Image: US Army Africa / CC BY 2.0
2nd District congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia doubts the necessity of the West African military deployment to fight Ebola. In a campaign event with former U.N. ambassador John Bolton at Dartmouth College, Garcia asked, “Is there a stated goal there? Building hospitals and schools — is that hand in hand with our security interests?”
The World Health Organization estimates the Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people and is still out of control in three West African nations, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. This week, the White House announced the U.S. is sending 3,000 troops to Liberia to help fight the disease. The troops’ mission will be to build treatment centers and train the medical staff to run them.
Pres. Obama explained why the military action is, in fact, hand in hand with our security interests. “If the outbreak is not stopped now,” he said, “we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected, with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us,”
“So this is an epidemic that is not just a threat to regional security — it’s a potential threat to global security if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic,” the president continued. “That has profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease.”
Valley News notes Garcia also criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Salem Republican, who is challenging Congresswoman Annie Kuster in the 2nd District, claimed the CDC is “diverting resources to efforts such as studies about helmet safety and health initiatives related to bike paths rather than to developing protocols to address the threat posed by Ebola.”
Her solution is to cut the CDC’s budget. Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern reports Garcia stated her desire to cut the budget for the nation’s health protection agency during a candidate forum in Franklin.