Obama Finally Gets Serious On Ebola

Staff Writer | SFGate | September 17, 2014

To use a current California comparison, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is like a runaway wildfire: quick-moving, all-consuming and deadly. Until now, outside nations, including this country, have brought barely a garden hose to the fight.  In a welcome though overdue step, President Obama is sending 3,000 military medical personnel to set up hospitals, dispense care and coordinate the fight against an outbreak that is tilting some areas toward anarchy. It’s a sweeping step that should shame other laggard countries into joining the effort.

The Ebola virus, which is fast-spreading and difficult to treat, has killed upwards of 3,000. Though past outbreaks have died down, this one is running wild, ripping through five nations with ramshackle health care systems overwhelmed by the threat. “Right now, the virus is in charge,” said one U.S. global disease expert.

It’s a situation that the world can’t tolerate. Until now, outside countries have fretted about Ebola spreading across their borders, sending only a pittance of aid. The outbreak attracted attention here only after several missionaries and physicians were flown home for treatment amid drastic steps to prevent infection. The risk of uncontrolled Ebola reaching this country remains “extremely low,” Obama said...