Earlier this week, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s Democratic governor, thanked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for “stopping the spread of the deadly virus being transmitted by a U.S. citizen who was infected while traveling overseas.”
Theresa Tucker of the National Association of State Public Health Officers questioned why the administration was politicizing the virus. “Governor McAuliffe should be focused on protecting Virginia citizens from this killer,” she said. “With two weeks to go, it is unnecessary to be scaring innocent Virginia families with this unnecessary scare.”
It is an especially important issue in Virginia, because the state’s elections are scheduled for April 11. There is no telling who could have been infected and what their decision could have been had their lives not been saved by intervention by the CDC.
Virginia health officials announced on March 15 that a 74-year-old man returning from Kenya had tested positive for the virus. With such a small number of cases, it is unlikely the virus poses a significant threat to elections in the state. The number of likely voters in Virginia is about 2.6 million people, which is in line with the turnout rate in the 2016 elections.