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Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss Ongoing Ebola Epidemic

The following editorials and opinion pieces address various aspects of the Ebola epidemic.

Wall Street Journal: The Ebola Stand
Editorial Board

“…Ebola is stoppable and there’s little reason to think that the world’s leading disease experts at the CDC aren’t ready to combat its spread — except these days government competence is all too often exposed as a fragile veneer. When an elite corps like the Secret Service can’t remember to lock the White House’s front door and alleged health technocrats can’t build a working ObamaCare website for less than $2 billion, a sense of low-level worry about Ebola seems more than reasonable” (10/5).

Washington Post: Missteps in handling the Ebola virus in the U.S. can’t be repeated
Editorial Board

“…A core requirement of managing a crisis like [Ebola] is that public health officials and political leaders maintain the public’s confidence. This premise applies just as well to the United States as it does to Africa, and in recent days, a significant misstep in Dallas has shaken that confidence…” (10/4).

Washington Post: Paying for wars against the Islamic State, Ebola and more
Editorial Board

“The cost of the new U.S. military operation in Iraq and Syria is already approaching $1 billion, according to a study released last week. The Pentagon has meanwhile launched a $750 million mission to fight Ebola in Africa and has committed to rotating U.S. troops through NATO countries bordering Russia. These are all justified initiatives with broad support from Congress and the public. But the budgetary foundation needed to sustain them is crumbling…” (10/5).

TIME: There’s a Solution to Ebola — It’s Called ‘Money’
Peter Doherty, co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

“…We could have been better prepared for his horrible Ebola epidemic, but who pays? The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has done a terrific job when it comes to countering developing world diseases, but they can’t do everything. One thing that would be inexpensive is to develop and distribute much better educational material using, for example, the cell phones that are as ubiquitous in developing countries as they are here. And are we in for a U.S. Ebola epidemic, or even a pandemic? I don’t think so, though we should take this as a warning and exercise ‘duty of care’ when it comes to sustaining our public health services” (10/3).

Wall Street Journal: Stopping Ebola Before It Turns Into a Pandemic
Scott Gottlieb, a physician and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute

“…The U.S. dropped the ball on advancing a number of promising Ebola drugs and vaccines over the last decade. Medical countermeasures floundered for years in preclinical testing, largely because funding was sparse, and regulators applied conservative terms to how they wanted these medical products to be tested. In short, there was no sense of urgency. Now there should be…” (10/3).

Huffington Post: In Ebola Crisis, a Commitment to Ensure Health Services
Leslie Mancuso, president and CEO of Jhpiego

“…As infectious disease experts marshal reinforcements, materials, and supplies to contain the Ebola outbreak and care for the sickest, those of us in the global health community have a responsibility to ensure that health workers on the front lines of the crisis have the support, proper training, and tools they need to do their jobs safely and with confidence. This support is integral to maintaining lifesaving health services for mothers and babies during this public health crisis…” (10/3).

The Guardian: Ebola must never again be allowed to claim lives for want of basic health care
Jim Murphy, Labour MP for East Renfrewshire and the shadow secretary of state for international development

“…As always, prevention is better than cure. … What matters now is stopping Ebola and ending the crisis, but the lesson for the future is clear: there is no substitute for adequate local health cover. … No one should die for want of the basic health care that many in the rest of the world take for granted. Over the next 15 years we can make that ambition a reality — and save and change millions of lives in the future…” (10/6).

Devex: Urgent needs and participation of women must be prioritized in Ebola response
Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund

“…As the world ramps up its response to the escalating Ebola crisis, women are being disproportionately affected, and their needs and participation should be prioritized in the response. … While immediate action is required to save lives, long-term investment is needed to significantly strengthen health systems and rapid response systems at all levels, with the full participation of women, men and youth to deal with the increasingly frequent and devastating emergencies that characterize our time” (10/3).

The Guardian: How to stop Ebola becoming an HIV-style pandemic
Jimmy Whitworth, head of population health at the Wellcome Trust

“…What are desperately needed are better tools for preventing future outbreaks. With Ebola, we are essentially relying on the same methods for controlling the epidemic that we had in the 1970s during the first outbreaks. We need better diagnostics, effective medicines and vaccines. While it is difficult to do research in these kinds of crisis settings, it is essential that we do make the effort in order to be better prepared for the next epidemic. Each time an Ebola outbreak occurs, we need to learn from each epidemic and take that forward to confront the next…” (10/6).

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