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Opinion Pieces, Editorial Discuss U.S. Approach To Ebola, African Aid

Opinion pieces and an editorial discuss the U.S. government’s approach to fighting Ebola and sending aid to Africa.

Washington Post: Why Ebola worries the Defense Department
Rick Noack, Arthur F. Burns Fellow at the Washington Post

“While the public discourse on Ebola has so far been fixated on the public health hazard caused by the disease itself, it may also have awoken an older fear for anti-terror agencies: Could a lethal disease actually be used as a bio-weapon? … The potential terror risk posed by Ebola does not only add a new dimension to the African outbreak, but it may also speed up efforts to find an effective treatment…” (8/5).

Washington Post: The real Ebola risk is to Africa, not the United States
“… The Ebola virus, while deadly, is most likely not coming to the United States. … With a well-developed public health infrastructure, the virus is not likely to become a contagion in the United States. … The outbreak in West Africa is severe, the largest recorded to date and the first in that part of the continent, and it is important to examine the reasons for it. … The Ebola virus can be stopped, but instead of hysteria, it needs a serious commitment of people and resources” (8/5).

Reuters: Violence or vaccines: Which way will U.S. choose in Africa?
Michael Shank, associate director for legislative affairs at the Friends Committee on National Legislation and adjunct professor at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

“U.S. military and police aid to all Africa this year totaled nearly $1.8 billion, with additional arms sales surpassing $800 million. In terms of ensuring Africa’s safety and security, however, the return on this investment is questionable. What if, for example, that money was instead spent eradicating pervasive viruses that are undermining Africa’s future? … The real terror on the continent remains the elusiveness of a sustainable, grass-roots development agenda that is genuinely inclusive. That should be Washington’s focus. It’s time to stop looking at Africa through the barrel of a gun” (8/6).

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