Ebola Does Not Listen to Obama — Nor Obama to Ebola

Majid Ali, M.D.

In mid-July 2014, in the first segment of my six-part series Ebola on MNN TV, New York, I said that Ebola was an epidemic, not an outbreak as then designated by the World Health Organization. I told my viewers that Ebola would certainly reach the United States and claim lives here. I am a pathologist so I did not consider that to be much of a prediction for the following three reasons:

1. West Africa was virginal terrain for Ebola virus since there were no known cases of Ebola infection there until the 2014 epidemic.

2. Fifty percent mortality of caregivers infected with the virus was a clear sign to me of the highly virulent nature of the virus.

3. West Africa, among the poorest regions of the world, was least able to marshal the resources needed to fight off the Ebola monster.

I devoted my TV series to an in-depth presentation of the history, virulence, spread, pathology, and clinical course of Ebola epidemics. During these weeks, it became clear to all serious-minded individuals that 2014 Ebola indeed was an epidemic and not a mere outbreak. President Obama did not say anything meaningful during this time.

Imagine my utter surprise when about five weeks after the airing of the first segment, I saw President Obama tell the nation that it was extremely unlikely that Ebola would reach the United States. Of course, I should not have been surprised. How could I forget that Ebola does not listen to Obama, nor Obama to Ebola.

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