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Randomly Generated Public Paper from Today's Date in History
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest
October 16th, 2014

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:08 P.M. EDT

MR. EARNEST: Good afternoon, everybody. Nice to see you all. Apologize for the delayed start today.

Jim, do you want to get us started with questions?

Q: Sure. Thank you. Congrats on the Royals.

MR. EARNEST: Thank you. We're pretty excited about them. I think Sam Mellinger, who is the sports columnist at the Kansas City Star, I think said it best that for a long time we spent most of the year talking about how the Royals haven't been in the playoffs in 29 years; it's now true that the Royals haven't lost a playoff game in 29 years. (Laughter.) So, well said. So, anyway.

Q: So can you fill us in on what the President has been doing today or will be doing today regarding Ebola? It seems like -- he cancelled -- he's been talking about not wanting to create a panic, yet for the second day in a row he cancelled his other activities. And I wondered if that doesn't by itself kind of contribute to that sense that something is really amiss.

MR. EARNEST: Well, I think what it contributes to is the sense of urgency that the President and members of his administration feel about dealing with the situation. You'll recall, Jim, that yesterday the President did convene a meeting with members of his Cabinet and other members of his senior staff who are responsible for the response to this particular Ebola diagnosis, and to the broader Ebola outbreak that has occurred in West Africa.

Today the President will meet with some members of that team here at the White House to continue these discussions and to follow up on some of the actions that the President directed out of that meeting.

To be clear, what the President directed out of that meeting is a commitment on the part of the federal government to ensure that we're doing everything necessary to detect, isolate and treat Ebola patients when they materialize at health care facilities in this country, and that we do that in a way that protects health care workers and the broader American public. That is a core priority. At the same time, the President wants to ensure that those efforts do not distract from the very important work that's being done in West Africa.

Our experts tell us that the only way to completely eliminate risk from the Ebola virus to the American public is to stop this outbreak at its source. And that's why CDC officials have been on the ground in West Africa for seven months now dealing with this specific Ebola outbreak. And it's why last month the President announced a significant commitment of resources from the Department of Defense to lend their logistical expertise to improve the flow of personnel and supplies that are being used to mitigate the outbreak in the region.

So that was the topic of extensive discussion in yesterday's meeting. I'm confident it will the topic of discussion in the follow-up meeting that the President will convene later today. In addition to that, the President will also convene a series of phone calls. He'll call a number of members of Congress to talk about the ongoing response efforts and discuss a role for Congress to play in that ongoing effort. He'll also convene a call with health care workers from the CDC to talk about that agency's response to the situation.

The President will also make a couple of additional calls to foreign leaders. You'll recall that over the last 24 hours the President has placed a telephone call to Prime Minister Abe of Japan and convened a s ...
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