US to assign 3,000 from US military to fight Ebola

Ebola Outbreak

Sierra Leone Ebola Hammered Healthcare This photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 shows the outside view of the entrance of the Connaught Hospital, which has suffered the loss of medical workers in the past from the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan was one of those on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak. The tireless Khan was jovial but forceful, doling out praise and criticism to junior doctors at his hospital. But Khan became infected and died, and so have at least 120 other medical workers in Sierra Leone and in three other countries, creating immediate and long-term impacts in a region that already had an understaffed and under equipped health care system. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)

The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa’s Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic.

President Barack Obama planned to announce the stepped-up effort Tuesday during a visit to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta amid alarm that the outbreak could spread and that the deadly virus could mutate into a more easily transmitted disease.

The new U.S. muscle comes after appeals from the region and from aid organizations for a heightened U.S. role in combatting the outbreak blamed for more than 2,200 deaths.

Administration officials said Monday that the new initiatives aim to:

— Train as many as 500 health care workers a week.

— Erect 17 heath care facilities in the region of 100 beds each.

— Set up a joint command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate between U.S. and international relief efforts.

— Provide home health care kits to hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the U.S. Agency for International Development will deliver to Liberia this week.

— Carry out a home- and community-based campaign to train local populations on how to handle exposed patients.

EBOLA COVERAGE ON CCTV AMERICA

Meanwhile, a Senate panel scheduled an afternoon hearing on the crisis. Expected to testify were Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Kent Brantly, an American physician who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia but recovered after treatment with an experimental drug.

Obama administration officials said the cost of the stepped-up effort to combat the disease would come from $500 million in overseas contingency operations, such as the war in Afghanistan,that the Pentagon already has asked Congress to redirect to carry out humanitarian efforts in Iraq and in West Africa. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans on the record before Obama’s announcement

The officials said it would take about two weeks to get U.S. forces on the ground.

Report compiled with information  from The Associated Press.