Facing heavy international pressure, President Obama promised funds and as many as 3,000 troops in the effort to contain the worst Ebola outbreak on record.
The news comes as the World Health Organization announced that the outbreak had caused more than 2,500 deaths, another grim benchmark in the spiraling crisis. The U.N.-agency also added a new price tag:
#BREAKING UN says $1.0 billion needed to fight Ebola— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) September 16, 2014
The expanded American effort will include the training of health workers, a "joint command operation" in Liberia to link the international forces as well as the building of facilities to deal with the outbreak. As the Times noted:
The president will go beyond the 25-bed portable hospital that Pentagon officials said they would establish in Liberia, one of the three West African countries ravaged by the disease, officials said. Mr. Obama will offer help to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the construction of as many as 17 Ebola treatment centers in the region, with about 1,700 treatment beds."
As CNN added:
The U.S. government also hopes to send 400,000 treatment kits with sanitizer and other items to at-risk homes in an attempt to contain the disease. Public health campaigns will be broadcast through existing networks in the countries most affected: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
According to the Washington Post, the initiative could cost the United States as much as $750 million over the next six months.