Obama Hails Ebola Effort: ‘We Cannot Build Moats Around Our Countries’

An Army post in Liberia is set up to fight Ebola.
Sgt. Ange Desinor/U.S. Army

President Obama praised the multitude of Americans who traveled to West Africa to help fight the spread of Ebola today, announcing that many of the American troops who were sent overseas to help fight the disease would return.

During his speech today at the White House, Obama carefully explained that he was there “not to declare mission accomplished, but to mark a transition.”

Obama recalled the period of crisis on Ebola, criticizing those that panicked about the disease coming to America.

“We had three weeks in which all too often we heard science being ignored, and sensationalism, but you had folks like this who were steady and focused, and got the job done,” he said.

Obama argued that it was America’s responsibility to the world to combat disease around the world.

“In the 21st century, we cannot built moats around our countries,” he said. “There are no drawbridges to be pulled up. We shouldn’t try.”

He also asserted that America’s actions in West African countries stricken by Ebola was a smart investment.

“This is not charity,” he said. “The investments we make overseas are in our self-interest — this is not charity; we do this because the world is interconnected. In the same way that the investments we make in NIH are not a nice-to-do, they are a must-do.”