Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, just returned from a four-day trip to all three of West Africa’s Ebola-stricken countries. Speaking with Melissa Block of All Things Considered, she said she saw promising signs of recovery but had also gained a sense of just how much work must still be done.
In Liberia, Power was struck by the gratitude expressed to the United States for “rescuing these countries in their hour of greatest need.”
A Liberian told her: “America is the only country that is treating us like we are Nina Pham [the Dallas nurse recently declared Ebola-free]. America is hugging us like President Obama hugged Nina Pham.”
The U.S. has deployed 3,000 ground troops to help construct 17 Ebola treatment units in Liberia, and Power said the effect is already noticeable. She visited a medical laboratory six hours away from the capital, Monrovia, where the assistance of U.S. troops had helped cut the wait time for results of an Ebola test from a week to just a few hours. This means fewer people will become infected by spending days waiting with already diagnosed Ebola patients to find out their diagnosis. And more beds will be available for those who actually have the disease.
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