US Ebola Contribution: 3K Military, $750M

'Significant' response will train hundreds of health workers, build hospitals
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2014 7:39 AM CDT
US Sending 3K Military, $750M to Ebola Fight
A Liberian health worker prepares his Ebola protective gear before removing the body of a man that is believed to have died from the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia, on Aug. 29, 2014.   (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

As part of his promised "scaled-up response" to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Obama is expected to announce during a visit to the CDC today that the US will be sending 3,000 military personnel in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the next six months, the Washington Post reports. The American contingent, which will take about two weeks to set up, aims to build 17 health care facilities with 100 beds each and train up to 500 health workers a week, the AP reports; the US will set up headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia. "This is a really significant response," one global health expert tells the Post. "This is really beginning to seem like a game-changer."

The US announcement comes as the head of Doctors Without Borders warns that the international response is "dangerously behind," adds the AP. The military workers will also help distribute home health-care kits and educate locals on how to handle the disease, according to the AP. "This humanitarian intervention should serve as a firewall against a global security crisis that has the potential to reach American soil," says Sen. Chris Coons, who has been pushing for increased US intervention. The UN Security Council will hold a rare emergency meeting on Thursday to talk about the public health crisis. (More Ebola stories.)

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