Obama offers condolences to Ebola victims

President Obama on Thursday offered condolences to the victims of the deadly Ebola outbreak plaguing West Africa in phone calls with the leaders of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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Obama told Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma that the United States was committed to helping contain the outbreak, according to the White House.

"The leaders discussed ongoing mitigation measures, including those directed through the Monrovia-based U.S. Disaster Assistance Response Team and deployed personnel in both Liberia and Sierra Leone from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," the White House said in a statement.

Earlier this week, the Liberian government said in a statement on its website that the Obama administration had approved a request directly from Sirleaf to send the experimental ZMapp drug to Africa to help treat doctors infected with Ebola. The drug was used to treat two U.S. aid workers who returned home for treatment after being infected with the virus.

The Obama administration said they merely worked to help connect Liberian officials with Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the maker of the drug.

Mapp said earlier this week it had run out of supplies of the drug, but the National institutes of Health is reportedly assisting them to scale up production.

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