NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Barack Obama canceled a trip to New Jersey and Connecticut to meet with his advisers about Ebola at the White House.
Obama said Wednesday that the U.S. monitoring of Ebola must be “much more aggressive,’ and that federal health teams must respond to future cases within 24 hours.
The second case of an infected nurse in Dallas highlights the need to ramp up efforts to confront the disease that has struck West Africa and has reached U.S. shores, Obama said.
Obama spoke after meeting with top Cabinet officials involved in the Ebola response both here in the U.S. and in the West African region where the disease has been spreading at alarming rates.
He said his administration is reviewing what happened in Dallas to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“The president’s travel today to New Jersey and Connecticut has been postponed,” the president’s Press Secretary said in a statement. “Late this afternoon, the president will convene a meeting at the White House of cabinet agencies coordinating the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.”
Obama’s decision to nix the trip — just a few hours before Air Force One was scheduled to depart — reflected the urgency facing the administration amid the American public’s escalating concerns about potential spread of the virus.
Hours before Obama canceled his trip Wednesday, officials disclosed that a second Dallas hospital worker had tested positive for the virus after treating an Ebola patient who later died, raising fears about whether other health care workers may have also been exposed. Word that the hospital worker was on a commercial flight the evening before being diagnosed increased the pressure on the president to reassure Americans that the government has the situation under control.
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