Celeb-filled Video Confronts World Leaders’ Slow Response to Ebola

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Morgan Freeman, Others Star In New Ebola Video

A new video making it’s rounds on the internet features a bevy of celebrities confronting world leaders on their response to Ebola.  According to an article in Yahoo! News:

Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

A new PSA featuring some of today’s brightest stars does not feature their acting abilities — it just shows them sitting still.

“This is what waiting looks like,” the clip’s text reads. “Talk is cheap. It’s time to take action on Ebola.”

African musicians Fally Ipupa, Angélique Kidjo, American actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, German soccer player Per Mertesacker and others lent their famous faces to the video produced by ONE, an international advocacy group dedicated to ending extreme poverty and preventable disease — particularly in Africa.

“We thought of something silent to cut through the noise and to let it speak for itself,” ONE’s chief marketing officer, Roxy Philson, told Yahoo News. “The world waited far too long to respond. While our leaders waited, many people paid with their lives.”

Philson created the concept for the video that will form the centerpiece of ONE’s new multimedia campaign, launching Wednesday.

“It stemmed from the thought that there’s been plenty of talk, but not enough action. We didn’t want to go down a conventional route,” she said.

ONE, which called the world’s initial response to the outbreak a slow and uncoordinated failure, is demanding that world leaders do more to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and help bolster its health care systems so that this tragedy is not repeated in the future.

“Some countries have now stepped up to lead in a big way — with traditional donors like the U.S., U.K., France and Germany all making meaningful contributions — but this is a global crisis, and it demands a global response,” ONE President and CEO Michael Elliott said in a statement.

ONE, co-founded by Bono of U2, works closely with African activists and political leaders to fight disease, increase investments in nutrition and agriculture, and demand transparency, so that citizens can hold their governments accountable, among other things.

In 1976, the first outbreaks of Ebola occurred in rural villages in Central Africa close to tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in West Africa has affected rural and urban communities, according to the World Health Organization.

The fatality rate among Ebola victims is about 50 percent.

The countries most severely affected by the recent crisis are Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, which have recently suffered from violent conflicts and lack the medical infrastructure necessary to eradicate the deadly virus.

This is partly why disease and poverty so often go hand in hand, and why fighting one requires dealing with the other.

ONE says that indigence has been cut in half in the past 20 years and can be practically eliminated within the next 15 years — but only if action is taken now.

“It’s not just bad news all the time,” Philson said. “We have it in our power to change this. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.”

To learn more, go to One.org.

Royce Christyn
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