LP Texas candidate
Newsweek ran a story covering the libertarian viewpoint on how to handle an Ebola outbreak, quoting Texas Libertarians Kathie Glass and Lauren Daugherty and national Libertarian Party Political Director Carla Howell.
Glass, the Libertarian candidate for Texas governor, said that forced isolation is acceptable if it’s absolutely necessary.
“If you are a threat to other innocent people, that’s an act of aggression,” Glass told Newsweek. “When someone has fatal disease, a deadly communicable disease, that’s an act of aggression to go around and expose other people to it.”
“But,” she added, “we should be careful that we are not just wantonly violating someone’s liberty.”
Howell also warned Newsweek that restraint is in order. She wrote in an email to Newsweek: “The sole purpose of government is to protect our life, liberty, and property from harm caused by others in those few instances where the private sector cannot do a better job. Containing Ebola in Africa is best left to private charities such as Doctors Without Borders, rather than the NIH [National Institutes of Health] or the CDC. Screening is better handled by airlines and private hospitals that are both liable for damages and fully free of government red tape. (Sadly, no such hospitals exist today in the United States).”
She also stated in her email, not all of which was included in the article: “Like virtually all government bureaucracies, those involved with controlling epidemics spend too much, are ineffective relative to private and voluntary efforts, and violate individual rights. They overstate and overreact to public health threats. Witness the public school in Pennsylvania that decided to do vaginal exams for HPV on 11-year-old girls without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Or Gov. Rick Perry’s mandate to give girls the Gardasil HPV vaccine produced by Merck, which donated $355,000 to his presidential campaign. Such government abuse illustrates why we must routinely expose, scrutinize, downsize, and/or eliminate government programs and agencies that overspend or that do more harm than good.”