As international groups pull staff from the three countries, airlines suspend commercial flights and neighboring countries close their borders, some have argued that it will be next to impossible to contain the outbreak — that public health systems are too weak, the cost of providing effective care too high and health workers too scarce.
But Ebola has been stopped in every other outbreak to date, and it can be stopped in West Africa, too. The crisis we are watching unfold derives less from the virus itself and more from deadly and misinformed biases that have led to a disastrously inadequate response to the outbreak.
These biases, tragically, live on, despite evidence that disproves them again and again.
Just 15 years ago, Western experts said confidently that there was little that rich countries could do to stop the global AIDS crisis, which was killing millions of people in Africa and elsewhere.