White House Trying Get Ahead Of Ebola Fear

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The White House is rushing to get in front of the public’s growing concerns about Ebola by showcasing top-level attention and concern.

But White House spokesman Josh Earnest rebuffed growing calls for a ban on travelers from Ebola-stricken countries in Africa.

There’s no consideration of a travel ban, Earnest said.

Instead, he said, Americans will be protected by a “sophisticated multi layer screening system” at African airports, plus a rapid reaction by U.S. medical officials.

So far, the sophisticated system failed to detect or contain a Liberian disease-carrier until Sept. 28, eight days after he entered the country. During that period, he may have passed the disease to his neighbors in Dallas.

President Barack Obama has scheduled a White House meeting with top advisers on Monday, and a slew of top aides and scientists are slated to brief the media late Friday about the deadly plague.

The Friday meeting was announced by White House spokesman Josh Earnest, who talked with reporters during a presidential campaign-style trip to Indiana.

The Friday press event was designed to reassure reporters and Americans with a line-up of impressive medical, military and government authority.

The attendees were to include Lisa Monaco, assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Raj Shah, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development; and General David M. Rodriguez, commander of the United States Africa Command.

Reporters have pressed officials to explain why Obama is opposed to a ban on air travelers from disease-afflicted countries in Africa, and for reassurance that the Ebola virus is not mutating into a more dangerous form.

Currently, the disease is contagious via bodily fluids, either on the victim’s skin or in particles emitted by a severely affected person.

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