In a move that will mark an unprecedented escalation in the American response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, United States President Barack Obama is expected to announce the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military personnel and nearly $500 million in funds for Ebola-affected regions, Associated Press, or AP, reported.
Obama, who had earlier called halting the spread of Ebola a “national security priority,” will announce the new measures during his visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, in Atlanta on Tuesday. More than 100 officials and health care professionals from CDC are currently on the ground in West Africa to help combat the spread of Ebola.
These efforts will get a major boost with the assistance of the U.S., which will deploy logistics, including medical and engineering resources, to the affected countries, Time magazine reported.
The renewed American push in West Africa, which will be based out of the Liberian capital of Monrovia, will aim to train nearly 500 health care workers in the coming weeks, provide medical kits to households in the affected regions and build 17 hospitals with a capacity of 100 beds each, AP reported.
To this end, the Obama administration has also asked Congress for an additional $88 million for the anti-Ebola program, USA Today reported, citing unnamed officials.
“This humanitarian intervention should serve as a firewall against a global security crisis that has the potential to reach American soil,” Senator Chris Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs subcommittee, told AP.
Nearly 2,300 people have so far died from the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola on record, according to a World Health Organization report. As of Sept. 6, there were nearly 4,300 confirmed cases of the viral disease, with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone being the worst affected.