Two days after Florida’s gubernatorial debate turned into FanGate, Gov. Rick Scott convened a press conference in Dania Beach to talk about a more serious subject: Ebola.
The Republican incumbent assured reporters that Florida was prepared for a potential health crisis — and repeated calls for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contact passengers on a plane that stopped at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after carrying an Ebola patient.
"The CDC and the federal government have already failed to get ahead of the spread of Ebola in Texas and we’re not going to let that happen in Florida," Scott said.
But some observers say the news conference Friday was about more than emerging health concerns, pointing out that no cases of Ebola have been reported in Florida, and healthcare professionals consider it highly unlikely that any Fort Lauderdale passengers caught the virus.
"He’s playing politics with fear," said Charles Zelden, a professor of history, law and politics at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. "He’s following the Republican Party playbook, which is to scare people into voting — and he’s trying his darndest to put FanGate behind him."
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