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President Obama urges Congress to approve Ebola funding

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Staff writer ▼ | November 19, 2014
Dangerous disease   Additional help needed

President Barack Obama urged Congress to approve emergency funding to combat Ebola before lawmakers adjourn later this year.

His call comes a day after the second Ebola-related death in the U.S. was recorded. Dr. Martin Salia, a surgeon who contracted the disease in Sierra Leone, died Monday in a Nebraska hospital after being rushed there for treatment over the weekend.

"Although we should feel optimistic about our capacity to solve the Ebola crisis, we cannot be complacent," Obama told reporters following a meeting with his national security and public health teams. "We have to stay with it, and that's why I'm calling Congress to make sure that it approves, before it leaves, the emergency funding request that we've put forward."

The administration requested an additional $6.2 billion in emergency funding from Congress last Wednesday to strengthen the U.S.'s public health systems, and its efforts to combat the disease in West Africa.

Obama said the additional funds will also accelerate testing and approval of Ebola vaccines and treatments, and will help vulnerable countries to "prevent, detect and respond to" future outbreaks of communicable diseases.

"The more we can catch these things early, where they begin, the less risks we have over the long term," he said.

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