Obama: World must work together to prevent epidemics

A day after warning the United Nations about the Ebola threat, President Obama delivered a similar message Friday to a global health forum: The world must work together to prevent the spread of the deadly disease beyond West Africa.


Obama also said more international programs are needed to prevent epidemics in the first place, saying that in an interconnected world, an outbreak anywhere “has the potential to impact everybody” in every country.

“Nobody’s that isolated any more,” Obama told the Global Health Security Agenda Summit at the White House complex.

Obama noted that the U.S. has deployed troops and health care professionals to help stop the spread of Ebola. He said, “fighting this epidemic is a national security priority for the United States” — and the world.

The president also called on the private sector to design better protective gear for Ebola health workers, saying the government would pay for equipment that works.

Speaking to officials from from more than 40 nations at the global health summit, Obama said the world must also work together to prevent future outbreaks. Plans range from better immunization programs to improved medical facilities.

“We have to prevent outbreaks by reducing risks,” Obama said. “We need to detect threats immediately, wherever they arise.”

Said the president: “No one should ever have to die for lack of an isolation tent or a treatment bed, as is happening in West Africa.”