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Obama's Ebola Wish List Nearly Filled by Congress's $5.4 Billion

Image: Obama's Ebola Wish List Nearly Filled by Congress's $5.4 Billion
(Anthony Behar/Pool/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 12:53 PM

 Congress plans to give the White House $5.48 billion to combat Ebola abroad and at home, meeting most of President Barack Obama’s request as the outbreak burns hot in Sierra Leone.

Included in the funding is $2.72 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, primarily the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is trying to contain the virus in West Africa and also prepare U.S. hospitals for new domestic cases. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development would receive $2.53 billion and the Defense Department $112 million.

The money comes close to Obama’s request for $6.2 billion to combat the outbreak, though without a $1.5 billion “contingency fund” he asked Congress to create. Instead, lawmakers will provide additional money for a public health fund at the health department.

Sierra Leone surpassed Liberia this month as the epicenter of the outbreak, with about 7,800 total cases, the World Health Organization said on Dec. 8. Worldwide, about 17,800 people have been infected by the virus this year and more than 6,300 have died.

The U.S. intervention has focused on Liberia, where the WHO has said new cases and deaths are declining. The U.K. has come under criticism for failing to stop the outbreak in Sierra Leone, where new cases have been rising.

The Ebola funding is included in a large spending bill Congress is expected to pass this week for the government’s 2015 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Wayne in Washington at awayne3@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at tharrison5@bloomberg.net Drew Armstrong, Bruce Rule

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Congress plans to give the White House $5.48 billion to combat Ebola abroad and at home, meeting most of President Barack Obama's request as the outbreak burns hot in Sierra Leone.Included in the funding is $2.72 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department,...
ebola, obama, spending, congress, bill
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Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 12:53 PM
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