Now, two weeks later, the president’s reassurances have turned out to be false. A Liberian infected with the virus, Thomas Eric Duncan, flew from Monrovia to Brussels to Virginia to Dallas. No screening at any airport stopped him, nor did any flight crews. The possibility that someone with Ebola reached American shores turned out not to be “unlikely” at all. And then, when Duncan arrived in Dallas, the doctors, nurses, and medical staff at the hospital he entered were not prepared, and in fact released him back into the Dallas population, where, fully symptomatic, he had contact with lots of people. The system, in other words was not “able to deal with a possible case safely.”
Obama devoted almost all his remarks in Atlanta to U.S. efforts to fight Ebola in Africa. He talked about the efforts of the U.S. Army, the Public Health Service, USAID, and others. It is a huge undertaking, Obama said. The only problem is, he wasn’t as well prepared at home.