The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Tuesday it is expanding its response to an Ebola epidemic that is ravaging the world’s second-largest economy, but the news comes days after the department announced it was suspending the mandatory use of a limited number of US air carriers due to a lack of available resources.
In a press conference, HHS Secretary Tom Price, acting acting administrator of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the department was “working to ensure that we have all the resources necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of the American people”.
But while the announcement came after nearly two weeks of nationwide quarantine and a series of major public health disasters, the announcement by the Trump administration is the first step toward making sure that the US has the best possible resources to protect itself from an outbreak in America.
A quarantine imposed in the middle of the summer to contain the virus, the current outbreak has forced the closure of more than a million hotels and other businesses in the United States and more than 2,000 schools and universities have been shut down.
The Trump administration has also announced that the Centers For Disease Control is taking over the entire federal government and will now focus on the response to the outbreak.
“This is a very complicated situation and we don’t have all of the answers yet,” Price told reporters.
“We have to make sure that we are putting the resources in place to do what we can do.”US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Florida Governor Rick Scott during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, November 10, 2020.US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered the Centers of Disease Control to suspend the use of US carriers as the Trump Administration works to contain an outbreak.US health officials have been closely monitoring the health and safety of people living in the affected countries and in the area of the country in which the virus has been found.
They have also been working closely with state and local health departments and local emergency management agencies to determine the best way to contain and control the spread of the virus.
Price said he would continue to work closely with the Trump team to make a coordinated plan to “get this thing under control”.
“We’re going to have a plan and we’re going see how we do it,” he said.
“We’re not going to let this virus get to the people of the United State.
We’re going have a lot of options.”
The federal government has been conducting airlift operations, using private planes, to evacuate people to the United Kingdom and Australia.