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Obama applauds humanitarian workers in W. Africa, pushes for continued global Ebola response.

WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (KUNA) -- President Barack Obama thanked members of US' Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) that is working to combat Ebola in West Africa and continued his push for the US and the rest of global community to remain engaged in eradicating the disease.

Obama highlighted that the DART team was on the ground from "the minute we saw this Ebola outbreak" and "now the strategic and operations backbone of America's response." Obama made these remarks after speaking with some of the people on the team and relayed that they have seen progress in Liberia. Tomorrow, Obama plans on meeting with doctors and public health workers who have returned from or about to go to West Africa in order to obtain input, "based on science, based on facts, based on experience, about how the battle to deal with Ebola is going." The President indicated that he spoke with both recovered nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson and highlighted the only American still undergoing treatment, "Dr. Craig Spencer, who contracted the disease abroad while working to protect others." Obama also noted that Senegal and Nigeria have now been declared Ebola free.

In a separate briefing to reporters, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby confirmed that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has not made a decision to approve a request for all troops returning from West Africa to undergo a regimented program of 21 days of controlled, supervised Ebola monitoring.

At the end of Obama's remarks he was asked to clarify quarantine rules between military and health care workers, a subject that has become politicized in the US. He replied, "The military is in a different situation ... first of all they are not treating patients. Second of all, they are not there voluntarily. It's a part of their mission that's been assigned to them by their commanders and ultimately by me." (end)

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Oct 29, 2014
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