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Obama Calls For Strengthened Outbreak Preparedness At Global Health Security Agenda Meeting

News outlets report on a meeting among world leaders and public health officials held on Friday at the White House to discuss the Global Health Security Agenda. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry called for more preparations for disease outbreaks, including long-term strategic planning.

The Hill: Obama urges global commitment to fight Ebola outbreak
“President Obama urged dozens of the world’s top health and security officials on Friday to join the fight against Ebola and take steps to improve their own countries’ health systems to ‘make sure we never see a tragedy on this scale again’…” (Ferris, 9/26).

The Hill: U.S. urges global effort to prevent future outbreaks
“…Speaking to health and security officials from 44 countries, Secretary of State John Kerry [at the meeting] said all nations depend on each other to detect and contain outbreaks within their borders and must make public health a long-term priority…” (Ferris, 9/26).

The Hill: Week ahead: Health officials race to contain Ebola
“…President Obama is pressuring health and security officials across the globe to join the effort, urging them to dedicate any resource they can, from basic supplies to advanced medical technologies. Obama is also challenging countries to use the momentum surrounding Ebola to prevent future outbreaks…” (Ferris, 9/29).

New York Times: Obama Urges Global Effort to Help Prevent Epidemics
“…Mr. Obama’s remarks were the centerpiece of a daylong meeting the White House organized in February, before the current Ebola outbreak. Mr. Obama’s aides said the goal was to persuade other countries to treat biological threats — whether manufactured or natural — as national security issues that need to be prevented or contained…” (Shear, 9/26).

Politico: President Obama: Ebola a U.S. ‘national security priority’
“…The world’s lack of preparedness for outbreaks like Ebola is ‘unacceptable,’ Obama declared at a Global Health Security Agenda Summit at the White House. Obama said nations must address disease outbreaks and other biological dangers ‘as the security threats that they are’ and not just as humanitarian and economic concerns…” (Levine, 9/26).

Reuters: U.S. says diseases like Ebola should be viewed as security threats
“…Top U.S. officials from the White House, Pentagon, and State Department met with representatives from 44 countries and multilateral agencies, including the United Nations and World Bank, to call for implementation of seven-year-old global standards for dealing with deadly epidemics and other health dangers, including biological attacks…” (Morgan, 9/26).

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Crisis: Obama Says World Needs to Better Prepare for Outbreaks
“…In comments that echoed a speech at the United Nations on Thursday, Mr. Obama called on world leaders to do more to combat Ebola and prepare for future outbreaks of diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and swine flu…” (Sparshott, 9/26).

Washington Post: Global leaders ‘answer call’ against deadly outbreaks such as Ebola
“…Secretary of State John F. Kerry said the United States and other nations need to ‘help countries in West Africa beat back the epidemic, which we can do if we respond properly, but we also need to look ahead and think about what this means … and think about the long-term imperatives’…” (Eilperin, 9/26).

Washington Post: Obama issues health gear challenge to innovators
“…During the Global Health Security Agenda Summit held at the White House on Friday, President Obama encouraged the global community to see epidemics as security issues. He issued a challenge to innovators to create protective health gear that would be less hot…” (9/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.