Jason Riley: Governors Trying To Respond to Federal "Confidence Void" on Ebola

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CHARLES LANE, WASHINGTON POST: So I think the only principle that governs this that I can tell is that everybody is trying to figure out the most politically advantageous way to present their policy. And it is no accident that two of the three governors involved in this, O'Malley and Christie are running for president, the other one, Cuomo is running for re-election, they're all trying to find the political sweet spot for using executive powers to look presidential.

JASON RILEY, WSJ: There may be something to that, but you could also defend them on a pragmatic basis. These governors are responding to a confidence void at a federal level, that's what's going on here. The governors are understandably frustrated, I liken it to the illegal immigration issue, there are state and local officials on the front lines having to respond to anxieties from the public, they're trying to do what they feel is necessary.

What we have gotten from the federal government is a string of false assurances. The chances of Ebola coming to America are remote, proved not to be true. We can handle it by screening at airports, proved not to be true. Doctors can self quarantine, proved not to be true.

The public is becoming anxious because they have been told untruths and they have learned that the federal government and the CDC don't know what they're talking about a lot of the time. And the governors are trying to respond to that anxiety. Is it a blunt instrument? Yes, but it is easy to understand why they are trying to go down this road.

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