After meeting his national security aides, Obama said at a White House press conference that the U.S. was “making progress” at containing the disease in West Africa, but other countries need to “step up” and could not remain on the sidelines.
“We have not seen other countries step up as aggressively as we need them to,” Obama said a week after the first U.S. case of Ebola surfaced in Dallas.
The president pledged more “pressure” on foreign leaders to ” make sure that they are doing everything that they can to join us in this effort.”
Meanwhile, Obama said he knew Americans were concerned about an outbreak of the disease, but it was important to note the facts about the virus. “The government is working on protocols to do additional passenger screenings both at the source and here in the United States.”
It is indicated that the White House is looking to toughen up restrictions on travelers after the first U.S. case of Ebola was able to enter the U.S. via a commercial flight.
“Because of the measures we’ve put in place, along with our world-class health system and the nature of the Ebola virus itself, which is difficult to transmit, the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is extremely low,” Obama said.
At the same time, the president said “we don’t have a lot of margin for error” and that the Dallas case illustrated how essential it is for medical and transportation personnel to fully follow relevant procedures.
“The procedures that were put in place must be followed,” Obama said, adding the administration would reach out to state and local officials to emphasize the point.