President Obama said Friday that some attendees of next week’s summit of African countries will receive health screenings for the deadly Ebola virus.
“With respect to the summit itself, we’re talking the appropriate precautions,” Obama said during an afternoon news conference at the White House while discussing the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
Obama said screenings will be done for “folks who are coming from these countries that have even a marginal risk or an infinitesimal risk of having been exposed in some fashion.”
Such screenings, he said, will be done as attendees leave their countries. “Additional screening” will occur for some as they arrive in the United States, Obama said.
“We feel confident the procedures we put in place are appropriate,” he said.
The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit is scheduled for Monday through Wednesday of next week. The White House is billing the event as the first such gathering of its kind.
“At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa,” reads the Obama administration website about the event.
Obama has issued invitations for the summit to leaders in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — the three countries experiencing the Ebola outbreak. But The Washington Times reported Thursday that the leaders of all three countries have decided against coming to the summit.
Because of the highly-contagious disease, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced that certain borders of the country will be closed until the outbreak stops.
In the United States, one congressman, Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, has asked the Obama administration to restrict travel into the country for anyone who lives or has recently visited the three countries suffering from the breakout.
But two Americans infected with the virus are being evacuated back home from Africa to the United States, according to news reports. Those infected include Kent Brantly, a doctor from Texas, and Nancy Writebol, a missionary, who became sick while in Liberia.
That means for the first time ever, people infected with the deadly Ebola virus will be inside the borders of the United States.