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Newly released files: White House turned a deaf ear to Ebola warnings from the start

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In what has become a common theme, the Obama administration appears to have ignored the advice of experts on how to better safeguard the country from threats such as Ebola.

The Washington Times reported on Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control sent a memo to the Obama transition team in 2008 saying 18 regional disease detection centers were needed around the world.

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Fast forward to 2014, with fears of an Ebola outbreak running rampant in the Unites States, and The Times reported that only 10 centers exist and none are in the western region of African hardest hit by the virus.

The memo was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

“The existing centers have already proven their effectiveness and impact on detecting and responding to outbreaks including avian influenza, aflatoxin poisoning, Rift Valley fever, Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks,” the 2008 memo said.

The Times reported:

The CDC’s plan outlined in the transition memo was based on the notion that the U.S. shouldn’t wait for a disease to enter the country but rather monitor threats in hot spots overseas to try to help local public health authorities control outbreaks before then.

A novel concept that’s sure to gain favor now that the country has been rocked by the news that a second nurse in Dallas who treated Thomas Duncan before he died from Ebola has contracted the deadly virus.

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As for ignoring advice, the Obama administration continues to reject calls for a temporary travel ban to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — even though the calls grow louder and now include House Speaker John A. Boehner.

“A temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries afflicted with the virus is something that the president should absolutely consider along with any other appropriate actions as doubts about the security of our air travel systems grow,” the Ohio Republican said, according to The Times.

Tom Tillison

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