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Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Angles Of Ebola Epidemic

Wall Street Journal: WHO Is Responsible?
Editorial Board

Noting comments made Monday by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan attributing the Ebola epidemic to “the result of neglect of ‘fundamental public health infrastructures,’” and, “‘Because Ebola has historically been confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually nonexistent,’” the editorial states, “So even as Dr. Chan denounces racist capitalism for indifference to Ebola, she is beseeching the same Western industry to compensate for her ineptitude — while also attempting to weaken or destroy the profit-making impetus to develop new cures and treatments and finance the world’s drug innovation. If she has a point about the economics of research and development for rare plagues, that’s why the U.S. spends billions of dollars on the National Institutes of Health and maintains other programs to search for pharmaceutical public goods. These public-private efforts — especially antiretroviral therapies for AIDS — have saved far more lives in poor countries than any political crusade the WHO has funded. The least Dr. Chan could do is apologize, instead of making the world’s last remaining free pharma markets her alibi” (11/4).

Washington Post: It’s too early to declare victory against Ebola
Editorial Board

“…Several factors may be at work [with a decline in Ebola cases in Liberia but surges in Sierra Leone and Guinea], and all of them suggest caution and vigilance. First, the totals are likely an undercount. … Second, the decline in Liberia is due in part to effective use of special burial teams, which make sure that the dead are safely interred without infecting relatives who, by custom, often touch the deceased. … A third and important factor is that, in this outbreak, Ebola has surged and then seemed to fade, only to come back again. … The Ebola virus epidemic demands a relentless, sustained response from the entire world until the fire is extinguished and the embers are cold. Right now, the fire is still burning” (11/4).

Roll Call: Making the Case for Foreign Aid: There Is No “Them” Only “Us”
Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and a physician, and Jenny Eaton Dyer, executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands

“…[The Ebola] outbreak is a stark reminder that our own health and prosperity is directly linked to that of the developing world. Foreign aid is a catalyst for building healthier families and communities — and in turn, helping our own. … As we consider how best to respond, let’s also consider how best to strengthen the infrastructure of health systems in poor countries, and how to provide simple interventions, like family planning, to save the lives of millions of mothers and children around the world” (11/5).

The New Yorker: Cuba’s Ebola Diplomacy
Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker staff writer

Foreign Policy: The Pulpit Takes On a Plague
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

The Hill: International aid is vital to combat the spread of Ebola
Gyude Moore, deputy head of Liberia’s Presidential Delivery Unit

New York Times: Treating Ebola Without Fear
Abraham Verghese, author and professor at Stanford University

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