- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

With the public increasingly worried about the spread of Ebola, President Obama pledged Wednesday that his administration will take a “much more aggressive” stance toward the outbreak.

After a lengthy Cabinet meeting, the president said the federal government now will be much more hands-on in dealing with individual cases wherever they pop up.

“What we’ve been doing here today is reviewing exactly what we know about what’s happened in Dallas and how we’re going to make sure that something like this is not repeated and that we are monitoring, supervising, overseeing in a much more aggressive way exactly what’s taking place in Dallas initially and making sure that the lessons learned are then transmitted to hospitals and clinics all across the country,” he said after the Wednesday meeting, which was announced just hours before it happened.

Mr. Obama’s words come as a second health-care worker in Dallas has been diagnosed with Ebola. The two workers contracted the virus when caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. after returning from Liberia. Duncan has since died.

Moving forward, the president said he wants Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teams on location within 24 hours after a case is reported. The goal, he said, is for the CDC to take the lead in “taking the local hospital step by step through exactly what needs to be done and making sure that all the protocols are properly observed.”

The president also said his administration is reviewing “every step” of what’s happened since Duncan was admitted to the Dallas hospital and how health-care workers contracted the virus. One of the health-care workers also boarded a commercial flight shortly before being diagnosed, which the CDC says should never happened.

More broadly, the international community must undertake a sustained effort to attack the outbreak at its source, the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mr. Obama said.

Despite public fear, the White House continued to try to calm the American people.

“Bottom line in terms of the public, I want people to understand that the dangers of you contracting Ebola, the dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low. But we are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government,” he said.

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