US President Barack Obama has lauded the progress made against Ebola disease in West Africa, saying science, not fear, should define the response to contain the deadly virus.
“We don’t want to do things that aren’t based on science and best practices. Because if we do, then we’re just putting another barrier on somebody who’s already doing really important work on our behalf. And that’s not something that I think any of us should want to see happen,” Obama said.
Asserting that Ebola can be contained, the US President said that it is a disease that will be defeated. The disease ‘can be contained’ and will be ‘defeated,’ he said.
“Progress is possible. But we’re going to have to stay vigilant and we’ve got to make sure that we’re working together. We have to keep leading the global response,” he said.
He said the US cannot look like it is shying away because other people are watching what it is doing.
“If we don’t have a robust international response in West Africa, then we are actually endangering ourselves here back home,” he said.
He said ‘priority’ should be that workers who are willing, able and dedicated to the tough job need to be applauded, thanked and supported.
“We can make sure that when they come back they are being monitored in a prudent fashion,” Obama said.
“America in the end is not defined by fear. That’s not who we are. America is defined by possibility. And when we see a problem and we see a challenge, then we fix it. We don’t just react based on our fears. We react based on facts and judgement and making smart decisions,” he said.
“That’s how we have built this country and sustained this country and protected this country. That’s why America has defined progress – because we’re not afraid when challenges come up,” he said.
The West African nations of Senegal and Nigeria have now been declared Ebola-free.
“That’s in part because of outstanding work led in many cases by Americans working in coordination with those countries to make sure that we did not see an outbreak there,” he said.