Policy & Issues

Obama authorises troops call-up for Ebola response

In this October 15, 2014 photo, President Barack Obama speaks to the media about Ebola during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, with members of his team coordinating the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.   | Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin

President Barack Obama on Thursday authorised the Pentagon to call up reserve and National Guard troops if they are needed to assist in the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Mr. Obama signed an executive order that allows the government to call up more forces and for longer periods of time than currently authorized. There is no actual call-up at this point.

The U.S. has committed to send up to 4,000 military personnel to West Africa to provide logistics and humanitarian assistance and help build treatment units to confront the rapidly spreading and deadly virus.

Mr. Obama also notified top congressional officials of his move.

Nearly 4,500 people have died from the Ebola outbreak, most of them in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The White House has said the troops will not be providing direct health care aid.

Separately, Mr. Obama placed phone calls to House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss the administration’s response to the disease.

Mr. Obama was meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Thomas Frieden and top White House officials to follow up on the government’s actions. He also was consulting with Heads of State about the Ebola outbreak.

Cancels political trip

Mr. Obama cancelled a Thursday campaign trip to stay at the White House and focus on Ebola. It’s the second day in a row he put off a planned trip because of the outbreak.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Mr. Obama will also hold a conference call with health care workers from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 7:08:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/policy-and-issues/obama-authorises-troops-callup-for-ebola-response/article6508639.ece

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