From the Examiner: Soldiers that were told today they would be heading to Liberia to combat the Ebola epidemic are feeling a little more nervous tonight with the breaking news that a freelance cameraman for NBC news has been sickened with the deadly virus. The American cameraman tested positive for the virus today.
The thirty-three-year-old freelancer was a member of the crew that went to Liberia for Dr. Nancy’s Snyderman’s special coverage of the West African epidemic. Yesterday, those very crews filmed Dr. Snyderman as she dressed in hazmat-style gear to enter a room with dying patients. One segment of that filming was aired last night on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams.
The American Ebola patient has been self-quarantined in Liberia for the time being. NCB has asked for privacy for the unnamed man and his family. He will return to the United States for medical treatment, although it was not learned which medical facility is prepared to accept him.
Americans have been horrified this week with the news that a Liberian national traveled into the United States and presented to a Dallas hospital with symptoms of Ebola. Worse yet, the patient was given antibiotics and sent back into the community. What hasn’t been mentioned on mainstream news, the patient was very likely uninsured. If uninsured, he was a financial liability to the hospital, which was most likely the driving force with him not being admitted.
Just this morning, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that 700 troops from Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division would deploy into the Hot Zone to battle the deadly crisis. Those troops will partner with Soldiers from Fort Bliss and Fort Hood, both Texas bases. Fort Carson in Colorado will be sending 160 troops into Liberia, too. Navy Seabees from Camp Lemonnier have been in Liberia for two weeks, scouting sites for hospitals and storage facilities. They expect to have a functional hospital by mid-month.
The military response to the Ebola crisis is being led by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The units listed make up about half of the troops that will be deployed. In all, the U.S. expects to send 3,000 troops to Liberia. More information is coming from the Department of Defense daily and will be published on this site as it is released by the government.
Operation United Assistance is expected to cost approximately $750 Million, from the U.S. alone.