Obama visits NIH to call for more funding for Ebola research

November / December 2014 | Volume 13, Issue 6

Closeup of President Barack Obama touring NIH Vaccine Research Center, listening attentively to researcher
Photo by Pete Souza, courtesy of the White House

President Barack Obama tours NIH Vaccine Research Center, listens attentively to researcher
Photo by Chuck Kennedy, courtesy of the White House

President Barack Obama visited the NIH campus on Dec. 2 to see firsthand the progress that biomedical research is making against Ebola virus disease.

The President toured the NIH Vaccine Research Center and met with scientists who are working hard to develop ways to combat this deadly virus that continues to devastate West Africa. And, in a speech before a packed auditorium at the NIH Clinical Center, the President praised the contributions of NIH staff. He also emphasized the need for emergency Congressional authorization of resources to ensure that the nation's research and public health efforts against Ebola will lead as quickly as possible to an end to this devastating outbreak.

Obama stressed the importance of investing in research for the long term. "If and when a new strain of flu, like the Spanish flu, crops up five years from now or a decade from now, we've made the investment and we're further along to be able to catch it," he said. "It is a smart investment for us to make. It's not just insurance; it is knowing that down the road we're going to continue to have problems like this - particularly in a globalized world where you move from one side of the world to the other in a day."

He said the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa demonstrates the character of the American people. "We are guided by our hopes and we are guided by our reason, and we are guided by our faith, and we're guided by our confidence that we can ease suffering and make a difference," he said. "And we imagine new treatments and cures, and we discover, and we invent, and we innovate, and we test, and we unlock new possibilities."

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