As of Tuesday afternoon, there is only one confirmed case of Ebola in the United States. And preventing new cases from cropping up, President Obama said, rests with stopping the virus at its source in West Africa.
Containment in West Africa requires the help of more health workers, including those from the U.S. The recent account of one nurse's three-day involuntary quarantine by New Jersey health officials, however, has some people, including medical experts, worried that health workers will face unfair treatment once they come back. The threat of quarantine, Obama said during a brief statement on Tuesday, could make volunteers think twice about joining the fight against Ebola.
"We don't want to discourage our health care workers from going to the front lines and dealing with this in an effective way," Obama said, hinting at new state quarantine protocols.
The Obama administration has said that New Jersey's strict quarantine policy, established by Gov. Chris Christie on Friday, is unnecessary. Quarantining health workers when they return from helping in West Africa isn't being cautious, it's being rash, the president said.
"When we see a problem and we see a challenge, then we fix it. We don't just react based on our fears," Obama said. "We react based on facts and judgment and making smart decisions."