Obama orders rapid response team for Ebola in the US

The president directed U.S. health officials to establish a team responsible for handling U.S. patients diagnosed with the disease.

Obama orders rapid response team for Ebola in the US

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was ordered Wednesday by President Barack Obama to establish a rapid response team to deal with the Ebola virus in the U.S.

Obama cancelled previously scheduled campaign trips to convene a Cabinet meeting to discuss his administration’s response to U.S. cases of the virus.

Briefing reporters at the White House following the meeting, the president said that health officials are examining everything that happened since Thomas Eric Duncan was initially taken to a Dallas hospital exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Duncan was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. and subsequently died last week.

Two nurses who helped to treat Duncan at Texas Presbyterian Hospital tested positive for the virus, raising fears of an outbreak in the U.S.

“I am absolutely confident that we can prevent a serious outbreak of the disease here in the United States,” Obama said. “But it becomes more difficult to do so if this epidemic of Ebola rages out of control in West Africa,” he said, while adding that the risk of a serious outbreak in the U.S. is “extraordinarily low.”

The Ebola virus has killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa and could infect as many as 1.4 million people by mid-January, according to World Health Organization estimates.

Obama, European leaders discuss Ebola, ISIL

President Barack Obama also held a video conference Wednesday with European leaders to discuss the international response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi discussed steps that have been taken to counter the spread of the virus and Obama called for a faster and more robust international response, emphasizing the need for international assistance and contributions to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, a White House statement said.

 Obama said the outbreak constitutes not just a human tragedy but a threat to international security as well as the "leaders agreed to work together to enlist greater support from more countries and to coordinate their efforts on the ground."

The group also discussed U.S. coalition efforts in the campaign against ISIL, including stemming the flow of foreign fighters and building the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces and the moderate Syrian opposition. 

Obama highlighted the importance of countering ISIL propaganda, and U.S. efforts to put forward a vision that contrasts with ISIL’s ideology in the region. 

At a State Department press conference, the U.S special envoy to the coalition said airstrikes have failed to impede ISIL’s momentum in some areas but succeeded in others.

“We had come in early along with the intention that the airstrikes were to buy white space to impede the tactical momentum of ISIL. And that, in fact, has occurred in some areas. They still retain some tactical momentum in other areas,” Gen. John Allen said.

His candid remarks come as ISIL is set to take control of Iraq’s Anbar province while the group advances toward the capital of Baghdad. The northern Syrian town of Kobani also apprears ready to fall to the militant group despite intensive airstrikes in both areas.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ekim 2014, 10:34