Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says President Obama’s plan to send U.S. troops into Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak sounds like a wise, preventative move. Reports say the president today will unveil a proposal to dispatch 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to build treatment centers and to train health care personnel.
Grassley says, “Getting it under control may sound like we’re just giving foreign aid and throwing away money but it could be a good investment.” The proposal would reportedly cost $500 million, money that would be diverted from the Department of Defense for the effort.
The plan includes building 17 treatment centers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, each with 100 beds. Grassley says, “I know $500-million is a lot of money when you have all the deficits we have but we could end up spending a lot more and the quality of life being hurt in the United States and losing a lot of lives if it did spread to the United States.”
Ebola has killed nearly 2,500 people in the region in recent months and three American aid workers contracted the virus and were brought back to the U.S. for treatment. Two were released from a hospital in Atlanta while a third is still undergoing treatment in Omaha.