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Obama Posturing on Ebola Exposed

Sept. 27, 2014 (EIRNS)—Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Border (MSN), upstaged Obama's claim at a Sept. 25 conference on Ebola at the UN, that the United States had made a great effort in the fight against the out-of-control Ebola epidemic in Africa. Obama said at the conference that the rest of the international community should step in to help out, and not just rely on the U.S. contribution.

Very late in the exploding Ebola crisis, the Obama administration on Sept. 16, had belatedly announced an intervention, using the U.S. military to fly in emergency health care facilities, and provide training for health care workers: I.e., the United States was not providing any of the much-needed health care workers, but, as far as personnel were concerned, the United States would only be involved in training. This move by Obama had come after much stalling, since the disease had already been identified in February. Thus, by the time of his Sept. 16 intervention announcement, the epidemic had already gotten out of control. Experts already fear that the current epidemic will never be eliminated.

Speaking at the same UN event, Liu pointed out that the promised contributions had not yet arrived:

"Generous pledges of aid and unprecedented UN resolutions are very welcome. But they will mean little, unless they are translated into immediate action.

"The reality on the ground today is this: the promised surge has not yet delivered."

She stated that because of the rapidly increasing infection rate, during the time gap between promise of assistance and the actual delivery, "thousands of people will die." She added:

"I can't say the exact figure because we don't know how many unreported cases there are. But thousands for sure."

MSN is the main provider of health care services in the three stricken countries, at this point. It now has 239 international volunteers, and has enough volunteers lined up for the next six-month rotation. It alone runs six facilities, totalling 532 beds in the three countries, and has plans for 35 more beds.

Liu noted that the MSN 150-bed facility in Monrovia opens every morning, to admit a few people to fill beds made available by those who died overnight. Those not admitted return home, spreading the virus to their families and neighbors. "The isolation centers you have promised must be established NOW." She added,

"Don't cut corners. Massive, direct action is the only way."

She also stated that the "current models of vaccine development will not work," and that incentives were needed for trials and production of vaccines, which must be accessible and quickly delivered to those most in need, as soon as they are available.

According to the UN's World Health Organization (WHO), the current total number of beds for Ebola patients in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone is approximately 820, whereas at least 3,000, by very conservative estimate, are needed. 737 additional beds have now been pledged, but even after those facilities are built, 2,000 or more of the beds minimally will still be needed. Since the number of people being infected is growing geometrically, the actual number of beds needed will actually be orders of magnitude greater than 3,000.