Maybe America doesn't need an Ebola czar. It just needs a hugger in chief.
On Friday, President Obama warmly embraced Nina Pham, one of the two Dallas nurses who contracted Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, inside the Oval Office.
Pham contracted the highly contagious and potentially deadly virus from Duncan, a Liberian man who was in Dallas to visit his family. He died on Oct. 8. Pham's fellow nurse, Amber Vinson, also contracted Ebola from Duncan, but was pronounced free of the disease on Wednesday.
At a press conference on Friday, Pham, 26, thanked Dr. Kent Brantly for donating plasma to her. Brantly was treated with experimental drugs at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after contracting Ebola in Liberia. Becase Brantly survived the disease, his blood contained the antibodies necessary to defeat it. Pham said she looks forward to being reunited with her dog, Bentley.
Meanwhile, Dr. Craig Spencer has been quarantined at Bellevue Hospital in New York City after contracting Ebola. Spencer had been working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea, and became symptomatic on Thursday after returning to the U.S. on Oct. 17.
Last week, Obama personally reassured Americans that there is no need to panic about a handful of Ebola cases in the U.S.
"I want to use myself as an example just so people have the sense of the science here," he said. "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. They followed the protocols. They knew what they were doing and I felt perfectly safe doing so."
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the name of the nurse in one reference. The nurse's name is Nina Pham.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.
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