The Pentagon is developing an Ebola strike team in order to better treat patients inflicted by the deadly virus in the United States. The Pentagon Ebola strike team will reportedly consist of 20 nurses, five doctors, and five trainers.
The Department of Health and Human Services reportedly requested the formation of the Pentagon Ebola strike team. If the group functions as designed, the medical care providers can deploy to an Ebola outbreak within 72 hours beginning in November.
As Dr. Joe Alton previously told The Inquisitr, Ebola is not a hardy virus, has difficulty surviving on hard surfaces in cold weather, and does not live in water. During an interview with CNN, Pentagon representatives stated that the military agency will work to determine what type of Ebola aid is needed in the civilian health sector. During a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House last week, the president stated that he wanted a “more aggressive response,” according to Defense officials.
Defense Department Secretary Chuck Hagel reportedly ordered Northern Command Chief General Chuck Jacoby to “prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if required, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States.”
General Jacoby has already begun working with the Pentagon Ebola strike team organizers. Once the team has been officially formed and approved, it will reportedly go to Fort Sam Houston in Texas. The Ebola strike team will undergo seven days of training on personal protective equipment and in infection control techniques.
U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases training with the Pentagon Ebola strike team is expected to being in about a week. The medical workers will then reportedly remain in “prepare to deploy” status for 30 days. If “deemed prudent” by public health officials, the Pentagon team will respond anywhere in the country.
Although some feel the Pentagon Ebola strike team could help curtail the spread of the deadly virus in the United States, not all Americans support the concept of a “military response” to the problem. Concerns about Posse Comitatus have been raised by some online media outlets. The Posse Comitatus Act was passed during Reconstruction in 1887, and was then updated in 1981.
The act’s intent was designed to limit powers of the federal government in the use of federal military personnel to enforce state laws. The act does not apply to the National Guard, which is under state authority. If the Pentagon Ebola strike team is used simply to offer requested additional trained medical staff to aid local and state efforts during an outbreak, there would be no Posse Comitatus Act violation. But those who oppose the effort largely feel that an uninvited take-over of care, and any quarantine order issued by the team, would indeed violate Posse Comitatus.
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