White House Must Step Up Efforts Against Ebola In DRC
Washington Post: The world’s second-worst outbreak of Ebola is underway in Congo. Where is the concern?
Ronald A. Klain, Washington Post contributing columnist and White House Ebola response coordinator from 2014 to 2015
“…Fighting Ebola in Congo is the sort of global health challenge that requires White House leadership. Adding significantly more U.S. disease fighters in Congo, and placing them closer to the outbreak, would be dangerous but needs to be considered; the White House has, so far, refused to allow it. Rallying nations in the region to put together a multinational, security-equipped response force needs a White House push. Preparing a vastly expanded response if the epidemic escalates — including potentially a mass vaccination campaign in Congo — requires White House-level resources. That is sadly missing. More broadly, the kind of outbreak seen in Congo — a deadly mix of disease, conflict, rejection of expert intervention, and violence — may be the new normal in global disease fighting. This is especially true as climate change exacerbates risk factors. Instead of ramping up efforts to confront these challenges, the White House recently proposed cutting back U.S. global investment in fighting infectious diseases. In 2014, there were no simple solutions to an Ebola epidemic that saw 1,000 new cases every week. The Obama administration took unprecedented action to help end that humanitarian crisis. It was risky, controversial, and difficult — just as doing so today would be. But when faced with challenges, great nations don’t sidestep, they step up” (3/15).