The nations able to help fight what is now a raging epidemic waited far too long to unleash the tools and resources needed to contain a crisis that has already ravaged a trio of countries ill-equipped to manage it on their own. ” We have to act fast. We can’t dawdle on this one,” Obama said two weeks ago, after the international community had already dawdled for months.
“We would never tolerate such shortsightedness in private behavior,” Kristof observed, in The New York Times. “If a roof leaks, we fix it before a home is ruined. If we buy a car, we add oil to keep the engine going. Yet in public policy — from education to global health — we routinely refuse to invest at the front end and have to pay far more at the back end.”
And while containing the Ebola epidemic will cost far more now than it would have in April, ” the worst consequence of our myopia isn’t financial waste,” wrote Krisof. “It’s that people are unnecessarily dying.”