STEPPING UP

Obama: We Want a Rapid-Response Team

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, President Obama announced that he has ordered the CDC to create a rapid-response team similar to a SWAT team that can be on the scene of an Ebola diagnosis in less than 24 hours to help local health-care workers and facilities. The president also said that officials are reviewing every step taken in the care of Thomas Duncan to figure out what went wrong. He also sought to reassure the public about their safety. “I know people are concerned,” he said, especially because of the second infected nurse going on a commercial flight. But, he said, “it is not like the flu, it is not airborne.” He reminded viewers that it can only be caught by direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is showing symptoms. The president also gave himself as an example, saying he shook hands and hugged health-care workers at Emory University after they treated Ebola patients. “If we do these protocols properly,” he said, “the likelihood of widespread Ebola outbreaks in this country are very low.”