After a second nurse at the Texas hospital that treated Thomas Eric Duncan contracted Ebola, President Barack Obama revealed on Wednesday that he hugged and kissed nurses at Emory University hospital who had treated an American missionary who contracted Ebola in Africa.
“I want to use myself as an example just so people have a sense of the science here. I shook hands with, hugged, and kissed, not the doctors, but a couple of the nurses at Emory because of the valiant work that they did in treating one of the patients,” Obama said. “They followed the protocols, they knew what they were doing, and I felt perfectly safe doing so. And so, this is not a situation in which, like a flu, the risks of a rapid spread of the disease are imminent. If we do these protocols properly, follow the steps, get the information out, then the likelihood of widespread Ebola outbreak in this country are very, very low.”
Obama may have gotten lucky. While Emory University had strict protocols for treating Ebola patients, the Texas hospital that treated Thomas Eric Duncan did not. Two nurses from that hospital have contracted Ebola and at least 70 people at the hospital may have been exposed to the virus.