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Editorials, Opinion Piece Discuss Issues Surrounding Ebola Response

The following editorials and opinion piece discuss various issues related to the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Nature: First response, revisited
Editorial Board

“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has starkly exposed major gaps in plans to tackle emerging infectious diseases. Lessons must be learned. … If member states want the WHO to be more active in outbreak response, they must fund it adequately. But the slow and bureaucratic WHO must also demonstrate that it is up to the task, and can spend its money wisely and act fast” (9/23).

Washington Post: We must prioritize drug development to fight Ebola
Editorial Board

“…Intense development work on experimental drugs and vaccines is underway in the United States and United Kingdom, but it is not simple to create a new treatment, put it through clinical trials and manufacture it. Sensitive ethical and logistical questions surround these new remedies, especially if there is a limited supply. Although the need is urgent, rigorous testing for safety and efficacy cannot be short-circuited. But the government, researchers and the private sector must make the quest for therapeutics and vaccines a high priority in case the worst-case scenarios come true” (9/24).

New York Times: The Ebola Fiasco
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

“The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is a tragedy. But, more than that, the response to it has been a gross failure. It’s a classic case where early action could have saved lives and money. … We would never tolerate such shortsightedness in private behavior. If a roof leaks, we fix it before a home is ruined. If we buy a car, we add oil to keep the engine going. Yet in public policy — from education to global health — we routinely refuse to invest at the front end and have to pay far more at the back end. … Yet the worst consequence of our myopia isn’t financial waste. It’s that people are dying unnecessarily of Ebola. It’s that some children in the United States grow up semiliterate. And it’s the risk that the cost of leaders’ mismanagement of Ebola will be borne by children going without vaccines” (9/24).

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