WATCH: Exclusive Unreleased Footage From Biden/Obama Special Shows Call with Ebola Doc Who’s Now Fighting COVID

 

In exclusive unreleased footage from their recent streaming special, former Vice President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama speak with Dr. Craig Spencer, the doctor who survived Ebola and is now fighting the coronavirus pandemic in New York.

The Biden campaign gave Mediaite a first look at unreleased footage from “A Socially Distanced Conversation: President Obama and Vice President Biden,” in which friends and former governing partners Obama and Biden talk with Spencer about the current crisis.

After the pair greeted Dr. Spencer, Obama told him “I still am in all of the work that you and so many American doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals did in dealing with the Ebola crisis. And you’re back at it, you keep on trying to help people.”

Spencer contracted Ebola while treating patients in Africa, and is now fighting COVID-19 at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

“I guess that’s what I was taught, and I keep finding myself in the middle of it,” Spencer said.

“In the beginning, most people didn’t know anybody who died,” Vice President Biden said. “Most people didn’t know anybody who actually had COVID-19. But now it’s becoming much more real.”

“A lot of people don’t recognize the pain of this until it directly impacts them where their family,” Dr. Spencer said, then related his current experiences to his experience with Ebola.

“As you mentioned, I was in West Africa, I took care of Ebola patients, but nearly every day when I walked into the hospital at the height of the pandemic here, you know, it took my breath away,” Spencer said. “It was jarring. It was really unlike anything that I had ever seen and unlike anything that I ever expected to see in my own country, really in my own state, in my own city.”

“But it’s really painful seeing what’s happening to my colleagues all over this country, in Texas and California and Georgia, going through the same thing that we were going through a couple of months ago,” Spencer added. “And worried about, quite honestly, who’s coming next.”

He said the United States “should be doing a better job,” and that “four months in, the lack of PPE, the lack of testing, lack of good public health guidance is so maddening because, again, it takes the lives of so many Americans who are unnecessarily dying because we weren’t prepared, we’re failing to respond right now, we’re not elevating the public health above the political.”

“My hope, assuming we all work hard, is that you’ll soon have a president who is serious about science, understands these issues, and it’s going to put in a place to kind of team that can get this thing under control,” President Obama told Spencer.

There were two U.S. fatalities during the Ebola outbreak, both of whom contracted the disease elsewhere. To date, over 152,000 Americans have been confirmed to have died of the coronavirus.

Watch the clip above via Joe Biden.

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