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By Katie Couric
Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expressed joy today about the recovery of American missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric. "We want to thank them for the service that they have rendered our country. And I'm glad Dr. Brantly said he's going to come back to Liberia. We just love him," President Sirleaf said.
Brantly and Writebol were released from Emory University Hospital this week after contracting Ebola in Liberia last month. Both were given the experimental drug ZMapp.
Liberia is facing the worst of the Ebola epidemic that has killed over 1,350 people in West Africa, including an estimated 576 Liberian citizens. President Sirleaf admits that her country is struggling to fight the spread of this disease — especially in the capital of Monrovia. Over the weekend a raid on a treatment center in Monrovia led to the implementation of a nationwide curfew and the quarantine of a poor township, West Point, by security forces. Protests have painted a picture of turmoil there; however, President Sirleaf said that this is not a "catastrophe" and reports of this nature are alarmist. She stated that at this point the government is working with the community to get the supplies needed and to eliminate the immediate threat of Ebola contamination.
She expressed gratitude at the aid that Liberia has received and hopes it continues but admitted that the "timing of support has been slow." When pressed, she said that she is "saddened that too many of the Liberian people have to become victims … but [I] cannot afford to be angry."
Although she expects it will take time to fully combat the epidemic's growth, President Sirleaf is hopeful that through increased awareness, understanding and proper health care, the outbreak will be suppressed within the next three to six months.
Watch The Full Interview: