President Obama has assured Americans that none of the nearly 4,000 U.S. troops heading to Liberia will treat Ebola patients, but 70 uniformed officers of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps will.
The corps, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, will open a clinic outside the Liberian capital, Monrovia, this weekend and is tasked with treating Liberian doctors and nurses who contract the deadly disease. It is the first time U.S. government personnel have been given that assignment, although all volunteered.
What took so long?
I worked in the IHS as a PHSCC for a year, and then later as a civilian for 9 years.
the last call up I knew about was when they were sent to give care for the Mariel boat lift.
Until Jimmy Carter closed the public health hospitals in the major port cities, they were tasked to handle sailors etc who entered into the US. Nowadays, most work either on the Indian reservations or in underserved areas.