Emory University Hospital head nurse addresses fear surrounding Ebola patients

'These patients will benefit — not threaten — the country.'

Published 06 August 2014  |  
Emory University
Emory University Hospital front entrance

The chief nurse at Emory Healthcare, Susan Mitchell Grant, published a blog entry on the Washington Post's website on Wednesday, addressing the outcry over the transport of two Ebola-infected patients to her facility.

Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, Christian humanitarian workers serving the Ebola-infected population in Liberia, were medically evacuated to the Atlanta hospital within the past five days. Many Americans protested their arrival and insisted the U.S. should have left them in Africa.

One high-profile individual who decried Brantly and Writebol's rescue was Donald Trump.

"The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back," he tweeted on Friday. "People that go to far away places to help out are great- but must suffer the consequences!

"The U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our 'borders.' Act fast!" he added on Saturday – the day Dr. Brantly arrived at Emory.

Grant called the fears unwarranted and ignorant.

"Emory University Hospital has a unit created specifically for these types of highly infectious patients, and our staff is thoroughly trained in infection control procedures and protocols," she wrote.

"But beyond that, the public alarm overlooks the foundational mission of the U.S. medical system. The purpose of any hospital is to care for the ill and advance knowledge about human health.

"At Emory, our education, research, dedication and focus on quality — essentially everything we do — is in preparation to handle these types of cases."

Grant went a step further, insisting that treating Brantly and Writebol in the U.S. would benefit the country and the world.

"The insight we gain by caring for them will prepare us to better treat emergent diseases that may confront the United States in the future," she said. "We also can export our new knowledge to treat Ebola globally."

Dr. Brantly's wife, Amber, reported Monday that her husband is steadily improving since arriving in the U.S., and Writebol was reported to be in stable condition on Tuesday.

Grant said that helping the medical workers was simply the right thing to do.

"As human beings, we all hope that if we were in need of superior health care, our country and its top doctors would help us get better," she wrote. "We can either let our actions be guided by misunderstandings, fear and self-interest, or we can lead by knowledge, science and compassion.

"We can fear, or we can care."

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