Obama annoyed by Ebola response from France, Italy

President Obama is annoyed by what the White House sees as a weak response by France and Italy to combat the Ebola crisis in West Africa, according to a report Thursday from Yahoo News.

The “top disappointments are France and Italy — (they) top the list of 'talk most, do least,' " a senior administration official told the website.


A U.S. official also reportedly expressed frustration that Australia and Canada are not sending more healthcare workers to the region.

The comments are the first public suggestions of which countries the president believes are not pulling their weight in the fight against Ebola, which has killed 4,500 people in Africa.

That mission has gained new urgency for the White House this week, after a second U.S. nurse became infected with the virus.

The president has been hinting at his anger over the lackluster international response for weeks. He repeated his calls for nations to do more during an emergency meeting with top administration officials working to combat the disease on Wednesday.

"We are going to have to make sure that we do not lose sight of the importance of the international response to what is taking place in West Africa," Obama said.

"I am absolutely confident that we can prevent a serious outbreak of the disease here in the United States, but it becomes more difficult to do so if this epidemic of Ebola rages out of control in West Africa,” he added. “If it does, then it will spread globally in an age of frequent travel and the kind of constant interactions that people have across borders."

The president went on to say that international aid was "not simply charity" and that other countries needed to recognize the security risks.

The leaders of Italy and France participated in a videoconference call with Obama on Wednesday morning, during which, the White House said, Obama implored them to step up their efforts.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest sidestepped questions about what specific requests Obama had made of the leaders.

"As a general matter, I can tell you that the president did urge those world leaders to commit — to make a more significant commitment to dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa," Earnest said.