Fareed speaks with former U.S. President Bill Clinton about the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
You’ve worked a lot on issues like disease prevention. What lesson do you think we should draw from this outbreak of Ebola and the speed and kind of pace with which it’s spread? When you look at it, can you tell us about maybe the potential for pandemics or anything?
Well, first, like anybody else who's involved, we have a big presence in Liberia and three of our people, our top people, have stayed in Liberia to help organize the response. So we've all got to figure out, you know, how to coordinate it better. We're going to have a special session on it at CGI (Clinton Global Initiative).
But the lesson we should draw, the lessons are twofold. One is we have to do a much better job in building the health care infrastructure in these countries. We have to increase their capacity, including the capacity to have community health workers go out in these villages and have credibility with people. You know, this tragic story of the health workers being killed in Guinea, it's just terrible. But if we have more capacity, we can deal with it quicker. So that’s the first thing.
The second thing is we're going to have to get quicker and nimbler at developing biomedical responses, you know, the vaccines or whatever, or cures.
And the third thing is the wealthy countries have got to reexamine how we fund the World Health Organization, because I think they do a marvelous job. But increasingly, as development ministries get more expertise in given areas, they want to fund specific projects in specific countries. And it's clear that the World Health Organization needs a pot of money that can be mobilized in a hurry for emergencies while we wait for the inevitable time delay when America and the U.K. and France and Scandinavia, we all kick in money.