President Barack Obama and Members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee heard directly from a Samaritan’s Purse doctor who had contracted the Ebola virus in West Africa, and, by God’s grace, recovered here in the United States. In a hearing before the HELP committee, Dr. Kent Brantly, who was stationed in Liberia for NRB Member Samaritan’s Purse, shared the details of his firsthand battle against Ebola in others and in himself: “I was given world-class medical treatment and eventually beat the odds to become one of the few who recover from Ebola. As a survivor, it is not only my privilege but also my duty to speak out on behalf of the people of West Africa who continue to face unspeakable devastation because of this horrific disease.”
Dr. Brantly urged Senators to take proactive action against the outbreak, a call he echoed in the Oval Office with the President. Indeed, the President this week did announce plans to use U.S. military personnel to aid health workers in reaching those Africans suffering from the disease. He also indicated that the U.S. will help build treatment centers in the region.
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the top Republican on the Senate HELP Committee, stated this week that this epidemic must be treated "as seriously as we take ISIS." Dr. Brantly showed similar alarm, declaring, “Many have used the analogy of a fire burning out of control to describe this unprecedented Ebola outbreak. Indeed it is a fire - a fire straight from the pit of hell. We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the vast moat of the Atlantic Ocean will keep the flames away from our shores. Instead, we must mobilize the resources needed to keep entire nations from being reduced to ashes.”
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: September 19, 2014