(VIDEO) – At CDC, Obama announces Ebola responsePresident Barack Obama convenes briefing on the Ebola virus at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 16, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Editor’s note: Video and photo obtained via Whitehouse.gov.
President Barack Obama spoke at the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control today and announced plans to use the U.S. military to respond to an outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.
“First and foremost I want the American people to know that our experts here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low,” the president said.
The president said the U.S. will establish a Military Command Center in Liberia to support the civilian response to the outbreak. The U.S. will establish an air bridge and staging area to help deliver supplies. The president is also sending 3,000 troops to the area.
The president praised the response of Emory University Hospital medical staff in treating patients infected with Ebola virus here in Atlanta. Emory Hospital treated two patients who were released last month and is currently treating a third patient infected with the virus.
“I had a chance to thank them for their extraordinary efforts in helping to provide care for the first Americans who recently contracted the disease in Africa,” the president said. “The first two of those patients were released last month and continue to improve, and it’s a reminder for the American people that should any cases appear in the United States we have world class facilities and professionals ready to respond, and we have effective surveillance mechanisms in place.”
The president said more than 2,400 people have died during the current outbreak, the largest ever recorded.
“People are literally dying in the streets,” he said.
President Obama said without an effective response, the outbreak could spread to “hundreds of thousands of people infected,” posing a threat to global security.