The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion A lack of empathy on Ebola

Kent Brantly in Washington in 2014.
Kent Brantly in Washington in 2014. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Soon after Lenny Bernstein’s Aug. 4 Book World review, “Amid a new outbreak, revisiting Ebola’s ravages,” was published online, President Trump retweeted a statement from Franklin Graham commemorating five years since Kent Brantly arrived in the United States after contracting Ebola in Liberia. The tweet thanks God “for the miracle of his healing.” The sentiment is nice, but it is spectacularly hypocritical coming from Mr. Trump. Remember that about five years ago, Mr. Trump tweeted:

“President Obama — close down the flights from Ebola infected areas right now, before it is too late! What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Ebola is much easier to transmit than the CDC and government representatives are admitting.”

“The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away places to help are great—but must suffer the consequences!”

These are the rants of a man who has no understanding of science and has neither the empathy nor the bravery to understand why anyone would go to faraway places to help. The miracle of Mr. Brantly’s healing occurred because nurses, doctors and government officials in 2014 showed the courage and compassion our current president clearly lacks.

Ian Warrington, Washington

The writer spent six weeks with a clinical Ebola response team in Sierra Leone in 2015.

Read more letters to the editor.