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Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic

The following editorials and opinion pieces discuss various aspects of the Ebola epidemic and responses to mitigate the virus’s spread.

Nature: Call to action
Editorial Board

“Science has so far taken a back seat as the Ebola outbreak has continued to spread. Research has deferred to the need to gear up the public health response. But there is a growing sense that, unless science can somehow now change the game, the outbreak will be difficult to bring under control. … Speeding the development of treatments and vaccines is one area in which the international community is trying to move forward. … More of [both high-containment facilities and money for research on diseases that are, thankfully, rare in developing countries], in more places, can only hasten our understanding of Ebola and other diseases. Because one thing is clear: whether it is Ebola virus, another filovirus or something completely different, there will be a next time” (10/29).

Wall Street Journal: ‘The Science’ vs. Ebola
Editorial Board

“Whatever the damage that the White House, liberals and the press corps say Ebola quarantines will do, their reaction to the state-imposed isolation policies has already done far worse. The federal contradictions and false claims of omniscience are adding to public confusion—and may discredit an important tool that the country will need if there is a major outbreak of Ebola or some other pathogen. … Quarantines are a matter of policy more than science — that is, balancing the costs of overreacting to a genuine risk against the benefits of reasonable precautions. The liberals who are ostentatiously portraying these trade-offs as akin to the suspension of habeas corpus are damaging science and especially public safety” (10/29).

Wall Street Journal: The Benefit of a Uniform Response to Ebola in the U.S.
Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation

“What looks like political wrangling or confusion in federal and state officials’ Ebola responses is a reflection of our complex public health system, which gives certain authorities to the federal government and others to the states. But however explainable as a product of American federalism, officials’ contradictory actions do little to reassure the public in a fast-changing environment where, here in the U.S., fear is as much an enemy as the virus itself. … Having multiple public health standards across the country for a virus that doesn’t care about state borders arguably isn’t good public health policy. Different standards in different states are not only likely to confuse people but could suggest that we don’t really know how to respond or, worse, that there might be an element of political positioning to the response. Americans value states’ rights to make decisions about many things, and our system of public health gives states leeway to tailor responses to their own circumstances. But when it comes to Ebola in the U.S. the enemy now is fear as much as the virus; a uniform response led by national public health professionals would reduce fears” (10/29).

Washington Post: Those who help Ebola patients should be honored, not punished
U.S. Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs

“The best way to protect Americans from Ebola is by stopping the virus at its source. … We cannot protect Americans at home without sending Americans to Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone. Instead of demonizing those who volunteer for service, through stigmatizing mandatory quarantines or the imposition of a travel ban, we should be honoring them. … The political pressure for tougher restrictions is mounting, while the need for volunteers to fight the virus is quickly growing. President Obama should issue a guarantee now that those willing to serve will have that service honored and their right to return home protected” (10/29).

New York Times: The Ebola Hysteria
Charles Blow, columnist

Humanosphere: Bill Foege on how to make Ebola worse
William Foege, physician, epidemiologist, and former head of the CDC

Forbes: Why Ebola Quarantines Will Grow Larger — And More Troubling
Scott Gottlieb, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

Nature: Developed nations must not fear sending Ebola help
Tim Inglis, medical microbiologist at the University of Western Australia

Reuters: Why quarantining Ebola patients is a states’ rights issue
Howard Markel, professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan and editor-in-chief of the health policy journal, The Milbank Quarterly

Huffington Post: University Doctors: We Need More Support Fighting Ebola in Africa
Sriram Shamasunder, assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSF and co-founder of the HEAL Initiative, and Phuoc Le, assistant professor at UCSF and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health

The Hill: The vaccine against the virus of oppression
Ali Soufan, former FBI supervisory special agent and CEO of the Soufan Group, and Matthew Daniels, director of the Center for Human Rights and International Affairs at the Institute of World Politics

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