospital in the United States. They were given an experimental drug that cured them of the disease and were subsequently discharged. While there have been scares, there are no known cases of anyone coming down with Ebola in the United States.
The Real Clear Politics poll average has Cotton ahead of Pryor by three percentage points. While there are still a number of undecided voters in the race, President Obama remains wildly unpopular in Arkansas. Most analysts suggests that Pryor will have a tough time prevailing over Cotton, which is likely why he tossed the Hail Mary pass of trying to make Cotton seem to be in favor of people catching Ebola.