NYC News Conference About Ebola

A news conference at Bellevue Hospital addressed the situation of the NYC doctor diagnosed with Ebola.  

Mayor Bill de Blasio opened the conference by immediately allaying fears: 

"Today, testing confirmed that a patient here in New York City had tested positive for Ebola. The patient is now here in Bellevue Hospital. We want to state at the outset – there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed. Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. It is transmitted only through contact with an infected person's blood or other bodily fluids – not through casual contact. New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person's bodily fluids are not at all at risk. And we want to emphasize that New York City has the world's strongest public health system, the world's leading medical experts, and the world's most advanced medical equipment.

"We have been preparing for months for the threat posed by Ebola. We have clear and strong protocols, which are being scrupulously followed and were followed in this instance. And Bellevue Hospital is specially designed for isolation, identification, and treatment of Ebola patients. Every hospital in the city is prepared in the event that other patients come forward."

Referring to the situation in New York as "a world apart from the scene that unfolded in a Dallas hospital last month," a New York Times article complimented Bellevue Hospital's handling of Dr. Craig Spencer's case. Using verbs such as "whisked," the writer explains how the New York hospital improved protocols for handling Ebola patients. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital is still recovering from criticism.

Discussion Starters:

  • Watch the news conference or read the full transcript. What principles of persuasion did the mayor and governor use to assure the public of safety?
  • What different roles did people play during the news conference? Who covered which information? 
  • What else could have been included in the conference? Is anything missing?