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Ebola Virus Outbreak

Obama: 'Premature' to Say U.S. Should Green-light New Ebola Drug

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that it is too early to tell whether an experimental Ebola drug should be fast-tracked for approval or made available to sick patients outside the United States.

“I think we’ve got to let the science guide us,” Obama said at a press conference at the conclusion of a three-day summit with African leaders. “I don't think all the information's in on whether this drug is helpful."

The president said that the Ebola virus is “controllable” in countries with strong public health infrastructures, something he said leaders in the most hard-hit African countries admit has been a problem.

"We're focusing on the public health approach right now, but I will continue to seek information about what we're learning about these drugs going forward,'' he said.

Asked if he will approve a fast-tracking of the drug, Obama said such an assessment would be “premature” at this point.

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- Carrie Dann