President Barack Obama called for health care workers returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa to be treated as “the heroes that they are,” amid continuing confusion and public anxiety over state health measures that call for some to be confined to their homes.
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday that all members of the armed services working in Ebola-stricken West African countries undergo mandatory 21-day quarantines upon their return to the United States.
President Obama urged Americans on Tuesday to set aside their fears of Ebola and make sure that U.S. healthcare workers who go to West Africa are "applauded, thanked and supported" when they return home.
The federal government announced new guidelines Monday for monitoring healthcare workers returning from West Africa that are far less restrictive than the quarantines that some states put in place for aid workers at risk of contracting Ebola.
The Department of Homeland Security has directed travelers entering the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to five airports for further screening before entering the country. The new travel protocol comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new safety plans for healthcare workers. Gwen Ifill speaks with Dr. Thomas Frieden of the CDC.
As the Ebola fear and response grows, we look back in the Washington Week Vault to April 2003 when the United States was battling another epidemic: SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome. As SARS spread from China, we discussed the worldwide spread and economic impact of the disease.
Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and managing editor of the "PBS NewsHour." The best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," Gwen has covered seven presidential campaigns and moderated two vice presidential debates.