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In The News

Number Of Ebola Deaths Surpasses 4,500, Cases Rise Above 9,200, WHO Says

News outlets report on the latest number of Ebola cases and deaths reported by the WHO.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola death toll soars to 4,555 out of 9,216 cases: WHO
“More than 4,500 people have died in the deadly Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa at the beginning of the year, fresh World Health Organization figures showed Friday. The U.N. health agency said that 4,555 people had died from Ebola out of a total of 9,216 cases registered in seven countries, as of October 14…” (10/17).

NBC News: WHO: Ebola Death Toll Passes 4,500, Including 236 Health Workers
“The deadly Ebola outbreak will take months to contain, the World Health Organization warned Thursday as it announced the worldwide death toll would pass 4,500 — including 236 health workers…” (10/16).

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WHO Declares Senegal, Nigeria Ebola-Free

News outlets report on the WHO announcements that both Senegal and Nigeria have been declared Ebola-free.

The Atlantic: Senegal Is Declared Free of Ebola
“On Friday, as the White House made the essentially symbolic gesture of appointing a ‘czar’ to contain the American outbreak, some 4,000 miles to the east, Senegal was declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organization. In a statement, the U.N. agency praised the West African country’s response as ‘a good example of what to do when faced with an imported case of Ebola’…” (Chandler, 10/17).

Reuters: World Health Organization declares Senegal Ebola-free
“The outbreak of Ebola in Senegal is officially over but the country remains vulnerable to further cases of the deadly disease being imported, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday…” (Nebehay, 10/17).

Wall Street Journal: WHO Declares Senegal Free of Ebola Disease
“…The WHO declared Senegal, which shares a border with Guinea, clear of the disease. The agency made the assessment after Senegal went 42 days — twice Ebola’s incubation period — without finding a new case…” (Morse, 10/19).

WHO: The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Senegal is over
“Forty-two days have now passed since the last contact of Senegal’s single confirmed case of Ebola virus disease completed the requisite 21-day monitoring period, under medical supervision, developed no symptoms, and tested negative for the virus. WHO officially declares Senegal free of Ebola virus transmission…” (10/17).

WHO: WHO congratulates Senegal on ending Ebola transmission
“WHO officially declares the Ebola outbreak in Senegal over and commends the country on its diligence to end the transmission of the virus…” (10/17).

Reuters: Nigeria declared Ebola-free after containing virus
“The World Health Organization declared Nigeria free of the deadly Ebola virus on Monday after six weeks with no new cases, an achievement with lessons for countries still struggling to contain the deadly virus…” (Eboh/Ukomadu, 10/20).

Wall Street Journal: Nigeria Declared Ebola-Free by WHO
“The World Health Organization declared Africa’s largest country by population ‘Ebola-free’ on Monday, a sign of how easily the virus could have been contained had other West African countries acted as swiftly as Nigeria did…” (Akingbule/Hinshaw, 10/20).

Washington Post: Nigeria declared Ebola-free after only 8 deaths
“The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria Ebola-free — after more than six weeks without a new case of the disease that has claimed the lives of more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea…” (Bever, 10/20).

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U.S. Preparing To Provide Additional Funding For Ebola Efforts; International Pledges Slow To Materialize

News outlets report on U.S. and international funding for Ebola efforts in West Africa.

Bloomberg News: White House Said to Seek New Funds to Prevent Ebola Spread
“President Barack Obama is preparing to ask Congress for additional funds to combat Ebola, a move that could shift some political pressure from the White House to lawmakers in the last two weeks before midterm elections…” (Allen, 10/18).

National Journal: Congress Prepares to Offer More Money for Ebola Fight
“With concern mounting over the possible spread of Ebola in the United States, members of Congress are preparing to offer additional funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies to help fight the disease within the U.S. and abroad…” (Mimms/House, 10/17).

The Hill: Ebola by the numbers
“Costs are already piling up in the fight against Ebola, and they are only expected to grow. … The crisis … is expanding and the CDC and NIH have said more Ebola cases could emerge. That’s spurred speculation that a new request from the administration to Congress for more funds could come soon…” (Shabad, 10/19).

The Guardian: Funding the fight against Ebola: how much is needed and where will it go?
“…As world leaders chide one another for failing to dedicate enough funds to fighting the virus in West Africa, and the consequences of neglecting health systems in some of the world’s poorest countries become ever more obvious, the cogs of international aid are beginning to turn. But the money is only dribbling in slowly, and there are concerns that the virus is already out of control in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea…” (Chonghaile, 10/17).

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Obama Appoints New Ebola 'Czar'; Choice Receives Praise, Criticism

News sources discuss U.S. President Barack Obama’s appointment of Ron Klain as the U.S. Ebola coordinator.

New York Times: Obama Names Democratic Operative to Coordinate Ebola Response
“President Obama named a trusted political adviser on Friday to take over the government’s response to the deadly Ebola virus, as health officials in two states worked to track a growing list of people who may have been exposed because of missteps in quarantine and containment…” (Tavernise/Smith, 10/17).

New York Times: Before Ebola, New Czar Handled Political Crises
“…A seasoned crisis-response operative and veteran of Democratic administrations and campaigns, Mr. Klain, 53, is charged with managing the federal efforts to monitor and contain the deadly virus that has touched off a wave of anxiety in the United States and raised questions about the competence of Mr. Obama’s administration…” (Davis, 10/17).

Foreign Policy: Obama’s Ebola Czar Immediately Panned for Lacking Public Health Experience
“In an effort to placate Congress and reassure the American public that the Ebola virus would not spread across the country, President Barack Obama appointed Ron Klain, a political operative with no apparent public health experience, to oversee the government’s response…” (Francis, 10/17).

The Hill: Praise, criticism for Obama’s Ebola czar pick
“President Obama’s selection to lead the administration’s Ebola response drew both praise and criticism from guests on the Sunday morning political shows…” (Barron-Lopez, 10/19).

The Hill: White House mocks criticism of Ebola czar
“The White House dismissed Republican criticism of the selection of longtime Democratic aide Ron Klain to head the federal Ebola response, suggesting the GOP was ‘seeking to score political points’ before Election Day…” (Sink, 10/17).

Reuters: Obama names former adviser to coordinate U.S. Ebola response
“President Barack Obama has asked former White House adviser Ron Klain to coordinate U.S. efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak, an administration official said on Friday, after criticism the government’s response to the virus has been slow and inadequate…” (Mason/Chiacu, 10/17).

Reuters: U.S. Ebola czar seeks to reverse government mistakes, step up response
“U.S. Ebola czar Ron Klain faces a hefty to-do list when he begins his new role: soothe Americans’ jitters about the virus, fix federal coordination with states, and restore a sense of control over the crisis that the White House had lost…” (Mason/Rampton, 10/20).

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Obama Not Satisfied With U.S. Response To Ebola, Official Says

New York Times: Amid Assurances on Ebola, Obama Is Said to Seethe
“Beneath the calming reassurance that President Obama has repeatedly offered during the Ebola crisis, there is a deepening frustration, even anger, with how the government has handled key elements of the response. … ‘It’s not tight,’ a visibly angry Mr. Obama said of the response, according to people briefed on the meeting. He told aides they needed to get ahead of events and demanded a more hands-on approach, particularly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ‘He was not satisfied with the response,’ a senior official said…” (Shear/Landler, 10/17).

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Kerry Urges Greater International Response To Ebola

News outlets report on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s call for intensified international responses to Ebola.

The Guardian: Ebola ‘could be scourge like HIV,’ John Kerry warns the world
“Britain and the United States have issued stark warnings that the international community will be responsible for a substantial loss of life in West Africa and a greater threat across the world unless the financial and medical response to the Ebola crisis is intensified. As the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted mishandling the early stages of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a failure to respond could turn Ebola into ‘a scourge like HIV or polio’…” (Watt et al., 10/17).

Wall Street Journal: Kerry to Urge Action Against Islamic State, Ebola in Asia
“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will urge Asian leaders Monday to help prevent Islamic State from recruiting and committing terrorism in Southeast Asia and to help keep the Ebola virus from spreading to the region, U.S. officials said. … No cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Asia, but Mr. Kerry will also will have the opportunity to discuss global efforts to protect against the spread of the disease and to support U.N. and U.S.-led efforts to stop the deadly virus…” (10/20).

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Leaked Draft WHO Document Faults 'Nearly Everyone' For Slow Ebola Response; Agency Will Not Comment Until Final Document Complete

News outlets report on a leaked internal draft WHO document that faults the agency’s and others’ response to the Ebola epidemic.

Associated Press: Mission Unaccomplished: Containing Ebola in Africa
“Looking back, the mistakes are easy to see: Waiting too long, spending too little, relying on the wrong people, thinking small when they needed to think big. Many people, governments and agencies share the blame for failing to contain Ebola when it emerged in West Africa. … Many of the missteps are detailed in a draft of an internal World Health Organization report obtained by the Associated Press. It shows there was not one pivotal blunder that gave Ebola the upper hand, but a series of them that mounted…” (Marchione, 10/18).

CNN: WHO to review Ebola response amid criticism of its efforts
“The World Health Organization vowed Saturday to make public a full review of its response to the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa once the crisis is under control…” (Sanchez, 10/19).

The Hill: Internal document faults global health agency in Ebola response
“…The document blamed ‘nearly everyone’ trying to respond to the outbreak for missing ‘some fairly plain writing on the wall.’ ‘A perfect storm was brewing, ready to burst open in full force,’ the United Nations agency claimed in an early draft of a timeline of the crisis that has yet to be released to the public…” (Hattem, 10/18).

Reuters: WHO promises analysis of Ebola response, won’t comment on reported flaws
“…The WHO said in a statement that it would not comment on an internal document cited in an Associated Press story on Friday, saying it was a first draft that had not been fact-checked and was ‘part of an on-going analysis of our response’…” (Miles, 10/18).

USA TODAY: WHO not commenting on critical leaked Ebola report
“…WHO’s response Saturday made clear the memo was the first draft from a small team documenting the chronology of the Ebola outbreak for future review…” (Alexander, 10/18).

WHO: WHO response to internal Ebola document leaked to media
“…WHO believes in transparency and accountability and will release this review when it is fact-checked. For now, WHO’s focus is to obtain the resources needed to successfully fight this Ebola outbreak…” (10/18).

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Liberian President Appeals To World To Step Up Ebola Efforts In West Africa

News outlets report on Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s appeal to the international community to step up efforts to fight Ebola in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: Liberian president asks ‘world’ to pitch in to fight Ebola
“Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made an impassioned appeal to the world’s nations to pitch in to the fight against Ebola, saying the ‘time for talking or theorizing is over’…” (10/18).

Al Jazeera: West Africa ‘could lose an entire generation’
“Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says Ebola has brought her country to ‘a standstill’ and that West Africa is at risk of losing an entire generation to the disease…” (10/20).

Associated Press: Liberia president describes heavy cost of Ebola
“…Appealing for more international help, Sirleaf described the devastating effects of Ebola in a ‘Letter to the World’ that was broadcast Sunday by the BBC…” (10/20).

Reuters: Liberian leader say Ebola risks ‘lost generation,’ urges action
“…Johnson Sirleaf said the international reaction to the outbreak, detected in March deep in the forests of southern Guinea, was initially ‘inconsistent and lacking in clear direction or urgency’…” (10/19).

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UNMEER To Ensure Coordinated Support For National Ebola Response Plans

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. to consult West African governments on coordinating global crisis response
“…According to a press release from the Ghana-based U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), [Saturday's] meeting produced an operational framework to ensure the wider U.N. system adopts a unified and coordinated approach to the international support being provided to national response plans…” (10/18).

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E.U. Foreign Ministers Meet To Discuss Ebola, Seek 1B Euros For Fund

News outlets report on European nations’ efforts to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Associated Press: E.U. seeking to find 1 billion euro fund for Ebola
“European Union nations are working to find one billion euros to help fight Ebola in West Africa and seeking a common approach in dealing with the disease outbreak. E.U. foreign ministers on Monday opened a week of talks so that their 28 leaders can agree by Friday on a package of measures which should include anything from financial aid to common repatriation procedures, treatment facilities on site, and training for health workers…” (10/20).

Associated Press: German minister: E.U. should consider Ebola mission
“Germany’s foreign minister has suggested that the European Union could send a civilian mission to West Africa to help combat the Ebola outbreak…” (10/19).

Associated Press: Spain gives U.S. go-ahead to use bases against Ebola
“Spain has agreed to allow the U.S. to use two military bases in the southwest of the country to support its efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa…” (10/19).

Agence France-Presse: British navy heading for Sierra Leone Ebola zone
“A British navy ship left Friday for Sierra Leone laden with personnel, aid, and equipment to treat people infected with the Ebola virus as Prime Minister David Cameron appealed for other countries to do more to tackle the epidemic…” (10/17).

Wall Street Journal: U.K.’s Cameron Calls on Europe to Step Up Ebola Fight
“U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has called on other European countries to step up efforts to combat the Ebola virus, including raising €1 billion ($1.3 billion) of funding. In a letter to European Union leaders and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy ahead of a two-day summit starting on Thursday, Mr. Cameron also called for the mobilization of at least 2,000 staff to the area of the outbreak in West Africa, increased coordination on screening at ports of entry to Europe, and sharing information on cases handled to reduce the risk of transmissions within the E.U….” (Winning, 10/17).

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Canada Steps Up Contribution To Fight Ebola

News outlets report on Canada’s announcement on Friday that it will step up its contribution to fight Ebola in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: Canada to double U.N. contribution to fight Ebola
“Canada has promised to double its financial contribution to the United Nations’ fight against Ebola in West Africa, the country’s health minister announced Friday…” (10/17).

Devex: Money (not) well spent? Concerns raised over Canada’s response to Ebola
“Canada is stepping up its contribution to the global response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, after the government announced Friday it would contribute an additional 30 million Canadian dollars ($26.6 million) to various U.N. agencies, Médecins Sans Frontières, and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. This comes on top of the CA$ 35 million already pledged in previous weeks. … [Q]uestions remain on how effective the country’s contribution has actually been on the ground…” (Halais, 10/20).

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Oxfam GB Says Ebola Crisis Could Be 'Definitive Humanitarian Disaster,' Appeals For Greater Support

News outlets report on Oxfam Great Britain’s appeal for greater personnel and financial support for Ebola efforts in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: Oxfam urges more troops to stop Ebola ‘disaster’
“Ebola could become the ‘definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation,’ the aid agency Oxfam warned on Saturday, as it issued a call for more troops, funding, and medical staff to be sent to West Africa…” (10/18).

VOA News: Oxfam: Ebola Could Be ‘Disaster of Our Generation’
“The international aid agency Oxfam is appealing to European Union foreign ministers to do more to fight Ebola; a disease Oxfam said could be the ‘definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation’…” (10/19).

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Rising Food Prices, Risk Of Shortages In Ebola-Hit West Africa, WFP Says; China Donates $6M To Agency

News outlets report on food security in West Africa, where the Ebola epidemic is causing food prices and the risk of food shortages to rise.

Financial Times: Food shortages now huge risk in Ebola-hit regions, says U.N. body
“Food shortages are nearly as much of a risk as the Ebola virus in the three worst-hit countries of western Africa, an official from the World Food Programme warned in Beijing on Monday…” (Hornby, 10/20).

Reuters: Food prices up 24 percent in Ebola-hit countries — WFP
“Food prices have risen by an average of 24 percent across the three countries worst hit by the Ebola outbreak, forcing some families to reduce their intake to one meal a day, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday…” (Nebehay, 10/17).

Associated Press: China gives $6 million for food in Ebola countries
“China has donated $6 million to help stave off food shortages in the three African countries worst affected by the Ebola virus, the World Food Programme announced Monday, part of Beijing’s growing assistance to a continent where its companies have become major investors…” (10/20).

Wall Street Journal: U.N. Group Urges China’s Wealthy to Fight Ebola
“Chinese corporations and wealthy individuals aren’t contributing enough to help fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa, despite the nation’s deep ties to the impacted region, according to the United Nations World Food Programme’s China representative…” (Spegele, 10/20).

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Debate Continues Over Effectiveness Of Travel Bans Amid Ebola Epidemic

News outlets report on the debate over travel bans in light of the Ebola epidemic.

Agence France-Presse: Halting Guinea flights over Ebola would be ‘nonsense': France (10/19).
Al Jazeera: Ebola fears spur more travel bans (10/17).
Associated Press: Effectiveness of Ebola travel ban questioned (Werner, 10/18).
Associated Press: Obama: U.S. can’t cut itself off from West Africa (10/18).
New York Times: Experts Oppose Ebola Travel Ban, Saying It Would Cut Off Worst-Hit Countries (Mouawad, 10/17).
Wall Street Journal: Travel Ban Over Ebola May Bring Other Troubles (Nicas/Carey, 10/19).

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Public, Private Entities Continue Efforts To Develop Ebola Vaccines, Therapies

Media outlets report on various aspects of efforts to develop a vaccine for Ebola and produce more doses of experimental drugs to treat the disease.

ABC News: Will There Be an Ebola Vaccine Soon? (Besser, 10/17).
Agence France-Presse: Experimental Ebola vaccine expected in Geneva Tuesday: hospital (10/19).
Agence France-Presse: Ebola vaccine not before late 2016: GSK researcher (10/17).
The Guardian: Progress towards Ebola vaccine would have been faster had bioterrorism research been completed (Jones/Boseley, 10/17).
The Hill: Budget cuts not to blame for lack Ebola vaccine, Fauci says (Hattem, 10/19).
Reuters: GSK says Ebola vaccine development progressing at “unprecedented rate” (10/19).
Reuters: U.S. requests production plans for Ebola drug ZMapp (Begley, 10/17).
Wall Street Journal: Ebola Drug Race Ramps Up in Earnest (Loftus/McKay, 10/17).
Wall Street Journal: Why the Work of Dr. Nancy J. Sullivan Could Be Key to a Potential Ebola Vaccine (Burton, 10/19).

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Underreporting Of Cases Likely In West African Ebola Epidemic

News outlets examine the challenges of collecting accurate data on how many people have become infected with or died from Ebola in West Africa.

The Guardian: Ebola: Liberia deaths ‘far higher than reported’ as officials downplay epidemic
“The true death toll from the Ebola epidemic is being masked by chaotic data collection and people’s reluctance to admit that their loved ones had the virus, according to one of West Africa’s most celebrated filmmakers. Sorious Samura, who has just returned from making a documentary on the crisis in Liberia, said it is very clear on the ground that the true number of dead is far higher than the official figures being reported by the World Health Organization…” (Townsend, 10/18).

ScienceInsider: How many Ebola cases are there really?
“…[I]t’s widely known that the real situation is much worse than the numbers show because many cases don’t make it into the official statistics. Underreporting occurs in every disease outbreak anywhere, but keeping track of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone has been particularly difficult. And the epidemic unfolds, underreporting appears to be getting worse…” (Enserink, 10/20).

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U.S. Government Temporarily Suspends New Funding For 'Gain-Of-Function' Research On Infectious Diseases

News outlets report on a White House decision to temporarily cease new funding for gain-of-function research on certain infectious diseases.

Nature News Blog: White House suspends enhanced pathogen research
“As the U.S. public frets about the recent transmission of Ebola to two Texas health care workers, the U.S. government has turned an eye on dangerous viruses that could become much more widespread if they were to escape from the lab. On 17 October, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced a mandatory moratorium on research aimed at making pathogens more deadly, known as gain-of-function research…” (Reardon, 10/17).

New York Times: White House to Cut Funding for Risky Biological Study
“Prompted by controversy over dangerous research and recent laboratory accidents, the White House announced Friday that it would temporarily halt all new funding for experiments that seek to study certain infectious agents by making them more dangerous…” (McNeil, 10/17).

NPR: U.S. To Temporarily Halt Funding For Controversial Virus Research
“…The unusual move comes after a long controversy over experiments with mutant forms of a bird flu virus. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said that the government will launch a review of the potential risks and benefits of certain experiments with three viruses: SARS, MERS, and influenza…” (Greenfieldboyce, 10/17).

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U.N. Marks International Day For Eradication Of Poverty

U.N. News Centre: On international Day, Ban declares eradication of poverty a ‘most fundamental obligation’
“Amid pronounced increases in global inequality, the United Nations marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty [on Friday] with calls to accelerate efforts in eliminating poverty in all its forms…” (10/17).

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U.N. Partnership With Media Outlets Aims To Increase Hunger, Nutrition Awareness

U.N. News Centre: Global media giants, U.N. agency team up in ongoing fight against hunger
“Two new partnerships between the United Nations food agency and independent media outlets will help promote greater awareness about food and nutrition-related issues while providing greater ammunition in the global fight against hunger, the Organization has announced…” (10/17).

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Somalis Risk Hunger Without Food And Security Improvements, U.N. Official Says

VOA News: U.N.: Somalis Need Food, Not Just Security Improvements
“The United Nations envoy in Somalia is warning that political and security improvements are not enough to stop hunger and stave off a worsening humanitarian crisis. At least one million Somalis are at risk of starvation, according to U.N. officials…” (Billow, 10/17).

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China To Relax Family Planning Policy In 2 Years, According To Adviser

Bloomberg News: China to Broaden Two-Child Policy in 2 Years, Adviser Says
“All Chinese couples will be allowed to have a second child in two years, said a researcher who advises the government on birth control policies. ‘We will fully relax the policy’ in two years after an experiment allowing some couples to have a second baby, Cai Fang, a vice director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the government’s research arm, said in a brief interview yesterday after a speech in Beijing…” (10/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss Ebola Outbreak

The following editorials and opinion pieces discuss various aspects of the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

New York Times: Cuba’s Impressive Role on Ebola
Editorial Board

“Cuba is an impoverished island that remains largely cut off from the world … Yet, having pledged to deploy hundreds of medical professionals to the front lines of the pandemic, Cuba stands to play the most robust role among the nations seeking to contain the virus. Cuba’s contribution is doubtlessly meant at least in part to bolster its beleaguered international standing. Nonetheless, it should be lauded and emulated. … The work of these Cuban medics benefits the entire global effort and should be recognized for that. But Obama administration officials have callously declined to say what, if any, support they would give them…” (10/19).

Washington Post: As Ebola rages in Africa, the international response continues to lag
Editorial Board

“…Now, the alarms about cases in the United States have reached a crescendo, in waves of panic fueled by hyperactive news and social media. But the actual response on the front lines of the epidemic — in Africa — is lagging … If there is something to panic about, it is the failure to get ahead of the outbreak in Africa. … The experts are clear: What is required to prevent Ebola from spreading to the United States is quicker and more comprehensive action in Africa. The world needs to meet Ebola on virus time” (10/18).

Granma: Duty calls
Fidel Castro Ruz, former president of Cuba

“Our country did not hesitate one minute in responding to the request made by international bodies for support to the struggle against the brutal [Ebola] epidemic which has erupted in West Africa. … The medical professionals who travel to any location whatsoever to save lives, even at the risk of losing their own, provide the greatest example of solidarity a human being can offer, above all when no material interest whatsoever exists as a motivation. … We will happily cooperate with U.S. personnel in this task, not in search of peace between these two states which have been adversaries for so many years, but rather, in any event, for World Peace, an objective which can and should be attempted…” (10/17).

Washington Post: The long-term cure for Ebola: An investment in health systems
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia

“…What is so tragic is that, until this outbreak, Liberia had made significant progress in building up its public health systems. … [A]ny African nation with a fragile health system is potentially vulnerable to this terrible disease. After all, infectious disease knows no borders. The United Nations has said it is going to take $1 billion to stop this outbreak. Of course, that’s our immediate priority. But at the same time, countries like Liberia need long-term investment to build up our health systems to prevent outbreaks of this scale from ever happening again” (10/19).

The Hill: Ron Klain as Ebola czar — Right person for the right job at the right time
Lanny Davis, columnist

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Isn’t a Messaging Problem
Scott Gottlieb, an American Enterprise Institute resident fellow, and Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute

Devex: Why the E.U.’s Ebola response doesn’t add up
Volker Hauck, head of the conflict, security, and resilience program at the European Centre for Development Policy Management, and Sophie Desmidt, a research assistant at ECDPM

New Republic: What a Past Epidemic Teaches Us About Ebola
Howard Markel, the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan and editor of the Milbank Quarterly

Bloomberg View: Ebola’s Greatest Threat: A Third-World Pandemic
Megan McArdle, a Bloomberg View columnist

The Hill: Public health: The (silent) cure for Ebola
Mary Pittman, president and CEO of the Public Health Institute

Foreign Policy: The Poor and the Sick
Fran Quigley, a clinical professor of law at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

The Hill: Ebola is apolitical
Terry Schofield, independent analyst

Project Syndicate: The End of Ebola
Abdul Tejan-Cole, executive director of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa

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Congress Should Overturn Policy Restricting U.S. Global Family Planning Funding

Daily Beast: Time for U.S. to Support Abortion for Rape Victims in Other Countries
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federal of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund

“…[T]he U.S. needs to end a 40-year-old policy that blocks women in other countries from accessing abortion. This law, known as the Helms Amendment (named after its sponsor, North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms), prevents U.S. global health programs from supporting abortion ‘as a method of family planning.’ Since the law’s inception in 1973, the U.S. government has made a bad situation worse by wrongly implementing the Helms Amendment as a total ban on abortion — even in cases of incest, rape, and life endangerment. … Ultimately, we must get rid of the Helms Amendment entirely, which will require congressional action. In the meantime, the administration should take an important step to resolve this crisis today by implementing the policy correctly…” (10/17).

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Improving Women's, Girls' Reproductive Health In Africa Will Boost Families' Economic Indicators

Project Syndicate: Unleashing Africa’s Girl Power
Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique and co-chair of the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)

“…The first step to improving conditions for women must be to strengthen their sexual and reproductive health and rights — an issue concerning which Africa has some of the world’s worst indicators. … The compounding benefits of ending legal, economic, and gender discrimination are vast. Healthier, wealthier, and better-educated women tend to produce healthier, wealthier, and better-educated families, because women typically invest more of their earnings than men do in their children’s wellbeing. With the continent’s population forecast to double by 2050, there is hardly a better time to invest in women and girls. It is as much an economic as an ethical argument” (10/17).

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Recent Releases

Blog Profiles USAID's First Disaster Expert On Ground In West Africa

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: Justin Pendarvis: “We have to demystify Ebola. It’s not a superhuman and magical thing.”
Natalie Hawwa, a USAID press officer for the Disaster Assistance Response Team in Monrovia, Liberia, profiles Justin Pendarvis, one of the public health advisers at USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. According to the blog, “Justin was the first disaster expert tapped to travel to West Africa and assess the growing Ebola situation for USAID” (10/17).

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Physician Reflects On Challenges Of Providing FP Services In West Africa

Intrahealth’s “Vital”: Family Planning Has Yet to Take Hold in West Africa — But Change Is Coming
Boniface Sebikali, senior clinical training adviser at IntraHealth International, reflects on his experience as a physician and family planning/reproductive health trainer in West Africa to shed light on the challenges of providing family planning services in the region (10/17).

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Research Needed On Sanitation Challenges Among Women, Children

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development: Sanitation
Dipika Ailani, associate program officer in the water, sanitation, and hygiene group at the Gates Foundation, discusses the importance of understanding “…the impact of poor sanitation on women and children and the role women play in sanitation investments, decisions, and expenses at a household level…” and poses questions for research that would ultimately inform the work of the sanitation team within the foundation (10/13).

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