President Obama to Unveil Expanded Ebola Response

PHOTO: Health workers in protective gear leave after carrying the body of a woman that they suspect died from the Ebola virus, in an area known as Clara Town in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 10, 2014. PlayAbbas Dulleh/AP Photo
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President Obama plans to unveil today an expanded U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the worst outbreak of the disease in history.

Obama, who has called the outbreak a national security priority, will outline new steps to address the crisis during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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According to senior administration officials, the ramped up military effort centers on command and control, logistics, training and engineering support.

With the new measures the United States is significantly ramping up its response, and the next steps will focus on command and control, logistics, training and engineering support.

They include:

  • Creating a joint force command headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia. By end of the week, the U.S. will have general officer in place to lead the effort, known as "Operation United Assistance."
  • Providing engineers to build treatment units. Up to 17 separate facilities with 100 beds each.
  • Training support for health care workers, up to 500 health care workers per week, for as long as needed (although budgeting plans for a six-month period). Training will come from U.S. military medical personnel. The administration hopes to have force on the ground in a couple of weeks. After this scaling up is done, the expectation is for there to be up to 3,000 Defense Department personnel on the ground in support of the joint force command.
  • Working to boost a messaging campaign to train households on how to protect themselves and help family members that may present symptoms. To pay for the mission, the administration is asking for $88 million be added to the CR; $175 million has already been dedicated. The Defense Department has requested the reprogramming of $500 million in unobligated funds to be put towards the Ebola response.
  • As of Sept. 7, there were 4,366 probable, confirmed and suspected cases in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with 2,218 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The countries affected are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

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