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Obama Says African Countries Can’t Handle Ebola Serum

From The Hill:

Obama: ‘Premature’ to fast-track Ebola drug

By Justin Sink | August 6, 2014

President Obama said Wednesday that it was “premature” to fast-track an experimental Ebola drug for approval even amid a deadly outbreak of the disease in Africa. "I think we’ve got to let the science guide us," Obama said at a press conference at the U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington, arguing that more testing needed to be done. "And you know, I don’t think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful." …

And yet he wants us to press ahead on carbon taxes to stop man-made global warming. Go figure.

Two American doctors who contracted the virus while treating patients in Africa received the experimental serum, ZMapp, which previously has only been tested on monkeys. But providing the drug to the American health workers has sparked debate over whether the U.S. should be sharing the treatment with Africa, where over 900 people have died from the outbreak.

Just as we said it would. And never mind that if they had tried it on Africans first, there would have been outrage, too. For treating non-Americans like guinea pigs.

One concern about deploying the drug — which reportedly costs thousands of dollars and requires careful handling — in Africa is the lack of a reliable public health infrastructure.

Obama stressed that it was among his chief concerns as U.S. and African leaders work to contain the deadly virus. "What we do know is that the Ebola virus, both currently and in the past, is controllable if you have a strong public health infrastructure in place," Obama said…

So is Obama saying that these African countries are too backward to responsibly handle this serum? Where is the outrage? Let’s one more time play the old game: ‘Just Imagine If Bush Had Said That.’

Still, Obama said the U.S. had been coordinating with European partners and the World Health Organization to surge medical resources to the continent. "Let’s help to bolster the systems that they already have in place. Let’s nip as early as possible any additional outbreaks of the disease," he said.

"And then during the course of that process, I think it’s entirely appropriate for us to see if there are additional drugs or medical treatments that can improve the survivability of what is a very deadly and obviously brutal disease," Obama continued.

How paternalistic of him and his European partners.

The president also looked to calm nerves by stressing that Ebola was not an easily communicable virus.

"Despite obviously the extraordinary pain and hardship of the families and persons who have been affected, and despite the fact that we have to take this very seriously, it is important to remind ourselves this is not an airborne disease," Obama said…

Er, that may be true. (Though some say it isn’t for sure.) But just because Ebola isn’t airborne that doesn’t mean it isn’t easily communicable. Otherwise, the countries in West Africa would not be taking all of the draconian emergency actions they are taking.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, August 7th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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