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Opinion Pieces, Letters To Editor Discuss Issues Surrounding Ebola Outbreak

The following opinion pieces and letters to the editor address issues surrounding the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

Wall Street Journal: Ebola’s Warning for an Unprepared America
Scott Gottlieb, an American Enterprise Institute resident fellow, and Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute

“…President Obama has put the Pentagon in charge of a robust, 3,000-person U.S. relief effort in the stricken areas. This is a positive step, but the world is still dangerously ill-prepared for the fight against pandemic outbreaks. … While Ebola may still be contained, other potentially calamitous threats are out there. … We need to rethink our preparedness and adopt a more modern approach for dealing with these and other looming outbreaks. The failure thus far to confront and fight Ebola comes from shortfalls in three areas: gauging the true scope of the outbreak, deploying therapeutics to effectively combat the virus, and delivering medical equipment and personnel. Fixing these limitations should be the priority in dealing with this epidemic and the next one…” (9/16).

New England Journal of Medicine: Ebola in a Stew of Fear
Gregg Mitman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“…Unless aid workers and the media understand local fears, we may fail to stem the crisis, which is devastating the economy, health, and well-being of a nation with deep historical ties to the United States. Modern medicine owes a debt to West Africans for past sacrifices made in the advancement of global health. This week’s announcement by President Barack Obama of a U.S. commitment to build 17 Ebola treatment centers in Liberia, train medical workers, provide testing kits, and offer logistic support is a welcome and needed response. It should be the start of a long-term, concerted effort to strengthen the public health infrastructure, which is critical to the region’s future stability” (9/17).

National Review: The Fear and Science of Ebola
Marc Siegel, professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Medical Center

“…Don’t get me wrong. With over 4,000 cases of Ebola now in West Africa and no end to the current outbreak in sight, we certainly need all the public health resources and money we can get to squash the current outbreak. But fear and hype are not the best way to contain contagions. … The U.S.’s new military initiative, sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to help control Ebola while adding U.S. Public Health Service personnel and building 17 new facilities to handle 100 patients, is a positive step, provided that it introduces a calm order to things rather than more fear to a chaotic region…” (9/18).

New York Times: Getting Help to Ebola’s Victims
The newspaper published several letters to the editor regarding Ebola, including letters from Alison Harrill, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Barry Levy, former CDC medical epidemiologist; Priya Lal, assistant professor of African history at Boston College; and Michael Myers, a managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, among others (9/17).

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