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Originally published September 14 2014

Obama considers military involvement to fight Ebola; experts say personnel aren't trained to deal with disease

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The Obama Administration isn't letting a good crisis go to waste, having recently announced plans to send the U.S. military into West Africa to handle the escalating Ebola outbreak. With only a handful of military bases in mostly the central regions of the continent, the American war machine has a long way to go in establishing a forceful presence in West Africa -- and what better way to do this than to exploit the current Ebola crisis?

At least, this is what appears to be happening after Obama announced plans to send military "aid" into some of the hardest hit areas, aid that includes "isolation units" for public health workers who might become infected. Claiming "national security" threats as the justification, Obama says "U.S. military assets" are urgently needed to help prevent Ebola from spreading stateside.

"We're going to have to get U.S. military assets just to set up, for example, isolation units and equipment there," stated Obama, "to provide security for public health workers surging from around the world."

Only Doctors Without Borders knows how to handle Ebola outbreak

But the U.S. military really doesn't know how to properly deal with the epidemic, says the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Speaking on behalf of the government agency, Nancy Lindborg told The Washington Post (WP) that the only group that really knows what it's doing is Doctors Without Borders, which traditionally opposes military intervention during health crises.

"There isn't an existing cadre of people who have experience in treating this epidemic other than" Doctors Without Borders, admitted Lindborg.

Still, the Pentagon has announced that it will be setting up a 25-bed field hospital in Liberia that will provide care strictly to health workers and other volunteers who come to provide aid. The purpose of this hospital, according to WP, is to "provide assurance" that quality healthcare will be made available to those assisting in containment efforts.

Pentagon refuses to disclose extent of 'military assets' to be deployed in West Africa

Many have criticized the U.S. government for not doing enough to address the epidemic, providing only minimal aid during one of the worst Ebola outbreaks in history. But others worry that the government is only just getting started.

According to WP, the Pentagon plans to soon deploy other "military assets" that it has yet to disclose. And according to a top administration official who insisted on remaining anonymous, these assets will align with whatever Obama sees as necessary to maintain "national security."

So far, the U.S. government has spent some $100 million in the region, and USAID recently announced plans to add an additional $75 million to the effort. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reportedly has some 100 experts on the ground in West Africa, and the Obama Administration has called on Congress to fund an additional $88 million for more personnel and lab supplies.

If Congress approves everything as requested, the total U.S. commitment to the effort will top $250 million.

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