As the Ebola virus death toll hits 2, 2000, President Obama will reportedly send up to 3,000 military personnel to five West African countries to combat the worst outbreak in history. Fox News reports that on Tuesday, Obama will announce the offensive against the outbreak in in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the next six months. The U.S. Defense Department has asked Congress for nearly $500 million in existing funds to provide medical and logistical support to overtaxed local health care systems in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Monrovia.
“The Department of Defense’s number one priority is combating Ebola,” stated Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. The new initiatives include “training as many as 500 health care workers a week; establishing 17 heath care facilities with approximately 100 beds each; setting up a joint command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate between U.S. and international relief efforts; providing home health care kits to hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will deliver to Liberia this week; and carrying out a home- and community-based campaign to train local populations on how to handle exposed patients.”
The World Health Organization reports that the death toll in the Ebola outbreak is expected to reach 10,000 before six months from now, and some estimates believe it will reach 500,000 before it is contained. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of sick patients, making doctors and nurses especially vulnerable to contracting the virus that has no vaccine or approved treatment.
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