US President Barack Obama on Wednesday pledged a “much more aggressive” response at home to the Ebola threat, and insisted that the risk of a serious outbreak on US soil was (relatively) low.
After a crisis meeting with top aides at the White House, Obama underlined the importance of helping African countries stem the spread of the virus, calling such aid “an investment in our own public health.”
“If we are not responding internationally in an effective way… then we could have problems,” Obama said in comments aired on US television.
The response came after a second US Ebola infection was diagnosed at a Texas hospital where a Liberian man died a week ago.
“This is not a situation in which, like a flu, the risks of a rapid spread of the disease are imminent,” Obama said, adding he “shook hands with, hugged and kissed” nurses who had treated an Ebola patient at Emory University hospital in Atlanta.
“They followed the protocols. They knew what they were doing and I felt perfectly safe doing so,” he said.