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Letter: U.S. was slow to react to crisis in West Africa

U.S. was slow to react to crisis in West Africa

There were three stories on Ebola in the first four pages of the Oct. 17 newspaper. Meanwhile, on page 6 was a story that the Affordable Care Act has not hurt corporate America (oh, thank heaven), and relegated to page 7 was a story on CIA torture, a matter some of us feel is rather important.

Of course, information on Ebola is important. My understanding is that those at risk must have direct contact with feces, blood or vomit of patients in the later stages of the illness, and that the viral load is low at the fever stage. With a total of five Americans affected thus far, all of whom were in direct contact with Ebola patients, is it far-fetched to suggest there may be some political implications to the public clamor now occurring on Fox, CNN, etc.?

It seems to me as long as you’re covering Ebola, why not do a story on why the World Health Organization did not even declare this an international public health issue until Aug. 9, when Ebola has been killing West Africans since March? Or why U.S. aid is just now starting and was “barely off the ground” two weeks ago?

It’s sad that two Americans are now struggling with this disease. What’s sadder is that this country did not even react to this crisis until two U.S. aid workers developed Ebola. Meanwhile, the death toll in West Africa is currently 4,500 out of 9,000 infected.

Catherine F. Parker

Amherst