ABC News medical expert Richard Besser told This Week Sunday morning that there was a “very real” possibility one of the 3,000 U.S. troops being sent to west Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak could contract the virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had discounted the possibility, pointing out that U.S. troops would be tasked with “logistics, engineering, command and control, and setting up field hospitals.” “Certainly going over there, they could indirectly get contact, but their primary mission is not to take care of patients,” Fauci said.
That wasn’t the click-worthy answer host Martha Raddatz was looking for, so she re-asked the question to Besser, who complied.
“Right now we have a situation where only 20% of patients with Ebola are being treated in treatment units,” Besser said. “So there are a lot of patients who have Ebola who are not in a protected environment. So the possibility of a soldier getting Ebola is very real and something we have to be ready for.”
Raddatz added that the military was prepared for that scenario.
Watch the clip below, via ABC News: