U.S., International Community Must Step Up Response To Ebola In DRC

TIME: The U.S. Helped Defeat Ebola in 2014. Now, We’re Watching a Crisis Become a Catastrophe
Gayle E. Smith, president and CEO of the ONE Campaign and former administrator of USAID

“…[T]his White House needs to decide whether it’s ready to … lead [on Ebola]. The World Health Organization (WHO) has only received half of the requested funds that are needed to fight the outbreak. While the United States certainly cannot solve this problem alone, we must rally the international community to fight this disease that knows no borders. We also need to get out of our own way. The United States has sent Centers for Disease Control personnel and USAID Disaster Assistance Response Teams — some of the most talented and courageous professionals on the planet — to DRC, but for security reasons, our government has kept them away from the areas hardest-hit by the virus. It’s risky of course, but our best resources need to be on the front line, not the sideline. As someone who has helped fight this ugly disease before, my experience compels me to speak out to Republicans, Democrats, and anyone who is in a position of influence about the steps we can take to help control this outbreak. Right now, we’re watching a crisis turn into a catastrophe. We have the tools to defeat Ebola. What we’re missing is the political will. The time to start caring about Ebola isn’t when it reaches the shores of the United States or Europe, it’s now. If we allow this inferno to engulf more communities and spread to more countries, we will not have Africa, the World Health Organization, or others to scapegoat. All we will need to assign blame is a mirror” (7/16).

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