Obama to Appoint Ebola Czar

Obama to Appoint Ebola CzarObama to Appoint Ebola Czar

President Obama said Friday he is open to appointing what would essentially be an 'Ebola Czar' to deal with the ongoing situation with the deadly disease in the US, ABC News reported.

"It may be appropriate for me to appoint an additional person," to be the point person, the president told reporters at the White House after meeting with his Ebola response team for nearly two hours, as new information continued to develop about how health care workers at a Dallas hospital may not have been given proper training and equipment to deal with an Ebola patient.

However, a travel ban is not the way to go, the president said. He doesn't have a philosophical objection, but he said that a travel ban is less effective than screening. Implementing a travel ban may actually backfire by prompting travelers to hide their travel history or seek treatment, Obama said.

"I understand that people are worried. This is a disease that is new to our shores," Obama said. But he underscored the limited scope of the outbreak right now, and that Ebola is a "very difficult disease to catch."

There are nearly 9,000 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost 4,500 people have died from the virus so far. The biggest outbreak is in Liberia, where US troops will be sent to provide humanitarian assistance.

 Widespread transmission is also occurring in Guinea and Sierra Leone, while there has been localized transmission in Nigeria, Spain and the US. Senegal has had a travel-associated case.

The World Bank has predicted that the spread of Ebola presents a $33 billion threat to West African economies if the disease isn’t contained. Last week, scientists predicted that there was a 75 percent chance that Ebola would reach France by the end October and a 50 percent chance for the UK.