Obama touts Ebola progress with Liberian president

President Obama touted progress on stopping Ebola in a meeting with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Friday. 

{mosads}The number of cases has fallen 95 percent from its peak, down to a “handful” a week, Obama said. 

“We are very proud of what Liberia has accomplished, and we’ve been very proud to be partners with Liberia in that process,” Obama said. 

Earlier this month, the White House announced that all but 100 of the 2,800 U.S. troops that had been fighting the disease in West Africa would return home by the end of April. 

“I am very proud of the participation of the United States,” Obama said, pointing to the U.S. troops’ work in helping with issues such as logistics and safe burial practices. 

Sirleaf made reference to the political furor that surrounded Ebola in the United States in the fall. Many Republicans were pushing for a travel ban from affected countries. 

“We know that there was some pressure here to be able to stop any travel of people from Liberia or from the other affected countries,” Sirleaf said. “But we want to thank you for standing firm and resisting that pressure, and rallying the American people to see this for what it was and to join partnership with Liberia and others to be able to confront it.”

Obama warned against being “complacent” despite the progress, and said strengthening the economy and rebuilding infrastructure now that the disease has faded are priorities. 

“We’re now also in a position to look towards the future,” he said.


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