Ebola: President Asks Congress for $6.2 Billion

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $6.2 billion in emergency funding to help eradicate Ebola in West Africa. According to the Associated Press, Obama said $2 billion would be funneled through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), $2.4 billion would go to the US Department of Health and Human Services (the parent agency of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and $1.5 billion would go into a contingency fund. The Pentagon would get $112 million. The US military is currently committing about 4,000 troops to Ebola-containment efforts in West Africa.

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $6.2 billion in emergency funding to help eradicate Ebola in West Africa.

According to the Associated Press, Obama said $2 billion would be funneled through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), $2.4 billion would go to the US Department of Health and Human Services (the parent agency of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and $1.5 billion would go into a contingency fund. The Pentagon would get $112 million. The US military is currently committing about 4,000 troops to Ebola-containment efforts in West Africa.

According to the AP, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner’s office promised to review the request, but did not say whether it was likely to be popular with Obama’s GOP critics.

“We’ll continue to work with our members and the administration to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the public from a deadly disease,” the spokesman said. The announcement comes on the heels of major Republican electoral victories that could threaten the administration’s signature health care policy, the Affordable Care Act.

Meanwhile, with no further deaths since the Oct. 8 demise of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who was hospitalized with Ebola in Dallas, public attention to the epidemic appears to have waned.

A furor over whether travelers from the Ebola hot zone in West Africa should face mandatory monitoring or quarantines has also largely dropped off the front pages as no new cases have emerged since Craig Spencer, MD, was hospitalized in New York City on Oct. 23. Spencer, who returned to the city after a stint as a volunteer treating Ebola patients in West Africa remains a patient at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan.