US Ebola Survivor: Virus a 'Fire from Pit of Hell'

Caitlin Burke - CBN News Reporter

The United States is taking aggressive new action against the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

"People are literally dying in the streets in West Africa. Ebola is now an epidemic the likes of which we haven't seen before," President Barack Obama warned.

Speaking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta on Monday, the president outlined steps the United States will take in West Africa to combat the virus, including the following:

  • A new command center in Liberia
  • An American general on the ground coordinating both U.S. and international relief efforts
  • And thousands of U.S. military personnel in Liberia to support the command center

Dr. Kent Brantly, an American survivor of Ebola who worked with SIM, criticized the government's slow response.

He said that early on he and other health workers pleaded for more resources to fight the virus, but he was ignored by the United States until he and other infected Americans were brought home last month for treatment.

SIM President Bruce Johnson spoke with CBN News about the Ebola outbreak and President Obama's plan to fight it.

At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, CDC experts warned lawmakers that if the Ebola epidemic isn't stopped now, we could be dealing with it for years to come.

Brantly told the Senate panel that it's only a matter of time before the deadly virus spreads to the United States.

"Indeed it is a fire. It's a fire straight from the pit of hell," he testified. "We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the vast moat of the Atlantic Ocean will keep the flames away from our shores."

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization warns the window of opportunity to end the Ebola outbreak is closing. They predict the number of cases could start doubling every three weeks in West Africa and could cost nearly a billion dollars to contain.

"We must move quickly and immediately to deliver the promises that have been made and to be open to practical innovative interventions," Brantly urged. "This is the only way to keep entire nations from being reduced to ashes."

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