West Africa is still in dire need of international help in fighting Ebola, and President Obama is appealing to Congress to approve $6.2 billion in aid for just that purpose, the AP reports. "We cannot beat Ebola without more funding," he said during a visit yesterday to the National Institutes of Health, the New York Times reports. "It's a good Christmas present to the American people and to the world," he added, as per the AP. And while the New York Times reports that monitoring has ended for those exposed to the NYC doctor who had Ebola, and the Boston Globe notes that Massachusetts General Hospital says everything there is under control with a patient suspected of having the virus, the international response to the crisis overseas is still taking heat.
A Doctors Without Borders report issued yesterday notes that global help has been "patchy and slow"; although progress has been made in building Ebola management centers in West Africa, staffing is often subpar. "People are still dying horrible deaths in an outbreak that has already killed thousands," the president of Doctors Without Borders said in a statement. "We can't let our guard down and allow this to become a 'double failure': a response that is slow to begin with, and then is ill-adapted in the end." While some may balk at the high price tag, Obama stressed that it's a "smart investment" to make, notes Reuters, and that if we don't contain the virus at its origins, the US could remain vulnerable, the Times adds. (Meanwhile, the WHO advises male survivors to abstain from sex for three months.)