Bristol, TN, August 4, 2014--The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), the nation's largest faith-based association of healthcare professionals, today issued the following statement on the controversy surrounding bringing Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, both suffering from Ebola, back to the U.S. for treatment.
"As a physician who has dealt with deadly epidemics in Africa where I served as a missionary and then as the first medical director for Samaritan's Purse, the risk of causing an Ebola epidemic by transporting these missionaries to the U.S. is so close to zero that it is incalculable," noted CMDA CEO Dr. David Stevens. "Unlike bird flu and other dangerous viruses, Ebola requires direct contact with bodily fluids from a patient to transmit the virus. It is not passed by coughing or casual contact, and every precaution has taken place."
Kent Brantly has been a member of CMDA since he started medical school where he was a dynamic student leader. He had a call to healthcare missions from a young age and participated in many short-term mission trips overseas. Last year at this time, he was at CMDA's headquarters in Bristol, Tennessee where Dr. Stevens and other staff helped train Dr. Brantly, his wife Amber and a group of other young professionals who were preparing to serve as new missionaries with Samaritan's Purse.
"Kent has been called a 'hero.' Of course he is in the sense of having courage and great strength of character, but he would tell you that he is just living the 'normal Christian life' that every Christian should live. He is simply a Christian disciple 'denying himself, taking up his cross and following Jesus' as Christians have done for millenniums (Matthew 16:24). He is simply laying down his life for others as Christ laid down his life for him," said Dr. Stevens.
Stevens, who personally dealt with the outbreak of AIDS in Africa and wiped out an epidemic of relapsing fever in Sudan, added, "Last week we trained 20 more young healthcare professionals and their spouses who are going all over the world to serve as missionaries. Two of them are going to the same hospital in Liberia where Kent and Nancy were infected. I challenged them saying, 'You will not live in fear of disease, suffering and even death if you die to self before you go.' That is not extraordinary; it's the normal Christian life that every Christian should live."
Dr. Stevens joined Karl and June on Moody Radio Chicago on Monday, August 4 to discuss this topic and help explain the low risk of the spread of Ebola in the U.S. You can listen to his live interview at www.cmda.org/ebola. To schedule an interview with Dr. Stevens, please contact VP for Communications Margie Shealy at email@example.com or 423-844-1047. For more information about CMDA, please visit www.cmda.org.