President Barack Obama said Tuesday that just because Ebola is not dominating the headlines it once did, the public must not get "complacent."
President Barack Obama meets with his National Security and Public Health teams to receive an update on the Ebola response, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. From left are Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain, the president, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
“We should feel optimistic on our capacity to solve the Ebola crisis, but we cannot be complacent simply because the news attention has waned,” Obama said before going into a meeting at the White House with national security and public health officials on Ebola.
Obama has called on Congress to pass his request for more than $6 billion to fight Ebola in West Africa, and noted the death of Dr. Martin Salia, who contracted the virus in Sierra Leone and died Monday after coming to the U.S. for treatment.
Obama pointed out that eight other patients treated in the United States in a timely matter are now free of Ebola.
“Beyond this tragedy though, we have established that when Ebola is properly diagnosed and treated we have a great chance of curing it," Obama said.
He said new protocols have been put in place for public health workers and flights from West African countries where the outbreak has been at its worst.
“America has proven that it can handle the isolated cases that occur here,” Obama said. “The outbreak continues to rage in the three countries in West Africa; Liberia, Sierra Leon and Guinea. This is still going to be a danger not just for America but also for the entire world. We are nowhere near out of the woods in West Africa.”