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U.N. Ebola Chief: World 'Was Not Prepared' for This Outbreak

Anthony Banbury tells "Meet the Press" that the circumstances of the West Africa outbreak were unexpected.

The head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response said Sunday that the global community could not anticipate the spread of the disease. In an interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Anthony Banbury told Chuck Todd that the circumstances surrounding the outbreak were unprecedented.

"The world was not prepared for an outbreak of Ebola like this nature," said Banbury. "We had never seen it before spreading in wide geographical areas, spreading in urban settings, densely populated urban settings."

"The previous outbreaks had been small and localized. Here it spread real fast, the world wasn’t prepared, U.N., governments, populations and now we’re catching up."

Banbury told Chuck Todd that healthcare workers are the most vital weapon in the "war on Ebola."

“[We need] people to manage these complex health Ebola treatment units as well as the doctors, nurses, hygienists, to staff them," he said. "We're fighting against a war against Ebola. We need soldiers on the ground. But instead of soldiers in camouflage, we need soldiers in lab coats and PPE suits taking care of the victims."


— Dale Armbruster