POTUS follows my lead, and is concerned about the worst Ebola outbreak in history:
U.S. lawmakers called for a government-funded "war" to contain West Africa's deadly Ebola epidemic before it threatens more countries, building on an American pledge to send 3,000 military engineers and medical personnel to combat the virus.
"Here's the hard truth. In West Africa, Ebola is now an epidemic, the likes" of which have not been seen before, President Barack Obama said during a meeting with top U.S. public health officials.
"It's spiralling out of control, it's getting worse," he said at the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he flew to outline the plan to deploy 3,000 troops to West Africa.
The deployment represented a ramping-up in the Obama administration's response to the worst Ebola outbreak on record. It comes after repeated calls for governments to step in and help West African countries whose healthcare systems have been overwhelmed by the epidemic.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers said further measures should be considered in the coming weeks.
"We need to declare a war on Ebola," Senator Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, said during a congressional hearing on the U.S. response to the outbreak.
Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, said the country should view the threat of Ebola "as seriously as we take ISIS," referring to the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq.
Acknowledging that the epidemic represented a national security crisis, U.S. administration officials said the focus of the military deployment would be on Liberia, where the threat of chaos is greatest. The disease has also hit hard in Sierra Leone and Guinea, and has turned up in Nigeria and Senegal.
Under the plan, engineers, medical personnel and other service members would build 17 treatment centres with 100 beds each, train thousands of healthcare workers and establish a military control centre for coordinating the relief effort, U.S. officials told reporters.