WaPo Report on Ebola Failures Ignores Criticism of Obama’s Slow Response
The Washington Post published an epic report Sunday on the Ebola outbreak entitled, Out of Control, How the World’s Health Organizations Failed to Stop the Ebola Disaster. But it’s hard to take the Washington Post seriously when it goes to such lengths to shield President Barack Obama from criticism for his failure to grasp the seriousness of the Ebola outbreak that it completely avoids mention of Obama’s Africa summit held at the beginning of August as the outbreak was spinning out of control and the paper’s own reporting that Obama was criticized by African leaders for being slow to respond to the crisis.
The article opens with the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, in late August having an epiphany about the Ebola outbreak as he views dead victims on a trip to Monrovia, Liberia.
“Frieden had seen plenty of death over the years, but this was far worse than he expected, a plague on a medieval scale. “A scene out of Dante,” he called it.
“Shaken, he flew back to the United States on Aug. 31 and immediately briefed President Obama by phone. The window to act was closing, he told the president in the 15-minute call.
“That conversation, nearly six months after the World Health Organization (WHO) learned of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, was part of a mounting realization among world leaders that the battle against the virus was being lost…”
Unmentioned in the Post article in well over 100 paragraphs and over a dozen mentions of his name is President Obama’s summit in Washington, D.C. with leaders from nearly every African nation held just four weeks before and criticism by some of those leaders for his failure to adequately respond to the Ebola outbreak.
As The Gateway Pundit reported at the time, the Obama administration went to great lengths at the time to assure the public proper steps were being taken to prevent Ebola victims from traveling to the U.S. for the summit, including having Obama address the American people in a press conference before the summit. The administration also had staff monitoring attendees for signs of Ebola at the summit. Federal employees were asked to stay home and monitor local media in case the government shut down in an emergency during the summit.
In a sign of how out of control the situation was at the time of the summit, several leaders of West African nation’s affected by the Ebola outbreak stayed home and sent lower level-led delegations.
Obama was asked but one question about Ebola at a closing press conference for the summit on August 6th. He gave a low-key answer saying the outbreak could be contained using normal (bureaucratic) protocols even as he acknowledged some affected nations were overwhelmed. His answer gave no sense of the global urgency of the situation.
It was a month-and-half later that Obama took urgent action by ordering 3000 U.S. troops to West Africa and sending 17 portable hospitals—instead of the just one 25 bed portable hospital the U.S. had previously announced it was sending.
The Post article uncritically describes the administration learning it was way behind the curve.
“By the first week of September, senior officials across the U.S. government had come to a grim realization: The civilian response was never going to happen fast enough to catch up with the epidemic. The CDC had managed to put more than 100 staff members on the ground and the U.S. disaster relief team had dispatched 30 more, but they and other aid workers were facing too big of a challenge. Only the U.S. military had the capacity to move with enough speed and scale.”
The Post article avoided repeating the Post’s own (half-hearted) report from three weeks before that Obama had been criticized by African leaders for his slow response.
“While some African leaders and lawmakers had criticized Obama for not doing enough to curb the deadly virus, Obama clearly has elevated the issue over the past week.”
Obama’s failure to respond in time to prevent a catastrophic outbreak of Ebola is of a pattern with his failure to act in time to prevent the terrorist group ISIS from wreaking havoc in the Middle East and many other examples of Obama being or acting unaware of budding crises during his presidency. But one won’t read that in the Post’s ‘authoritative’ Ebola report.