Zuckerberg gives $25M to CDC Ebola fund

Zuckerberg gives $25M to CDC Ebola fund
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Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is giving $25 million to fight Ebola, he announced on Tuesday.

Along with his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg said that the money will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation. Money “is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent" the outbreak from growing, he said.

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“Grants like this directly help the frontline responders in their heroic work,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “These people are on the ground setting up care centers, training local staff, identifying Ebola cases and much more.

“We are hopeful this will help save lives and get this outbreak under control.”

The CDC Foundation said that the grant would go to support officials' on-the-ground response in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, as well as the CDC’s work throughout the world to combat Ebola.

“The sooner the world comes together to help West Africa, the safer we all will be," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement as the grant was announced. “This significant contribution from Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan will help us rapidly advance the fight against Ebola."

Zuckerberg described the Ebola epidemic as being “at a critical turning point,” where it could grow to infect more than 1 million people around the globe if not addressed now.

“We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn't spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio,” he wrote.

Zuckerberg and his wife, who have known each other since college at Harvard, have become major philanthropic donors. Earlier this year, they announced they would give $120 million for improving schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

More than 4,000 people in West Africa have already died as a result of the Ebola epidemic there, and more than 8,400 have become infected.

Last week, the first U.S. patient suffering from the virus died in Texas.