President Barack Obama spoke Tuesday for the first time about Ebola since the news that a nurse contracted the virus in Dallas.
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with more than 20 foreign defense ministers on the ongoing operations against the Islamic State group, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Obama and military chiefs in a show of strength against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“As I’ve said before, we have the public health infrastructure and support that make an epidemic here highly unlikely,” Obama said. “But, obviously, one case is too many. We’ve got to keep on doing everything we can particularly to protect our health care workers because they are on the front lines in battling this disease.”
Obama made remarks Tuesday after participating in a meeting with top military commanders from 21 countries about efforts to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
He began by talking about the progress he said the United States is making against the Islamic State, but then turned to the Ebola virus.
“We need to eliminate those risks for them and we are confident that we can build the protocols that make sure they are observed carefully and to avoid additional repeats of what’s happened in Dallas,” Obama said. “We are going to be as vigilant as we need to be to make sure this disease is properly contained.”
“With respect to Ebola here in the United States, we are surging resources into Dallas to determine what allowed this to happen that ended up infecting the nurse there,” Obama said.
Obama talked about new measures introduced at the nation’s busiest airports to screen Ebola, and again said the rest of the world needs to do more.
“We are going to make sure that all the lessons learned from Dallas are applied to hospitals and health centers around the country,” Obama continued.
On the fight against the Islamic State, Obama noted that 60 nations are lending support and stressed, “this is going to be a long term campaign.”
"There are going to be periods of progress and setbacks," he said, adding it would not only be a military operation but would require humanitarian assistance and economic development for the region.