Obama Steps Up and Shows Republicans How It’s Done While Knocking Down Ebola Hysteria

President Obama

President Obama is on this. The Ebola response is not going to be passively, continuously botched like the Katrina response was, even with the massive cuts to disease prevention. Not if President Obama has anything to say about it.

The President has directed a stepped up response to the Ebola crisis.

Watch President Barack Obama brief the American people on the government’s response to Ebola and what they need to know and can do:

Obama explained what he was doing to step up our response to the Ebola virus:

And this week, at my direction, we’re stepping up our efforts. Additional CDC personnel are on the scene in Dallas and Cleveland. We’re working quickly to track and monitor anyone who may have been in close contact with someone showing symptoms. We’re sharing lessons learned so other hospitals don’t repeat the mistakes that happened in Dallas. The CDC’s new Ebola rapid response teams will deploy quickly to help hospitals implement the right protocols. New screening measures are now in place at airports that receive nearly all passengers arriving from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. And we’ll continue to constantly review our measures, and update them as needed, to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep Americans safe.

The President poured water on the “just ban the flights!” hysteria – this is a common initial reaction, but guess what, experts know something. That won’t work and that’s why we’re not doing it. He urged us to be guided by the science and facts (insert maniacal laughter here).

The President educated the public on the facts and checked some of the hyperbole:

This is a serious disease, but we can’t give in to hysteria or fear-because that only makes it harder to get people the accurate information they need. We have to be guided by the science.

First, what we’re seeing now is not an “outbreak” or an “epidemic” of Ebola in America. We’re a nation of more than 300 million people. To date, we’ve seen three cases of Ebola diagnosed here…

Second, Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch. It’s not transmitted through the air like the flu. You cannot get it from just riding on a plane or a bus. The only way that a person can contract the disease is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is already showing symptoms. I’ve met and hugged some of the doctors and nurses who’ve treated Ebola patients. I’ve met with an Ebola patient who recovered, right in the Oval Office. And I’m fine.

Third, we know how to fight this disease. We know the protocols. And we know that when they’re followed, they work.

It’s not a big surprise that the President is angry at the failures surrounding the Ebola virus’ entry to the U.S. After being told things were being handled and then realizing that they weren’t being handled up to his standards, Obama appointed Ron Klain as the Ebola Czar, to coordinate the government’s efforts on Ebola. Unlike some people, the President believes in government stepping in when it’s best suited to the problem, and this is one of those times.

We are, however, playing catch up for ten years of being underfunded.

The funding slide was marked by George W. Bush cutting CDC funding in every one of his budgets. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has had $600 billion cut for their budget since 2010. The NIH has received less funding under congressional Republicans than they had during the Bush years.

Democrats have demanded an investigation into the funding levels for a reason. As we tried to explain to the simpletons who somehow think Obama is to blame for sequestration even though Republicans championed it for years before they got and gloated about getting it:

The problem with only looking at overall funding levels is that it misses the point. Over the last few years, the CDC has had billions of dollars taken out of its budget for infectious disease preparedness at the federal, state, and local levels. This means that the CDC started with fewer resources to work with when the Ebola situation started. There is a reason the Congress rushed through an infusion of cash to fight Ebola before they left town. The CDC budget was left short on preparedness.

So the next time a Republican is mocking money being spent on research (see their juvenile mocking of stimulus funds being spent on medical and scientific research), ask yourself why fools are allowed to put us all in jeopardy. (VOTE for science and safety on November 4th.)

In a meeting on Friday coordinating the government response to Ebola with members of his national security and public health teams, the President “underscored that the domestic response to Ebola cases must be seamless at all levels, just as we continue to move forward expeditiously with a whole-of-government approach to counter the outbreak at its source in West Africa,” according to a readout of the meeting issued by the White House press secretary.

More ways Obama is taking charge:

The President’s advisors updated him on the status of the contact tracing process to identify and, as necessary, monitor all individuals who may have come into contact with the Ebola patients in Dallas following their exposure. The team also discussed plans to augment resources available to state and local authorities in Dallas. Specifically, in order to ensure the Dallas response is nimble and capable of leveraging effective coordination between the federal, state, and local levels—as well as with frontline healthcare workers—the administration, working closely with state and local officials, will support or designate the appointment of senior personnel to serve on the ground in Dallas.

Obama won’t make false promises or pretend he is Superman. He’s just going to be very competent at leading others in doing their jobs. This is an area where Obama has always excelled, whether he is leading a campaign team or leading the country. Obama is a leader.

As hysteria mounts, the nation will always look to its President for guidance and this one is in the house. President Obama is present. Engaged. And in charge.

Sarah Jones

Copyright PoliticusUSA LLC 2008-2023