Obama Doesn't Want to Send the Secret Ebola Serum to Africa Anytime Soon

State Department

President Obama held a news conference on Wednesday evening to tout the success three day U.S. African Leaders Summit, but what reporters really wanted to know about was Ebola.

Obama said it was premature for him to say whether the U.S. would send an unapproved, experimental drug to Africa or whether he would support fast-tracking its approval in the U.S.

"I think we've got to let the science guide us," the president said, adding that he didn't have enough data about the effectiveness of the medicine.

While acknowledging the tragedy for those families whose loved ones have died, Obama sought to tamp down fears about the latest outbreak and said Ebola was "controllable if you’ve got a strong public health infrastructure in place."

The summit addressed questions of how to increase U.S. investment in Africa. Although the government gives billions of dollars of foreign aid to the continent, China has rapidly accelerated its pace of investment in oil rich African nations. 

On Tuesday, Obama announced 33 billion dollars in new commitments to Africa, which included investments from companies like Coca Cola and General Electric. He noted that the U.S. trade with Africa is roughly equal to U.S. trade with Brazil. 

"The United States is determined to be a partner in Africa's success," Obama said on Tuesday. "We don't look to Africa simply for its natural resources. We recognize Africa for its greatest resource, which is its people, their talents and their potential."

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