Monitoring Ebola in Africa

US Africa Command boss Army Gen. David Rodriguez said the US continues to monitor Ebola outbreaks in surrounding African countries, though at this time he doesn’t see a need to expand Operation United Assistance beyond Liberia. “Right now, USAID does not think we’ll have to do that, but they’re continuing to monitor that very closely,” he told reporters at the Pentagon on Dec. 3. “As you know, Sierra Leone and Guinea, of course, are two that are hard hit. And then there has been an uptick in Mali, so we’re continuing to prepare to do those things, but as of yet, not required.” Moving troops to these nations “depends really on the international community’s effort to do the things that are required. … USAID has disaster assistance and response teams in each of those countries, and as of today, they have not requested that support,” he said. Rodriguez also said the mission, which was initially projected to last about one year, could conclude in “a little bit less than that,” if the situation doesn’t decline and the mission isn’t expanded past Liberia. Recently, officials decreased the requested number of troops deploying to support the mission, a sign that local infrastructure was stronger than anticipated. (Rodriguez transcript.)