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Sonenshine on public diplomacy today - Ebola outbreak

Case Study: The importance of public information in containing health epidemics and the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak. Fmr. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs of the US Tara Sonenshine in conversation with Charlie Firestone of The Aspen Institute.

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Video transcript

I'm Charlie Firestone with the Aspen Institute here with Tara Sun and shine and speaking of Africa there's the outbreak of Ebola that the United States played a role in some of the relief efforts how does that factor into a public diplomacy approach health epidemics are critical public diplomacy sweet spots because they're about information so the first thing is as soon as Ebola spread the real spread of the disease was a spread of ignorance that people in the countries from which it was emanating did not have public information campaigns they did not know what to do with their dead they didn't know where to go if you had a stigma about the disease so information rapidly becomes critical and I think the US response was on numerous fronts one physical aid and getting people out changing the screening and the airports and the public information dealing with the public panic in the United States and overseas trying to get a point person to be the information Czar of all of this and then actually building facilities the show me tell me side of this and and I think that's a great example of where the physical clinics and labs and doctors and medical care and information Mary up and you can deal with something like that