President Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to put the nation at ease on the threat from Ebola, saying that “what we’re seeing now is not an ‘outbreak’ or an ‘epidemic'” and urging all of us — “citizens, leaders, the media” — not to “give in to hysteria or fear.” Sounds good, right?
Sounds good, until today, that is, when news broke that Sec. Chuck Hagel has ordered the DoD to develop an new “quick strike” team made up of members of the U.S. military to deploy to hospitals inside of the United States in the event of another case of Ebola:
Here’s an excerpt from the news release from the Department of Defense:
Once formed, team members will be sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for up to seven days of specialized training in infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE). That training is expected to start within the next week or so and will be provided by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.
Upon conclusion of training, team members will remain in a “prepare to deploy” status for 30 days, available to be sent to other CONUS locations as required. They will not be sent to West Africa or elsewhere overseas and will be called upon domestically only if deemed prudent by our public health professionals.
And while we do agree with this…
…deploying the military inside the United States for a risk the president just told us not to get hysterical about is a big step, no? Some are expressing their concerns:
Oh, and then there’s this:
Maybe the president is confused, too. In his address on Saturday, President Obama didn’t mention anything about this new Pentagon “quick strike” team, but he did say the CDC had one:
The CDC’s new Ebola rapid response teams will deploy quickly to help hospitals implement the right protocols.
But now Sec. Hagel has created a military unit that will do exactly what the CDC is paid to do. What the heck is going on?
Full Twitchy coverage on Ebola here.