While Obama and Congress focus on ISIS, the insidious Ebola virus, a real an imminent threat, as opposed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is spreading uncontrollably and claiming scores of human lives.
Monday, the World Health Organization, or WHO, made an ominous claim that the Ebola disease in Liberia, which has killed over 1,200, is spreading throughout the region, and the rates of infection are rising exponentially, according to a Washington Post report.
At a press conference Thursday, the country’s finance minister, Amara Konneh, said the West African country, home to 4 million residents, is at “war with an enemy we don’t see.” And on Tuesday, Liberia’s defense minister, Brownie Samukai, made a bold claim that shook up the ranks in the medical and political communities.
“Liberia is facing a serious threat to its national existence. The deadly Ebola virus has caused a disruption of the normal functioning of our state.”
Similar to ISIS, which has spread its extremist and murderous ideologies throughout a narrow corridor in the Middle East, the Ebola virus has proven to be virulent and threatens to spread globally, if not contained.
The invisible enemy “is now spreading like wildfire, devouring everything in its path. The already weak health infrastructure of the country has been overwhelmed,” Samukai said.
The growing crisis in Liberia should be of particular concern to global leaders; if Ebola is not contained, which appears to be the case, the virus threatens to spread and bring on economic and political calamities.
Liberia, with its neighboring Sierra Leone counterpart, is short on resources and infrastructure needed to fight an Ebola virus war. Having fought two recent civil wars that resulted in 250,000 fatalities, the war-torn region is in no shape to stop the spread of the virus.
Karin Landgren, a U.N. special envoy, echoed the sentiments of Samukai. She told the Security Council that “Liberians are facing their gravest threat since war,” and the country is on the brink of destabilization. With one doctor for every 100,000 residents at the start of the outbreak, officials are hard-pressed to arrive at solutions that will prevent a pandemic of epic proportions.
This is a real threat, not an envisioned one that the Obama administration sees with the Islamic State. True, the terror group has widened its reach, but recent airstrikes have contained it, and a number of partners to the West are choking off the grip of the extremist group. Perhaps, an Ebola-infected ISIS terrorist is worse?
Some experts on global crisis intervention think Liberia runs a high risk of breaking apart, and the resultant human crisis issue from refugees seeking respite will only spread the Ebola virus further into ungoverned regions. If the current regime fails with a new civil war or coup, the already invisible and deadly pathogen will dig deeper trenches and threaten developed nations.
It’s true that Al Qaeda off-shoots like ISIS and other Islamic radicalized groups are worrisome, but these are enemies that operate in the public through fear and tyranny. They only hide behind veils and cloaks, but their presence is visible.
A number of congressional leaders and U.S. allies are not all convinced of an imminent ISIS threat the rouge group of terrorists pose to the homeland. With many tools in place to fight the enemy and keep them at bay, another 9/11, while probable, has a low chance of occurring on American soil. Obviously, nothing is set in stone, especially with a group like ISIS.
However, many can agree that with the numbers of Ebola cases spreading exponentially, it only takes one carrier to make it to the mainland undetected. Then, the threat to millions is real. That said, should Obama and world leaders place more emphasis and resources into fighting an enemy that doesn’t announce its arrival or continuing playing mind games with IS?
[Image via: IBTimes]