What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Obama meets with top health, security aides on Ebola after second U.S. nurse infected

Read the Full Transcript

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The appearance of another new Ebola case in Dallas sent fresh tremors through the health care system today.  They radiated all the way to Washington and the White House.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    We are going to be monitoring carefully the health status of the other health care workers in Dallas.  And, obviously, they’re concerned.  We understand that many of them are scared.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The president had planned to fly to the Northeast for campaign fund-raising, but he called off the trip to meet with top health and national security aides on Ebola.

  • BARACK OBAMA:

    If we do these protocols properly, if we follow the steps, if we get the information out, then the likelihood of widespread Ebola outbreaks in this country are very, very low.  But I think what we have all learned over the last several weeks is that folks here in this country and a lot of non-specialized hospitals and clinics don’t have that much experience dealing with these issues.

    And so we’re going to have to push out this information as aggressively as possible.  And that’s the instructions that I have provided to my team.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The meeting came hours after a second nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas was diagnosed.  She was identified as 29-year-old Amber Vinson, a co-worker of Nina Pham, who’s also infected.  Both nurses cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who was treated at the hospital and died of Ebola last week.  It’s not yet clear how either woman caught the virus.

  • DR. DANIEL VARGA, Texas Health Resources:

    We’re looking at every element of our personal protective equipment and infection control inside the hospitals.  We don’t have an answer for this right now, but we’re looking at every possible angle around this.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    To make matters worse, the CDC announced that Vinson took a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday night, when she already had a slight fever.

    The agency head, Dr. Tom Frieden, says she should have used controlled movement, not a commercial flight.

  • DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    That can include a charter plane.  That can include a car, but it doesn’t include public transport.  We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Frieden says there’s a very low risk to other passengers on that Frontier flight, but officials are asking them to call a hot line for monitoring.  The airline says the plane was cleaned afterward, consistent with CDC standards.

    And the nurse’s relatives in Kent, Ohio, are being asked to self-monitor for 21 days.  As for Vinson herself, she’s being transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.  It’s one of four facilities nationwide with specialized isolation units to care for Ebola patients.

    Back in Dallas, emergency crews started decontaminating Vinson’s apartment before dawn, much to the concern of neighbors.

  • SAM ROUNTREE, Neighbor of Amber Vinson:

      Woke up about 7:00 this morning, you know, just from hearing the helicopters and all that.  I saw a text message from my roommate saying that there might be a case of Ebola down the street from where we live, so I kind of woke up, freaked out, came outside.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    All of this as the Ebola death toll in West Africa rose again to almost 4,500, out of nearly 9,000 cases.

    We will return to Ebola and the growing challenge to the U.S. health care system after the news summary.

Listen to this Segment

Latest News