When Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were airlifted from Africa to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital in early August after contracting the deadly Ebola virus, some Americans questioned the wisdom of bringing them to the United States for treatment.
There was a fear that the virus, which is spread primarily through contact with the bodily fluids of the infected, would somehow outmaneuver modern medical protocols and migrate to the general public.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump saw an apocalypse in the making. His demand that the government seal the borders and consign any overseas American who contracted the virus to the mercy of the health care system in the country where they fell sick was, of course, ignored. Still, even sensible people were nervous about bringing Ebola patients back home.
Once stateside, both Dr. Brantly and Ms. Writebol were given effective drugs and treated in a sterile environment. They responded well to the therapy and eventually recovered. Both left the hospital last week, having survived a virus that has killed more than 1,300 people in Africa this year.
Credit the U.S. medical system for being able to contain and treat a fearsome virus like Ebola — and credit level-headed Americans for keeping their cool and welcoming these fellow citizens home to obtain treatment.
Ebola is justifiably feared, but it isn’t a death sentence for those with access to modern levels of care.