Ben Carson, a retired American neurosurgeon who is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election, has compared Syrian refugees to rabid dogs.

Rabies is very serious disease which, Wikipedia says, “causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling, with one or more of the following: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear it nearly always results in death.”

Actually, thinking about Carson’s comparison and the images featuring this humanitarian catastrophe, I can’t be sure that refugees have fever or tingling, but I have seen videos of these people making rapid and unpredictable movements, like someone who runs to reach a safe country. Families often show an uncontrolled excitement in approaching a new border, while many children have a fear of water when they reach land after days on a boat. Some lose consciousness on their trip to Europe, others are unable to move parts of the body when they arrive because of the cold they suffer for weeks.It’s also true that when refugees talk about their experience, sometimes their story seems confused.

Finally, we all know that these people die.  3,510 refugees and migrants are estimated to have died or gone missing at sea in 2015.

The comparison makes sense, and Carson is a doctor, he must know what he is talking about. Without these evidences, I would have thought Carlson was in an advanced state of confusion, most probably caused by rabies transmitted by the bite of a Syrian refugee (or many of them. I’m sure Carson has been meeting many refugees before informing American people about his diagnosis).

The only alternative is to think this man is suffering from a deep, unbelievable, extremely dangerous lack of humanity. And I like this second option infinitely less.

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