Secretary of the Army: ‘I Certainly Would Not Suggest to Any Family, Don’t Be Worried’

Ebola is “a very concerning matter,” Secretary of the Army John McHugh told reporters on Wednesday. “I certainly would not suggest to any family, don’t be worried, don’t be concerned. Every time a solider goes forward on any mission, there’s concern. And — and this is a very concerning matter.”

Hundreds of U.S. military personnel are now in Liberia to help that county deal with its raging Ebola epidemic. Thousands more are expected to arrive in the coming weeks and months.

McHugh said the U.S. military has been working “very, very closely” with its own medical experts as well as outside medical authorities “to ensure that we’re providing a training regimen that appropriately prepares our soldiers for what they’re expected to encounter.”

And while some military personnel will be testing blood samples in mobile medical labs, “they’re not going there to be placed in direct contact with any Ebola patients,” McHugh said.

“So I think we’ve done everything we possible can, and there’s every reasonable expectation that, you know, our soldiers’ safety are being maintained. But it is something we’re going to have to watch very, very carefully. This is an evolving situation.”