Obama: ‘Everyone has to do more’ to stop Ebola

President Obama warned world leaders at the United Nations Thursday that the international response to the Ebola crisis is “not enough,” urging them to step up their efforts.

“We know from experience that the response to an outbreak of this magnitude needs to be both fast and sustained — like a marathon, but run at the pace of a sprint,” Obama said. “That’s only possible if every nation and every organization does its part. And everyone has to do more.”

{mosads}Last week, the president announced the U.S. was sending 3,000 military personnel to West Africa to respond to the crisis, which the World Health Organization estimates has killed more than 2,900.

The Pentagon plans to establish a command center in Liberia, build more than a dozen temporary hospitals, and distribute kits with sanitizing equipment and medicine. According to a senior administration official, the U.S. is prepared to devote more than $1 billion to the effort if necessary.

But Obama said that, while the U.S. “will provide the capabilities that only America has,” other nations need to step up to the plate.

“We will continue to lead and do our part,” Obama said. “But this must also be a priority for the world.”

The president called on other countries to contribute assets and capabilities, including air transport, medical evacuation, healthcare workers, equipment and treatment.

“Everyone can do something,” Obama said.

The president warned that, if other countries did not contribute, regional and global security could be threatened, and tens of thousands of people could die.

“If this epidemic is not stopped, this disease could cause a humanitarian catastrophe across the region,” Obama said. “In an era when regional crises can quickly become global threats, stopping Ebola is in the interests of the entire world.”

Obama also called for a more proactive investment in global health systems that could help prevent outbreaks in the future. On Friday, the White House will host a summit for 44 countries focused on global health security.

“Even as we meet the urgent threat of Ebola, it’s clear that our nations must do more to prevent, detect and respond to future biological threats – before they erupt into full-blown crises,” Obama said.


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