President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order for the deployment of National Guard troops to West Africa to offer Ebola aid today, according to NBC News. Government sources claim that National Guard engineers and logistical specialists, both active duty and reservists, will head to Liberia in the near future.
The National Guard troops will reportedly be expected to build 17 Ebola treatment centers, each complete with 100 bed units, if White House sources are accurate. Defense Department allegedly believe it is necessary for President Obama to sign such an executive order to “speed” up the troop deployments to West Africa.
The Obama executive order is also expected to allow the president the power to deploy additional military forces to the Ebola zone on an “as needed” basis. The highest number of recorded Ebola deaths have occurred in Liberia. To date, more than 2,400 Ebola patients have died in the country.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest refused to confirm or deny the Obama executive order report published by NBC News when asked about the possible actions early today by reporters. While National Guard troop deployment rumors abound online, Ebola hearings were held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Thursday.
During the testimony offered by a series of health experts, including CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, Ebola travel restrictions were discussed. Dr. Frieden still steadfastly contends that such action will not thwart the spread of Ebola, and could make containing the deadly virus more difficult.
Approximately 750 British soldiers are expected to be deployed to Liberia in the next two months. The majority of new Ebola cases in Africa are reportedly due to a lack of “basic washing facilities.” According to the Liberian government, there is a great need for additional personal protective materials, hygiene facilities, and body bags.
A Fox News Ebola poll found that about half of those surveyed believe the federal government is “hiding information” about the Ebola virus.
A total of 68 percent of those polled said they are concerned about Ebola spreading throughout America. A total of 37 percent of respondents noted being “very concerned” about the deadly virus. Just 55 percent feel the United States government is equipped to deal with such a health crisis. Democrats were more likely than members of the GOP to believe the federal government is prepared to deal with an Ebola outbreak.
Ebola poll statistics revealed that women are more concerned about Ebola spreading in America than men. More Republicans (74 percent) are concerned about an Ebola epidemic in the U.S. than Democrats – 63 percent. When asked about enacting a travel ban, 60 percent of those polled felt such an action is necessary.
Excerpt from a PBS report concerning Obama administration requests for troops and taxpayer dollars to combat Ebola in West Africa.
“The administration originally requested $1 billion to send up to 4,000 troops to Africa. In briefings this week, lawmakers said, Pentagon officials estimated $750 million would cover a six-month mission that would include airlifting personnel, medical supplies, protective suits and equipment such as tents to house Ebola victims and isolate people exposed to the virus.”
Do you think President Obama should sign an executive order to send National Guard troops on an Ebola aid mission?
[Image via: Yahoo News]