How Government Helped Defeat Ebola

defeat ebola virusRemember Ebola? You don’t hear about it much in the news anymore. Know why? Because the US government worked with the people of West Africa to kick its viral butt.

Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast lays out how it went down:


The American government’s response to the Ebola crisis has been not just good; it’s been nothing short of spectacular. It happened fast. And it changed reality for the better not on one but on two fronts—both domestically and in the three affected West African nations. …

[The people of West Africa took the necessary actions], but they did it with help. The U.S. government paid for the training of 10,000 civilians. Those were their civilians, mostly, but our government took the lead, working with other governments and various NGOs, in training them and determining what they’d do. “We sent people literally door-to-door in Liberia and Sierra Leone to tell people what safe practices were,” [U.S. Ebola Czar Ron] Klain says. “USAID funded the first sets of safe-burial teams in Liberia. We paid for radio broadcasts about safe burial practices and social interactions.”

Yes, the doctors and nurses who risked—and in far too many cases lost—their lives to treat those affected deserve a great deal of credit and our deepest admiration. But to get the epidemic under control, it took the coordination and resources of a well-run government intervention.


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