Obama to bring back US troops fighting Ebola

Obama to bring back US troops fighting Ebola
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President Obama will announce that he is bringing home most of the U.S. troops deployed to West Africa to fight a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus by April 30, the White House announced on Tuesday.

The president will announce those plans at a White House event on Wednesday and also outline further steps the U.S. is taking to prevent Ebola cases at home.

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According to the White House, of the 2,800 U.S. troops who were deployed to the continent, about 1,500 have returned. After April 30, the U.S. will have 100 Defense Department personnel who will continue to work with local militaries in the Ebola response

In a statement Tuesday, the White House touted the international community's effort to stop the Ebola outbreak but vowed to continue working until there were "zero cases."

"We are encouraged by the declining number of new Ebola cases in West Africa, but remain concerned about a recent increase in cases in Guinea, and an inability to further reduce case counts in Sierra Leone," said the White House.

"Moreover, given that a single case can lead to flare-ups of the virus, we must not lose focus," the statement continued. "We will continue to pursue our flexible and adaptable strategy, meeting the evolving conditions on the ground until we have reached zero cases."

A number of health professionals who assisted in the Ebola fight will join Obama at the White House. Officials told the New York Times that two Dallas nurses and a doctor from New York will be in attendance.

The deadly Ebola outbreak has claimed over 9,000, lives according to reports, with nearly 23,000 reported cases.

A Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, became the first Ebola fatality in the U.S. after contracting the disease abroad and arriving in Dallas.

A number of other cases followed, including two nurses who treated Duncan, and a doctor who had just returned from Africa – all of whom recovered.

Congress last year approved $5.4 billion in emergency funding for Ebola. The Congressional Budget Office said earlier this week that $1.1. billion of that has been spent.