Mainstream scientists assure us that Ebola poses very little threat to Americans; unless you’re a health worker who cares for the infected, Ebola is almost impossible to catch in a rich, modern society. Yet many populists and borderline conspiracy theorists are convinced that the experts are seriously understating the danger. In their contrarian opinion, we desperately need to close the border now.
Fortunately, this is an easy argument to put to a bet
. My tentative offer: $100 says that less than 300 people will die of Ebola within the fifty United States by January 1, 2018. I’m willing to switch to “Unless the U.S. changes its Ebola-related policies, $100 says that less than 300 people will die of Ebola within the fifty United States by January 1, 2018,” but then we’d have to carefully define what policy changes count.
I will make this bet with up to five individuals with sufficient reputation to make payment likely if they lose. I’m also happy to entertain alternative bets. Propose them in the comments or email me directly.