WASHINGTON, December 3 (Sputnik) – The US fight against the Ebola outbreak is a response that is making progress, but still needs additional funding from Congress, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
"We [the United States] have mobilized more than $2 billion in commitments to this fight," President Obama said in a speech at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. "This has to truly be a global effort, but that money would not be there had it not been for US leadership, so our strategy is beginning to show results, we're seeing some progress, but the fight is not even close to being over."
Obama urged Congress to approve his request for $6.2 billion in emergency funding for Ebola before they leave for winter recess in two weeks. The funds would increase country's response efforts to the disease both domestically and in West Africa, the president added.
"Much of the progress we've made and progress we still need to make depends on funding. It's an expensive enterprise and that money is running out," President Obama warned. "We cannot beat Ebola without more funding… that's why I'm calling on Congress to approve our emergency funding request to fight this request before they leave for the holidays."
Domestically, the United States ramped up its preparedness towards the disease and has completed the phase one trials of a vaccine to treat Ebola. Overseas in West Africa, the United States has sent thousands of troops to the region to fight Ebola by opening hospitals and treatment labs, funding medical teams and has rallied more than $2 billion in international support for the crisis response.
The current outbreak of Ebola originated in Guinea in December 2013 and later spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. In October, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria and Senegal Ebola-free.
According to WHO, 5,689 people have died from the current Ebola outbreak along with 15,935 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of the virus have been reported.