from the this-porage-is-just-right dept.
Russell Berman writes in the Atlantic that the Obama administration is trying to navigate a tricky course: Can officials increase public vigilance about the deadly virus without inciting a panic? "Ebola is scary. It's a deadly disease. But we know how to stop it," says Dr. Thomas Frieden, the CDC director speaking "calmly and clearly, sticking to an even pitch and avoiding the familiar political image of the whip-smart fast-talker." International groups wanted the US to step in sooner to help fight the outbreak in west Africa, while more recently some Republicans have called on the administration to ban travel from the most affected countries but Frieden and other officials say such a move would be counterproductive, citing lessons learned from the SARS outbreak a decade ago. "The SARS outbreak cost the world more than $40 billion, but it wasn't to control the outbreak," says Frieden. "Those were costs from unnecessary and ineffective travel restrictions and trade changes that could have been avoided." The government announced Wednesday that it was stepping up protective measures at five airports, where authorities will screen travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea with targeted questions and fever checks, an action, officials acknowledge that was taken not only to stop the spread of the disease but simply to make people feel safer. According to Berman the message, it seems to be, is this: Be afraid of Ebola. Just not too afraid.