(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to detail on Tuesday a plan to boost his country’s involvement in mitigating the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
The plan would involve a greater involvement of the U.S. military in tackling the worst recorded outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the proposal.
The outbreak has now killed upwards of 2,400 people, mostly in Liberia, neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone as poorly resourced West African healthcare systems have been overrun.
The U.S. government has already committed around $100 million to tackle the outbreak by providing protective equipment for healthcare workers, food, water, medical and hygiene equipment.
Obama could ask Congress for an additional $88 million to fund his proposal, the WSJ reported. Plan details are expected during Obama’s visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
The move would come just days after Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appealed to Obama for urgent aid, saying that without it her country would lose the fight against the disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the epidemic is spreading exponentially in Liberia, where more than half of the deaths have been recorded.
The U.S. military said recently it would build a 25-bed field hospital in Liberia to care for infected health workers but it would hand it to Liberians to run.
On Friday, the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac said Washington would train security forces in isolation operations, after a boy was shot dead last month when Liberian soldiers opened fire on a crowd protesting at a quarantine in a Monrovia neighborhood.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York; Editing by Eric Walsh