Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The World Health Organization said Thursday it was deeply concerned over 2 violent attacks on Ebola treatment centers in 2 cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo this past week, which resulted in fatalities, traumatized patients and health care workers, and damage to key medical facilities.

Expand chart
Data: DRC Ministry of Health; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon, Harry Stevens/Axios

Why it matters: Doctors without Borders (MSF), one of the lead international organizations helping the DRC's efforts to contain and eradicate the second-worst outbreak on record of the deadly virus, is now suspending its medical activities in the heart of the outbreak in Butembo and Katwa. As seen with prior violence that halted health care activities, interruptions in efforts to diagnose and treat infected people and vaccinate others can lead to an increase in new infections and deaths.

What's happening: A "toxic environment" has been created by a combination of people who don't believe Ebola exists and don't trust the government or international relief workers efforts, in addition to local politicians "promoting lies about Ebola" when they speak and through WhatsApp, DRC spokesperson Jessica Ilunga tells Axios.

  • "Such attacks are deplorable for their immediate impact on lives and for the risk of spreading the disease further. They are profoundly disrespectful of the dedicated work of local, regional and international responders," WHO said in its statement.

What's next: MSF says it will continue its operations in other parts of DRC, including in the towns of Kayna and Lubéru. The organization has also been supporting emergency preparedness in the city of Goma by reinforcing the surveillance system and ensuring there is adequate capacity to isolate suspected cases.

  • Emmanuel Massart, MSF's emergency coordinator in DRC, tells Axios that members of the Ebola response team need to approach the problem of community mistrust in a new way to mobilize the population to back their health efforts.
"Community engagement means that the population engages in the response. To do so they must be consulted about solutions. Strategy for health promotion and community engagement, for example, shall be developed with the community, and the ownership of it shall be left to them. The response must be adapted to the context, not the other way around. "
— Emmanuel Massart

Meanwhile, DRC health officials are looking for some patients who are missing after the attacks — some with confirmed cases of Ebola and others suspected of being infected — who had been in the Butembo treatment center, Ilunga says.

"We are of course extremely worried. Health agents should never be the target of violence. They have the right to be safe when they are saving lives. We will have meetings over the next few days to see what are the best options to protect our health agents as well as prevent the spread of the virus despite this difficult environment."
— Jessica Ilunga, DRC health ministry

Go deeper:

Go deeper

DeSantis declares state of emergency after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency after a portion of a 12-story residential building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: The executive order will allow for federal assistance as the state continues its search-and-rescue operations. Officials have accounted for 102 people who lived in the high-rise Champlain Towers South, but 99 people remained unaccounted for by mid-afternoon, said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County at a press conference.

1 hour ago - World

Afghan president visits D.C. amid growing fears of Taliban takeover

An Afghan soldier stands guard at a mosque in Kabul. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was making his way to Washington to meet with President Biden, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the U.S. intelligence community believes his government may be toppled within six months of America's withdrawal.

Why it matters: As the Taliban gains territory and the U.S. pulls its remaining forces out, hopes of a potential peace deal in Afghanistan are giving way to fears of a rapid Taliban capture of Kabul.

2 hours ago - Health

Exclusive: Bipartisan group of senators urges Blinken to vaccinate Americans abroad

Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are leading an effort urging the Biden administration to coordinate with the Defense Department to donate supplemental COVID-19 vaccine doses to U.S. embassies and consulates.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans living in countries where they are not considered eligible for the vaccine or those living in places where vaccines are not being authorized by the FDA or the World Health Organization may have to wait for months or even years to receive a vaccine.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!