President Barack Obama plans to announce a major offensive this week against the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, including U.S. military involvement, The Wall Street Journal reports
Obama will outline his plans Tuesday during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, sources told the Journal. The president also is expected to ask Congress for $88 million to fund the effort.
"There's a lot that we've been putting toward this, but it is not sufficient," Obama's counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco told the Journal. "So the president has directed a more scaled-up response and that's what you're going to hear more about on Tuesday."
The military is expected to use its coordinating expertise to direct supplies, put up tent hospitals pull together medical personnel from across the world as well as train health care workers. Offshore ship hospitals have been ruled out over fears that the virus could spread rapidly though the vessels.
More than 4,700 people have contracted Ebola, and 2,400 of them have died, according to the World Health Organization.
Obama reportedly ordered the stepped-up effort two weeks ago after meeting with CDC Director Tom Frieden, who said he saw dozens of patients lying in the streets for lack of hospital beds during his recent visit to the area.
There are currently no major concerns the virus could spread to the United States, but some virologists fear a major mutation could change the way it is transmitted, causing serious concern.
The U.S. military already has sent eight service members to West Africa. They include doctors, a logistician and medical specialists, the Journal reports. It also plans to send a 25-bed portable hospital unit to Liberia, but doesn't plan to provide staff.
"We think these measures, this enhanced response, will help us bring this under control," a White House official told the Journal. "The military has unique capabilities in terms of logistical capacities, in terms of manpower, in terms of operating in austere environments."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.