The US military is in a better position to save injured soldiers, a senior military officer told Reuters on Tuesday, as he admitted that the Pentagon’s medical teams have been too focused on the military’s fight against the Ebola outbreak.
“You can save your lives,” Col. Jeff Jaffe, the director of the US Army’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, told Reuters.
“It’s hard to believe that we’re in a position where we can’t help them.”
Jaffe said the military had a “strong capability” to assist those in need, but that the problem with Ebola was the number of injured soldiers on the ground.
More than 4,600 Americans have died from the virus since the outbreak began in West Africa, with about 4,800 of them in the US.
Jaffe acknowledged that the military has been overwhelmed by the epidemic and that the Army is struggling to put soldiers back to work.
“We’re having a hard time getting back on the field,” Jaffe told Reuters in a rare public appearance.
“The pace is too fast.”
“It seems like the U.S. military is not taking the Ebola situation seriously enough.”
In an interview with ABC News on Tuesday morning, Jaffe was asked about reports that US forces were not using their training to address the growing crisis.
“I don’t think it’s accurate to say that we haven’t taken it seriously,” Jaffa said.
“This is a very challenging situation.
I think we have a strong capability.”
In recent days, the US military has responded to the outbreak by deploying more troops to fight the virus, deploying special teams to the battlefield and deploying more medical equipment to help fight the outbreak.
The US has deployed troops in Africa to help in the fight against Ebola.
The Pentagon has also increased its deployment of medical supplies to combat the disease, including more vaccines, antibiotics and other life-saving supplies.
The military has also taken to the air to help contain the outbreak, with its aircraft sending medical supplies and personnel to battle the virus.
On Tuesday, the Pentagon said the Pentagon is deploying more military aircraft to battle Ebola.
“If you have Ebola, you don’t get to be a military officer,” Jafca told ABC News.
“And the fact that we are deploying military aircraft that are able to help to support our troops is a good thing.”
Jaffas comments came days after the Pentagon revealed that the number who have tested positive for Ebola in the United States had nearly tripled in just the past week, reaching 3,000.
That number represents nearly 10 percent of all the people tested since the Ebola pandemic began in late March.
It is the largest surge in the number tested in the U and US military since the virus was first identified in 1976.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that 2,929 people have died in the virus outbreak in West African countries.