As U.S. Bolsters Defenses Against Ebola, Price Tag Grows
President Barack Obama vows national defense against the disease but reminds Americans that the human toll in Africa is also worthy of their support. The administration also weighs tighter screening for international travelers.
Los Angeles Times: Obama Pulled 2 Ways In Responding To Ebola
President Obama talked up his administration's response to Ebola and the procedures standing as a line of defense against the spread of the virus in the U.S. while flanked by military and civilian advisors. After several minutes of this show of force, he ended with an unscripted message: the desperate circumstances and need for help fighting Ebola in West Africa. "Let's keep in mind that, as we speak, there are children on the streets dying of this disease — thousands of them," Obama told reporters Monday. "Obviously my first job is to make sure that we're taking care of the American people, but we have a larger role than that." The moment revealed a tension in the president's response to the deadly disease that's devastating parts of West Africa and causing fear in the United State (Hennessey, 10/7).
Politico: U.S. To Announce Tighter Ebola Screening This Week
Passengers flying into the U.S. from Ebola hotspots will soon have to go through additional screening steps — including temperature checks and health questionnaires — when they arrive in the country. Federal officials said they will announce the additional screening guidelines this week in a move that will serve as a safety precaution to calm nervous travelers — and a way to silence the growing chorus of lawmakers and outsiders calling for more administrative intervention (Caygle, 10/7).
The Associated Press: Report: Cost Of Ebola Could Top $32 Billion
The economic impact of the Ebola epidemic could reach $32.6 billion by the end of next year if the disease ravaging Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone spreads to neighboring countries in West Africa, the World Bank Group said Wednesday. The World Bank's assessment said the economic impact of Ebola is already serious in the three countries and could be catastrophic if it becomes a more regional health crisis (Reichmann, 10/8).
McClatchy: Airport Body Temperature Checks A Possibility In Anti-Ebola Effort
Airline passengers from Africa could soon have to submit to body temperature checks upon arrival in the U.S. as the Obama administration looks to toughen traveler screening requirements in response to the growing Ebola threat. “That’s the thing that’s on the table right now,” Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told CNN on Tuesday (Pugh, 10/7).
Boston Globe: Political Talk Adds To Ebola Apprehension
Senator Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, says US troops returning from service in West Africa could help bring Ebola to American shores. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas Republican governor, warns that the American government cannot be trusted to combat the threat. Senator Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat, charges that his Republican opponent favors billionaires instead of supporting preparation for an outbreak. The Ebola crisis in West Africa has entered a new sphere: political season in America (Bierman, 10/8).
CT Mirror: Connecticut Lawmakers Press GOP On Ebola
Rep. Rosa DeLauro has asked the Republican head of a panel with jurisdiction over the Department of Health and Human Services to convene a hearing as soon as possible on "the public threats posed by recent outbreaks of Ebola and Enterovirus D68," a flu-like disease that targets children. Congress is on break until after the Nov. 4 elections. But DeLauro, top-ranking Democrat on the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations subcommittee sent the chairman of the panel, Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., a letter "to ensure that Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health and the other public health agencies under our jurisdiction have sufficient resources to protect the public health and are taking the appropriate actions today to address it" (Radelat, 10/7).
The Washington Post: Connecticut Health Department Gets Power To Quarantine Possible Ebola Victims
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed an order Tuesday allowing the state health commissioner to order quarantines for individuals who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus, a step he said would help fight any possible outbreak. The order gives Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, authority to order isolation or quarantine for anyone believed to be exposed to or infected with the deadly virus (Wilson, 10/7).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: How One U.S. Hospital Braces For Ebola
In Connecticut, the idea of taking care of an Ebola patient is still just theoretical. However, one of the reasons that public health officials in the U.S. are confident that American hospitals could contain an outbreak is because they can accommodate the isolation and sanitation needed to keep the virus from spreading (Cohen, 10/8).