This Ebola thing is potentially spiraling out of control. What with the UN declaring that we only have 60 days to control this thing, to promises of it not getting out in the US, to Africa having up to 10,000 cases a week, we are potentially watching history before our eyes. Hopefully, not the end of it.
One essay I find interesting is the comparison of Ebola to the Influenza of 1918-1919. I understand the history of this pandemic well, as it affected my home area of Wayne County WVA quite harshly. Out behind the homestead, we have 2 cemeteries. In each of these there are many graves of those in the family and area that succumbed to the disease- in one plot, a mother, son, and 2 infants all died within a week in late 1918. My grandfather, who fought in WWI, told the family of all of the sick people he knew. Ebola may be our generation's plague, if we don't get this under control.
What I do know about this potential outbreak (and it's still not a full-fledged one in any way) is that, should we need to really break glass on this, the duty for overall coordination will fall to USNORTHCOM in Colorado Springs.
Likely under ESF's #6 and #8 (Mass Care and Public Health) NORTHCOM could, nay SHOULD, come to the fore to address coordinating the prevention of the spread. Why NORTHCOM? Since a full outbreak would require more than one federal agency to coordinate, and FEMA isn't a lead, HHS/CDC can't, then it would fall to NORTHCOM to coordinate all responses, should the President declare it. And he should. HHS, DoS (travel ban? and coordinating with Canada/Mexio) as well as many other local and federal groups would require some entity with the resources to assist. THIS WOULD NOT INDICATE TROOP INVOLVEMENT on the ground- just an agency that would help alleviate 'who's in charge here' problems.
This is an outgrowth of Hurricane Katrina; yes, Homeland Security would be involved, but they are NOT the ones that should be running the show. NORTHCOM has the personnel and expertise.
So far, we've heard nothing from NORTHCOM on any response preparedness. I wish we would. I'd feel better about it than the CDC trying to go it alone...