Tags: Barack Obama | Ebola Outbreak | Ebola | Obama | US | UN | global

Obama: Ebola 'Spiraling Out of Control,' World Must Act Quickly

By    |   Tuesday, 16 September 2014 07:03 PM

President Barack Obama said the deadly Ebola virus is "spiraling out of control" and called on the world to follow America's lead, and to act quickly, in the fight to eradicate it.

Speaking from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon, Obama warned that inaction could cause an exponential rise in victims, destabilizing western African nations and threatening world security.

"It is spiraling out of control. It is getting worse. It's spreading faster and exponentially," Obama said. The current thousands of victims could grow from thousands to hundreds of thousands without immediate action, he said.

Though the chances of Ebola spreading to the United States are low, "It's a potential threat to global security" if the economies of these countries break down, Obama said.

"This is an epidemic that's not just a threat to regional security. It's a threat to global security," he said.

The United States is deploying 3,000 military troops to coordinate civilian efforts. The effort will be based in Liberia after that country asked the United States to help. Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea have been hardest hit.

Obama said efforts will include an air bridge to get health workers and supplies there faster, as well as establishing a staging area in Senegal to help distribute personnel and aid on the ground more quickly.

The United States also will create new sites to train thousands of health workers. USAID will join in a community care campaign to help distribute supplies and information kits so families can better protect themselves.

There also will be additional treatment units, including isolation spaces and more than 1,000 beds.

The Pentagon is asking Congress to transfer $500,000 to USAID and the CDC to fund the effort.

"Today, the United States is doing even more, but this is a global threat and it demands a truly global response," Obama said. "International organizations just have to move faster than they have up until this point."

More nations need to contribute supplies, experienced personnel, and funding, he said. "And they need to deliver on what they pledge quickly."

Charities and philanthropists have helped also, and Obama urged them to continue in a coordinated fashion.

The United States is working with the United Nations to organize the effort, Obama said.

"The scenes we are witnessing in West Africa are absolutely gut-wrenching," he said, describing men, women, and children who can't get into treatment centers and who are just sitting and "waiting to die."

"It doesn't have to be this way," the president said.

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President Barack Obama said the deadly Ebola virus is "spiraling out of control," and called on the world to follow America's lead, and to act quickly, in the fight to eradicate it.
Ebola, Obama, US, UN, global, threat, out of control
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 07:03 PM
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