Ebola czar: Preparedness progress made in U.S., abroad

President Obama meets with his Ebola-response team in October.
President Obama meets with his Ebola-response team in October. | Courtesy of the White House

The U.S. is more prepared to deal with the Ebola virus domestically and globally than is was two months ago, Ron Klain, White House Ebola response coordinator, said Tuesday.

Klain, in a report delivered to President Obama, said the country is much further along in fighting the disease in Africa than it was. He credited the work of about a dozen federal agencies helping in the fight against Ebola as the main reason for the progress.

The U.S. now has 35 designated treatment centers with a combined 53 beds nationwide capable of treating Ebola, compared with just four facilities and nine beds in October.

About 36 states have a combined 42 labs testing Ebola, which is an increase from 13 labs in 13 states two months ago.

Globally, the U.S. has helped construct and open three Ebola Treatment Units, and a hospital in Liberia is now used to treat health care workers who contract the virus.

Klain's report said additional funding is required to continue the initiatives already started. Obama's pending $6.2 billion in emergency funding would help expand local Ebola Treatment Centers and Assessment Hospitals nationwide, support further research on Ebola vaccines and continue the response in West Africa.