Washington: As New York City reported its first Ebola case, US President Barack Obama today asked the Americans not to give into fear as the country is well equipped to deal with the deadly virus and is leading the global fight to stamp it out.
"Here's the bottom line. Patients can beat this disease. And we can beat this disease. But we have to stay vigilant," Obama said in his weekly radio and web address today, a day after he hugged the Dallas-based Nina Pham, the nurse declared free of Ebola.
"We have to work together at every level?federal, state and local. And we have to keep leading the global response, because the best way to stop this disease, the best way to keep Americans safe, is to stop it at its source ? in West Africa," he said ye.
The President said: "We have to be guided by the science... By the facts, not fear."
He said new measures were put in place to screen all travellers from the three affected countries in West Africa into five US airports where provisions for additional screening were put in place.
"Starting this week, these travelers will be required to report their temperatures and any symptoms on a daily basis?for 21 days until we're confident they don't have Ebola," he said.
Obama said the White House and its new Ebola response coordinator were working to ensure a seamless response across the federal government.
"And we have been examining the protocols for protecting our brave health care workers, and, guided by the science, we'll continue to work with state and local officials to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and health of the American people," he said.
Lauding the New Yorkers for their indomitable spirit, Obama said "they showed us the way."
"They did what they do every day?jumping on buses, riding the subway, crowding into elevators, heading into work, gathering in parks. That spirit?that determination to carry on?is part of what makes New York one of the great cities in the world," Obama said.
"And that's the spirit all of us can draw upon, as Americans, as we meet this challenge together," he said.
33-year-old Craig Spencer, a doctor who treated Ebola patients in Guinea and returned to the US last week was tested positive for the Ebola virus, becoming New York city's first diagnosed case.
Noting that his administration this week remained focused on fight against Ebola, Obama said, in New York City, medical personnel moved quickly to isolate and care for the patient there.
"The city and state of New York have strong public health systems, and they've been preparing for this possibility. Because of the steps we've taken in recent weeks, our CDC experts were already at the hospital, helping staff prepare for this kind of situation," he said, adding that this week we continued to step up its efforts across the country.