George W. Bush And Amber Vinson: Ex-Prez Meets Ebola Survivor At Dallas Hospital

Former President George W. Bush hugged and kissed nurse and Ebola survivor Amber Vinson during a morale-boosting visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Friday.

Vinson was one of two nurses infected with Ebola at the Dallas hospital after treating a now-deceased Liberian man who was diagnosed with the virus. On October 28, Vinson was declared Ebola free and was discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta to return home. The other nurse, Nina Pham, has also received a clean bill of health.

Friday, November 7, also marked the official end of the Dallas Ebola outbreak, with the area designated all clear following the conclusion of the incubation period with no new cases emerging. According to a report from NPR, Dallas is now safe.

As of Friday afternoon, all of the people in Dallas who officials say could have had contact with a patient with the deadly Ebola virus are being declared free of risk. More than 100 people had been monitored for the 21-day period that marks Ebola’s incubation period”

The 43rd president met with healthcare workers at the facility including Vinson, 29, and thanked them for what he described as their “fabulous job” during the Ebola outbreak. As other nurses looked on approvingly, he told Vinson that she looked good and joked that he had been watching her on TV. He later described Vinson as a sweet woman.

Vinson commented that she missed her co-workers at the hospital. “They are the best,” she said.

Bush had heart surgery last year at “Presby” and quipped that “it feels like home,” adding that “I guess it’s hard to say I loved my time here. But if I had to be somewhere, I’m thrilled it was here.”

In formal remarks about the hospital’s work during the Ebola crisis, Bush put into words what many in North Texas had been feeling in recent weeks.

The last five weeks have been a trying time for the city and residents of Dallas and especially for the people of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. I appreciate the way the hospital and its professionals are sharing lessons learned in a way that helps the broader United States healthcare community respond to this terrible virus. As someone who has gone to Presbyterian hospital for care myself, I know it is a dedicated professional and caring place, and I’m confident it is doing what is necessary to reaffirm the community’s trust.”

Before President Bush left the Dallas medical facility, and after meeting Amber Vinson and other staffers, he signed a poster with the message “God bless Presbyterian Hospital.”