Some of the more significant quotes concerning the battle with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa included Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Sirleaf, who sent a letter to United States President Barack Obama on Sept. 9 seeking US assistance with the outbreak.
“Without more direct help from your government, we will lose this battle against Ebola,” Ms Johnson Sirleaf wrote to Mr Obama requesting the US to build and operate at least one Ebola treatment unit in the capital Monrovia.
Ms Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola treatment centres were full and turning away the sick. “We are sending them home where they are a risk to their families and the communities,” she wrote.
“I am being honest with you when I say that at this rate, we will never break the transmission chain and the virus will overwhelm us.
“Only governments like yours have the resources and assets to deploy at the pace required to arrest the spread.”
World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan continued to speak of the tragedy in West Africa saying, “In the three hardest hit countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the number of new patients is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them. We need to surge at least three to four times to catch up with the outbreaks.”
The recent decision by the US President to involve the US military in the Ebola crisis has one Pentagon officials saying something many consider controversial. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said at a recent meeting: “The Department of Defense’s number one priority is combating Ebola.”
One person questioning this decision is House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif. who said Thursday, “We keep asking our military to do more and more. The other day I saw that they’re going to be asked to go help solve the Ebola crisis,” McKeon said. “And at the same time we’re saying go do this, and then taking away their resources with the other hand – it doesn’t make sense.”
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) global health expert, Laurie Garrett concurred saying, “the cavalry is not going to ride to the rescue.”
Some of the biggest news on the EVD outbreak has been concerning the possibility of mutation causing it to go airborne.
CIDRAP director at the University of Minnesota, Michael Osterholm, PhD wrote in an Op-Ed Thursday, “The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has the potential to alter history as much as any plague has ever done.“
In the Op-Ed, Osterholm lays out two possible turns the outbreak could take, one includes mutation and airborne transmission. Is Osterholm playing “Chicken Little” in this Op-Ed as some may conclude? Check it out and decide for yourself.