Obama touts progress against Ebola

President Obama said the United States has made progress fighting Ebola in West Africa and thanked Congress for delivering emergency funds for the effort.

"In West Africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses and healthcare workers are rolling back Ebola  —  saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease. I couldn’t be prouder of them," Obama said in Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

At the same time, Obama called on Congress to support his forthcoming budget and its investments in global health infrastructure.

"The job is not yet done," Obama said. "The world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to present the spread of future pandemics."

The challenge of stopping Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone consumed headlines last year, as the disease claimed thousands of victims and raised fears around the world.

As of this week, a total of 8,594 people had died of the disease during the current epidemic, though the emergence of new cases in Liberia appears to be slowing. Liberia is where U.S. efforts are focused.

Congress approved $5.4 billion in Ebola emergency funding in December, short of the $6.2 billion requested by the White House.