President Barack Obama urged Congress on Tuesday to approve $6.18 billion to help fight the Ebola outbreak, reminding them that even though the story has faded from the headlines, the battle against the virus is far from over.
“Every hotspot is an ember that if not contained can become a new fire, so we cannot let down our guard even for a minute,” Obama said. “And we can’t just fight this epidemic. We have to extinguish it.”
Obama toured a lab at the National Institutes of Health, where a team of researchers last week published promising results from the first phase of a research trial for an Ebola vaccine.
Most of Obama’s request is aimed at the immediate response to the disease. But the package also includes $1.5 billion in contingency funds – money that could become a target if lawmakers look for cuts, said Sam Worthington, president of InterAction, an alliance of U.S. non-governmental aid groups.