The Oct. 10 front-page article “Ebola outbreak’s grim equation” neglected the key question: Why has the U.S. response been limited and slow? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s response was quick, timely and effective, but then what?
In early September, Sierra Leone asked for army field hospitals from the United States and Britain and for medical teams from Cuba. The request was urgent to quickly isolate those infected, before the exponential growth so aptly described by The Post got out of control.
Military field hospitals are highly portable and can be set up quickly. Nothing fancy was required, not even operating facilities. The U.S. response: two or three small labs to Sierra Leone and, after lengthy deliberation, a promise to build 17 hospitals in Liberia by mid-November, more than two months after the request and still inadequate.
Cuban medics have already arrived, even as the United States has decided to send no military medical staff to treat Ebola patients. Not even volunteers? A quick response would have significantly prevented the explosive growth in infections. Instead West Africans are facing tens of thousands of additional deaths.
Gary H. Maybarduk, Reston
All this talk of airport screening for Ebola strikes me as a fool’s errand. It is futile to screen for a virus with an incubation period of up to 21 days. During this time, victims may be asymptomatic as they travel freely among us.
And after a 10-hour flight, who wants to willingly admit on a questionnaire that he or she might need to be quarantined? I’m baffled by this.
Rick Flowe, Fredericksburg