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Obama administration requests emergency funding for Ebola response efforts

The Obama administration announced it is seeking $6.18 billion through an emergency funding request to Congress to enhance its efforts to address the Ebola virus outbreak. The funding request includes $4.64 billion for immediate response initiatives and $1.54 billion for a contingency fund, according to a news release.

“The $4.64 billion in immediate response funds is designed to fortify domestic public health systems, contain and mitigate the epidemic in West Africa, speed the procurement and testing of vaccines and therapeutics, and strengthen global health security by reducing risks to Americans by enhancing capacity for vulnerable countries to prevent disease outbreaks, detect them early and swiftly respond before they become epidemics that threaten our national security,” according to the release.

“These are the same activities that are necessary to combat the spread of Ebola and reduce the potential for future outbreaks of infectious diseases that could follow a similarly devastating, costly and destabilizing trajectory.”

The request includes $2.43 billion in funding to be used by the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS funding will go toward the CDC’s efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the Ebola epidemic and other infectious diseases and public health emergencies both at home and abroad by:
• Fortifying domestic public health systems,
• Advancing U.S. preparedness with support to more than 50 Ebola treatment centers through state and local public health departments
• Improving Ebola readiness within state and local public health departments and laboratories
• Procuring personal protective equipment for the Strategic National Stockpile
• Increasing support for monitoring travelers at U.S. airports; controlling the epidemic in the hardest hit countries in Africa
• Conducting evaluations of clinical trials in affected countries to assess safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates

HHS funds also will go toward the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to immediately respond to patients with highly-infectious diseases such as Ebola and for the purchase of and training on the use of PPE at hospitals across the U.S. The funds also include $238 million for the National Institutes of Health’s efforts toward advanced clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of investigational vaccines and therapeutics.

“The emergency funding requested today complements the ongoing efforts to combat the spread of Ebola, which includes deploying key medical and expert personnel to the affected countries, increasing the Department of Defense’s deployed presence of up to 4,000 service members, building a new hospital for infected healthcare workers, building Ebola treatment units, and reaching out to communities assisting with safe burials,” according to the release. “Domestically, this funding expands upon the existing system that screens entrants from West Africa for Ebola symptoms, monitors at-risk individuals, identifies and treats Ebola patients at selected hospitals. Without these additional resources, agencies will be unable to help control the epidemic, mitigate economic, social and political impacts of the crisis, ensure adequate domestic preparedness, develop safe and effective treatments and vaccines or expedite global health security capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to outbreaks before they become epidemics.”

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By | 2014-11-07T00:00:00-05:00 November 7th, 2014|Categories: National|0 Comments

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