Obama Expected to Announce US Aid to Help Contain Ebola Tuesday During Atlanta Visit

President Obama will be in Atlanta on Tuesday visiting the Centers of Disease Control, and is expected to announce additional American efforts to fight the Ebola virus that is threatening several countries in Africa. The New York Times provides a preview of what is expected to be announced at his visit:

The president will go beyond the 25-bed portable hospital that Pentagon officials said they would establish in Liberia, one of the three West African countries ravaged by the disease, officials said. Mr. Obama is expected to offer help to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the construction of five Ebola treatment centers around Monrovia, with about 500 beds.

In addition, Mr. Obama is expected to announce that he is appointing a woman as an Ebola czar to coordinate the American response, along with an increase in the number of doctors and other health care workers being sent to West Africa. The military is likely to provide medical supplies and training for African health care workers as they seek to contain the virus.

Trying to nip what could be a major epidemic in the bud is admirable, of course. For many Atlantans, however, this could be a bigger immediate concern:

Emory University Warns of Traffic Problems.

43 comments

  1. gcp says:

    500 million dollars, 2000 to 3000 U.S. troops to Africa to combat Ebola? This is a job for WHO, the U.N., and the various NGOs; not the US military.

    Almost makes one believe Obama is trying to compensate for his foreign policy failures in other areas.

  2. Michael Silver says:

    Funny how there is never enough money or manpower to secure our border and deport the Immigration Cheats but plenty of money and manpower to send to another continent and international NGO’s.

  3. PegM says:

    Our troops were trained to fight with guns, missiles and other tangibles. They were NOT trained to fight Ebola which to this date, has nothing that will kill it…thus our guys go to war without weapons and little hope for survival. Does Obama think the military is his personal servant staff to do all his bidding regardless of their defined purpose? This just irks the hell out of me.

    • David C says:

      You know, the army does have doctors and engineers and all these other things beyond guns and missiles, right? And those are the people who have been announced are going? And the military frequently is used to provide humanitarian aid in disaster circumstances like this, under Republican and Democratic Presidents alike, as seen in roughly hundreds of recruitment ads I’ve seen the Navy air talking about what they did after the Tsunami and in Haiti on TV?

      Seriously, read the article. The idea that this is the 82nd Airborne flying in to bust heads or that Obama thinks the military is “his personal servant staff to do all his bidding” is nonsensical as it is insulting.

    • TheEiger says:

      The military does a lot more than drop bombs. One of the largest things it does is humanitarian aide. Like the aide that is needed in West Africa right now. The reason they are going is because they are specifically trained for this type of scenario.

    • Ellynn says:

      My 2nd cousin is currently on the USS Comfort. He has not fired a gun since ROTC in the late 90’s. He has served on medical missions in places he can’t talk about. He is trained to treat highly infectous visus in order to protect our country. The US Army Mortary service is trained to handle burial of containtated remains, which is the largest spreading point of the virsus to date. Who better to train the local ‘African health care workers’. Because that is what they will be doing. Not all military personal are combat fighters.

      This is not the first time the US military has helped in a medical globel crisis. Obama is not even the first president to offer medical aid to parts of Africa, nor the first time the US has offered help or supplies to fight Ebola. All it takes is one person getting on a plane who believes he is healthy and lands at one of the top ten largest airports in the world to have this spread like wildfire.

      Just one lone person on a plane…

      • gcp says:

        The military can facilitate aid in emergency situations such as earthquake, flood, tsunami mainly because they are the only entity that can handle such a mission. Ebola is not such a situation. It is not an emergency and in fact it has been a problem for several years. It is appropriately handled by other entities; not the US military.

        • TheEiger says:

          Where are you getting your information. The U.S. military is more that able to handle the situation in west Africa.

          • gcp says:

            Of course the military could handle it. That’s not the issue. The issue is should they handle it? I say no.

            This is not a situation where infastructure, roads, airports are destroyed as in an earthquake or tsunami where the victims need basic living supplies which the military supplies by C130, Chinooks, humvees.This is a disease, which them US military has no business handling.

            One more time; let the NGOs, U.N., WHO and the other African countries handle it.

            • TheEiger says:

              The NGOs, U.N. and WHO are there and they need help. That help is called the U.S. military. I guess you are in the camp of people that believe we should just let them all die because West Africa isn’t in our back yard. Got it.

              • gcp says:

                And when has the military responded overseas to a disease? Bush did not use the military to assist on AIDs in Africa. It was civilian assistance.

                I would urge all concerned about Ebola to give to NGOs such as Med Teams International, Doctors w/o Borders and the other groups currently working in the area.

                BTW I have heard nothing from the UN screaming for help over there. Are they on the ground? And what about other countries?

                I am just cynical enough to believe Obama is trying to divert attention from his other foreign policy messes.

                • TheEiger says:

                  Whether you want to admit it or not, this is a real threat that the U.S. needs to take leadership on.

                  I think Obama is one of the worst Presidents this country has had in quite awhile and your belief that he is using this to divert attention away from other things is not unreasonable. But we must do something to help stop the spread of Ebola and in this case the President is doing the correct thing.

                  “Humanitarian aid organizations and U.S. health officials have called on increased support form the international community in recent weeks, warning that the window was closing on the opportunity to be able to successfully contain the spread of the virus. On Sept. 3, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden released a statement saying that the disease was outpacing the current response effort.”

                  “The window of opportunity to stop Ebola from spreading widely throughout Africa and becoming a global threat for years to come is closing, but it is not yet closed,” Frieden said. “If the world takes the immediate steps—which are direct requests from the front lines of the outbreak and the presidents of each country—we can still turn this around.”

                  http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20140915/NEWS/309159964/obama-to-detail-increased-u-s-efforts-against-ebola

                  • gcp says:

                    Well yeah, that statement is from Obama’s CDC Director. No surprise there. And where is all that “international community” aid?

                    • TheEiger says:

                      Have you ever met or heard Dr. Frieden speak? Probably not. I know him. If he says that Ebola is a danger I believe him. Where exactly did you get your medical degree and vast knowledge of Ebola? I can tell there is not need to continue argue with you.

                  • gcp says:

                    Eiger, no “reply” function on your 2:24pm comment but my reply is I don’t need a medical degree, a nursing degree or a phd to know appropriate use of the military. And once again I did not say Ebola is not a problem. And that “leadership” issue, well that’s another discussion.

                    No, I have not met Frieden but I have toured parts of the Clifton Rd. facility, met with prior security director and am familiar with some of their procedures. Some of their capabilities are impressive. My quarrel is not with the CDC as an entity. My issue is Obama and his use of the military.

                • HueyMahl says:

                  You call it cynical, I call it blind partisanship.

                  First, I’ll call you out the statement “all the foriegn policy disasters”. Compared to Bush Jr. and the 100s of thousands of deaths he caused through foreign policy “mistakes”, Obama is outstanding. Even compared to average presidencies, he has had few, if any, serious foreign policy decisions I would call a mistake.

                  But the big reason to call you out is your comparison of an AIDS disaster rolling out in slow motion over a period of decades vs. a flash Ebola epidemic. It is the difference between a car wreck patient and a patient with a terminal disease. You call the paramedics (US Military) to the first one, long term care physicians (WHO, UN, etc) to the second. And as pointed out above, WHO et al are already there and they can’t handle it.

                  • gcp says:

                    I agree, Bush foreign policy was a disaster but Obama is just a continuation of a disfunctional foreign policy. Can you please tell me why we are still in Afghanistan; over 1000 of our troops lost and billions wasted on Obama’s watch. And Libya? Four of our people dead and the country is a mess.

                    As for Ebola, its been around since the late 70s early 80s. Sorry but its not a military responsibility.

                • Ellynn says:

                  December 28, 2004, Operation Unified Assistance, to help with the India Ocean tsunami.The USS Mercy, along with the Commision Corps of the US Public Health Service, was the primary point in the treatment and prevention of the spread of cholra and typhoid. The military mortary service was involved in the burial of thousands of remains to also prevent the spread of water and air bourne illness. Tons of medical supplies were dropped by the US airforces.

                  We are the United States Of America, and we are the epitome of what is exceptional mercy, compassion and medical inovation. We are the diamond encrusted gold plated platnium engraved standard that all other medical and military programs strive to become. We are the country of last resort. If you don’t like being the flag holder of what is the right thing to do, http://www.Delta.com can help.

  4. Will Durant says:

    Perhaps it is also the case that half a billion dollars only represents one tenth of one percent of the “Defense” budget.

    • Will Durant says:

      Or to put this in perspective for those of you concerned with a budget shortfall for “Defense”. They can almost make it up by cancelling just 3 of the proposed 2,443 F35 Fighters. BTW, I am not anti-military and would want needed future cuts to not come from getting rid of highly trained personnel but from overblown programs like the F35 that become more near and dear to the contractors’ and therefore the politicians’ hearts.

      • gcp says:

        I have screamed for years about useless military spending: the F22, an NSA franchise at Fort Gordon to ensure Gordon stays open forever, military involvement in Afghanistan, a useless bombing campaign in Libya, no current BRAC program, too many folks on active duty.

        This Ebola response is another unnecessary use of the military.

            • HueyMahl says:

              A worthy organization. But they don’t have the resources to respond timely to this emergency. Only we do.

              In the long-term, I would love for these types of agencies to be more robust and able to handle major emergent disasters. In the short term, I favor saving lives over dogmatic ideology.

  5. saltycracker says:

    Big military cuts, more coming and add foreign healthcare duties.
    Next they’ll dedicate a smaller NASA to building relationships with Muslim nations……oh, never mind.

  6. PegM says:

    I just listened to the President’s announcements. The military is being deployed for command and control and engineering. He said nothing about military health support. He did say public health officials will be used. If this is a global crisis, which it may well be, where is the UN and the rest of the world leaders. I’m just tired of us being the only ones to help the rest of the world…no one came to our aid in Katrina, Sandy or in floods and tornados. I’d like to see a coalition of the free world working together with joint resources to help other countries, not just us being the lone ranger.

    • TheEiger says:

      Well , you didn’t listen very well. He clearly said they would be helping set up filed hospitals and training people on the ground how to handle patients. He also said that the military would be in charge of logistics to help get other heath professionals into the country safety. What is wrong with you people? Now you are just flat out lying about the facts. Come on. Why must you lie?

      Who knew that I would ever have to be on Peach Pundit defending this President. Some of ya’ll are just crazy. There are people dieing in West Africa from one of the most horrible disease that we have ever seen. And you say let them die. We need compassion for the people suffering over there right now and not more tin foil for your stupid conspiracy theory hats.

      “Not being the lone ranger.” Did you hear the part at the end where he said we thank every country that has offered to help and we except that help to come now and not later? ” Or did you not listen to anything at all?

    • TheEiger says:

      “The president said the U.S. would also create “an air bridge” to get health workers and medical supplies to West Africa faster, and build a training site where military doctors and nurses would instruct thousands of African aid workers on best practices to confront the disease.”

      “The administration is also planning to build 17 hospitals, each with 100 beds, for those suffering from Ebola, and the U.S. will dispatch additional public health officials to assist with the effort.”

      http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/217920-obama-ebola-outbreak-spiraling-out-of-control

      You are entitled to continue to live in your own little world, but please quit misrepresenting the truth. I am the most pro-Republican, conservative, hat everything that usually comes out of Obama’s mouth guy. But you are the type of person that makes us all look like the party of uncaring pieces of crap that the liberals want to paint us as. Stop it.

  7. Ellynn says:

    WHO is the health arm of the UN. They have been there for over 6 months. Over the weekend, they made a globle call for help. Britain, Canada, India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Union, France, and the Uganda areinvolved. The United States has already given $100 million in aid and funds. The World Bank has given money. The Gates Foundation has given over $50 Million. At least 11 major non-profit health worker organizations have workers on the ground. The Red Cros and the Red Crecent has been there for months…

    • Ellynn says:

      We are not doing this alone. What we are doing is LEADING.

      When Sen. Lamar Alexander and I argee on something, it is all likelyhood should be done.

  8. George Chidi says:

    Our interests are at stake.

    First and foremost, if ebola isn’t contained, it will spread and eventually damage trade and threaten lives outside of Africa. The rate of spread has become dangerous enough for the UN to call for immediate international assistance. And that’s the kind of thing the US tends to deliver in a military uniform.

    Second, ebola threatens Nigeria, the source of roughly 10 percent of US oil imports, roughly $11 billion a year.

    Third, the U.S. has found itself competing for resources with China in West Africa. The Chinese have been building infrastructure — roads, ports, communications — for years, and are poised to overcome the United States as the largest source of foreign capital on the continent. China is exercising some soft power there. But among Africans, it’s commonly understood that the Chinese hate Africans, that they exercise a kind of racial bigotry in terms that would make the typical League of the South member cringe. China’s relationship with Africa isn’t colonial, exactly, but it’s a transaction, meant to take place with maximum advantage.

    Africa’s economy has been growing faster than almost anywhere — China excepted. Much of the continent is starting to figure out how to function in a post-colonial international society. It’s been ugly going, but it’s getting better, and Wall Street recognizes that Africa may be the last frontier for long-term alpha profits. Access to those markets will depend on some goodwill. The fact that high-performing Africans tend to emigrate to the US (or London, when they can) has built some of that goodwill. Acts like the ebola initiative here builds on that.

    I was a soldier for years. This is the sort of mission I would have been screaming to join. Low likelihood of shooting someone, high likelihood of contributing to the preservation of life.

    The cost is peanuts, compared to what might be gained.

    • George Chidi says:

      A note: China is sending medical assistance to Sierra Leone. They sent a 59-person team from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control this morning, to make a contingent of 174 people on the ground.

      Someone tell me, exactly, what we would look like if we didn’t at least match that.

      Notably, the Chinese media is freaked out because Guangzhou has all of 30,000 Africans living there.

      • saltycracker says:

        US charities will top China’s 174 and per your link so will our military:
        We should get as excited over the VA….

        “Washington plans to order 3 000 US military personnel to west Africa, while US advisors will train up to 500 health care providers per week in Liberia – the country hardest-hit by the epidemic.”

        • Ellynn says:

          Some of us do get this worked up over the VA. Let’s just say a US congressman (and his staff) come the end of the year will be happy he no longer has to answer my letters…

        • George Chidi says:

          Given that we have about 1.3 million people on active duty today, I suggest that we’re not risking the republic by sending 500 somewhere they’re not getting shot at. It’s probably worth mentioning that we in all likelihood have 3000 US military personnel, right now, of first-generation West African descent — roughly 65,000 service members are first-generation immigrants.

          As far as the VA goes — well, again. 1.3 million people. The VA isn’t a mess because we were fighting diseases in foreign countries. It’s screwed up because objectives and incentives weren’t aligned.

    • gcp says:

      Interestingly Nigeria has one of the better responses to Ebola. They have in place a strong screening for incoming persons, also have a relatively strong educational program for its citizens. As reported by PBS they don’t have near the problems with Ebola as some of the other African nations.

      • George Chidi says:

        And that’s the hidden story of all of this.

        Fun fact: roughly one in five Nigerians in America works in health care, a higher proportion than almost any other ethnic subgroup. Nigerians here are four times more likely to have a doctorate than the population at large. Emory, Grady and Atlanta Medical Center would come close to collapse if every Nigerian doctor and nurse were suddenly deported.

        I suspect there’s been no shortage of authoritative advice coming from the states. And money. And private medical personnel. My dad — a physician — runs a relief clinic in Nigeria annually. Many Nigerian expatriot doctors do. I suspect they’ve been moving their calendars up.

        The only reason there’s even been one case in Nigeria is because some miserable international bureaucrat for ECOWAS evaded quarantine when he became infected. He lived: the doctor who treated him clandestinely died. And the public in Nigeria want to put this guy’s head on a stick.

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