Sending Aid to African Countries Costs Money and Lives

By Amelia Biebel, Staff Writer
Ebola has caused a global crisis over the past few months, causing more than 4,500 deaths worldwide, though there have been only four diagnoses and one death in the United States to date. The deadly virus, which has spread in Western Africa, managed to make its way into America when an infected man from Liberia came to the U.S. Though he died on Oct. 8, two nurses in Dallas contracted the disease while treating him, and more recently a doctor in New York City tested positive after returning from Guinea, where he was treating Ebola patients.

ebola 6

Cartoon courtesy of The Cagle Post

Now that more cases have been revealed, Americans have begun to worry about the virus spreading in the US, and the government’s decision to help combat Ebola by sending more than 3,000 troops to Liberia and other affected African countries with supplies and medical equipment isn’t helping to alleviate those fears.

Sending troops out to these countries could expose them to the disease. It can take up to 21 days for the symptoms to show, and by that time, American troops could be home with their families without knowing they have the disease. Though protective gear is worn, it doesn’t always work, as seen by the nurses who contracted Ebola in Texas.

Another factor to consider is the cost of this aid. According to the Washington Post, “Officials say the effort may cost as much as $750 million in the next four months, which will be in addition to the $175 million already spent.” This is a hefty expense, especially considering our floundering economy.

The World Health Organization recently announced that both Nigeria and Senegal are clear of Ebola, so why should we have to send out thousands of troops and supplies if the spread of the disease seems to be declining? This aid will cost lives and money, neither of which the US can afford to lose.

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