Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Primary Sources

White House Fact Sheet: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

President Barack Obama spoke with health experts at the Center for Disease Control on September 16, 2014, and the White House relased this fact sheet to outline U.S. actions to combat Ebola in West Africa and to contain its spread, including sending health workers, military forces, and medical supplies, funding vaccine development, and supporting public service announcements and education about the disease.

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Op-Ed

We Could Have Stopped This

Author: Laurie Garrett
Foreign Policy

When the most recent outbreak of Ebola began in March 2014, it could have been stopped with inexpensive, low-technology approaches. But the world largely ignored the unfolding epidemic. Now, the epidemic is skyrocketing because of this negligence. In this piece for ForeignPolicy.com, Laurie Garrett explains what the World Health Organization and the United Nations have not explained to date, and talks with Barbara Kerstiens, a former Doctors Without Borders volunteer who worked in the Kikwit epidemic in 1995, about lessons learned.

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Op-Ed

Heartless but Effective: I've Seen 'Cordon Sanitaire' Work Against Ebola

Author: Laurie Garrett
The New Republic

The governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have escalated their counterattack on the Ebola virus, imposing cordons sanitaires aimed at isolating entire regions of their countries in hopes of containing the enemy. Although many in the media accuse these governments of being inhumane or overly severe, Laurie Garrett pulls from her experience in the Ebola outbreak of 1995 in Kikwit, Zaire to show that these dramatic steps can work.

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Op-Ed

The Big One?

Author: Laurie Garrett
Foreign Policy

Laurie Garrett offers a detailed account of how the H7N9 virus emerged and describes the two possible paths it may now follow, by pulling from her own experiences in the SARS epidemic ten years ago and reflecting on parallels between the two.

See more in China; Public Health Threats and Pandemics