In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, our attention constantly shifts from topic to topic and from crisis to crisis. Various headlines and stories compete for our immediate attention, and some recede from public view before they receive the attention they should.
The most recent Ebola outbreak—a global health security crisis—seems to have been the latest casualty of our fast-paced news cycle. We hear little about it even though a quick Internet search will show new cases continue to emerge.
Globalization has integrated our world and expedited the sharing of cultures and ideas across the globe, but it also has increased our interaction with various pandemic and infectious diseases.
For this reason, we must remain focused on observing, planning, executing and sustaining operations to counter extremely aggressive and lethal diseases such as Ebola.
The Heritage Foundation has been engaged with the threat of Ebola since the first case was discovered in December 2013 in southeastern Guinea. Through tracking Ebola and analyzing the reaction to the outbreak from the U.S. government and the international community, Heritage experts produced a detailed report that assessed U.S. actions and provided recommendations aimed at enhancing emergency preparedness and planning, domestic response efforts and training for people of deeply affected countries.
The report included a chronology of the outbreak, an overview of the transmission and an examination of the international humanitarian response that focused on the role of the World Health Organization and the U.S. military. Heritage also held a panel discussion to discuss the significant findings that featured military leaders directly involved in leading the U.S. response.
Military officers representing the Chemical and Biological Defense and Medical Countermeasure Systems offices, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases shared information about their respective organizations and highlighted potential threats and challenges facing military medical research and development missions in the future.
“The Ebola Outbreak of 2013-2014: An Assessment of U.S. Actions,” pairs these unique military observations with Heritage’s recommendations to provide a blueprint for protecting American from future pandemics and bioterror crises.
Source material can be found at this site.