Ebola — fruit of poverty and racism
volume:  
volume 35
issue 5
October 2014

On Sept. 16, President Obama finally announced increased, but still woefully inadequate, aid to West Africa to fight the devastating Ebola epidemic. It came only after the president of Liberia desperately appealed for U.S. help. A few days before, the Defense Department announced with great fanfare that it would build a 25-bed field hospital — serving Western medics only! And this almost three months after Doctors Without Borders sounded the alarm that the raging disease was spreading out of control. Cuba, with far fewer resources, is sending 165 health workers.

The afflicted countries are among the poorest on earth. They have few doctors and virtually no healthcare infrastructure. The plague, announced back in March, was allowed to rage out of control by the U.S. and other Western powers, which control the negligent World Health Organization. Clearly, Black Africans were expendable. Drug companies made little effort to fight Ebola, which emerged in 1976. It offered no profit. And touched only impoverished African countries. The currently announced measures fall criminally short.

There will be no lasting change without a drastic redistribution of wealth from the ultra-rich to the wretched of the earth.


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