President Obama is having a particularly difficult time convincing American citizens to not give in to the “hysteria” surrounding the Ebola virus’ spread, especially after the three confirmed cases in the U.S. The president explained that the flight ban that many lawmakers were insisting on would be counterproductive and that he would not give into these demands.
“We can’t just cut ourselves off from West Africa. Trying to seal off an entire region of the world – if that were even possible – could actually make the situation worse,”
the president said during a statement.
The current Ebola outbreak has already claimed the lives of 4,555 people, recent World Health Organization reports show, and there are many who believe that the President is simply not responsibly addressing the crisis. The president’s approval rating is already low and he has received criticism over the way in which he and his administration have handled the Ebola situation. In light of all this criticism, the president held a flurry of meetings with U.S. officials, which resulted in the naming of an “Ebola response coordinator”- Ron Klain.
Republicans, however, questioned the president’s actions yet again, wondering why Obama would not pick a medical expert that, in their view, could better oversee the U.S. response.
“I hope he (Klain) is successful in this. I think it’s a step in the right direction, but I just question picking someone without any background in public health,”
Republican Representative Ed Royce, House of Foreign Affairs Committee chairman said.
The U.S. President is not alone in facing criticism, as the World Health Organization was also faulted for not acting quickly and efficiently enough to halt the spread of the hemorrhagic fever virus since March, when the outbreak was first detected.
“What we’re seeing now is not an ‘outbreak’ or an ‘epidemic’ of Ebola in America. This is a serious disease, but we can’t give in to hysteria or fear.”
President Obama said, trying to respond to the public’s fears about the virus.
American’s trust in the U.S. medical system as well as the authorities’ ability of preventing the spread of the disease in the United States was shaken after a series of errors, beginning with the fact that Thomas Eric Duncan was initially not diagnosed despite displaying symptoms. The same hospital was then faulted for being involved in the appearance of two new cases (two nurses who became ill after caring for Duncan).
What remains to be seen is whether reactions to the president’s refusal of instating a flight ban (which is already being enforced in other Central American countries) will be met with the support he hopes for.