- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

President Obama announced Tuesday a major increase in the U.S. response to the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including the deployment of 3,000 American troops to build treatment centers.

“It’s spiraling out of control, it’s getting worse, it’s spreading faster and exponentially,” Mr. Obama said of the epidemic while touring the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta. “The world is looking to us, the United States. It’s a responsibility that we embrace.”

Since March, the Ebola outbreak has claimed more than 2,400 lives in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and other African nations, according to the World Health Organization. Thousands of others are infected with the virus.

Mr. Obama said the countries in West Africa desperately need more treatment beds, health-care workers and supplies to combat the spread of the disease.

“Hospitals, clinics and the few treatment centers that do exist have been completely overrun,” he said. “Patients are being turned away. People are literally dying in the streets.”

Mr. Obama said the crisis is a national-security threat to the U.S. because “we could be looking at hundreds of thousands” of dead if the epidemic gets worse, which could lead to governments and societies collapsing.

“It’s a potential threat to global security if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic,” he said.

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