The Pentagon will send and staff a 25-bed field hospital to Monrovia, Liberia, as part of President Obama’s plan to provide assistance in containing the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said Monday the facility mainly will be used to treat health care workers.
Warren did not provide details on which unit or command will be involved in the mission, estimated to cost $22 million.
He added, however, that “no U.S. personnel will be providing patient care.”
President Obama said Sunday he planned to send U.S. military assets and personnel to help contain the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
In an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama said the move is crucial because if the U.S. does not “make the effort now,” the virus could mutate and pose “a serious danger” to the country.
In addition to setting up the field hospital isolation units, the plan — still in the works — may include providing troops to provide security for public health workers, according to the president.
“If we do that, then it’s still going to be months before this problem is controllable in Africa, but it shouldn’t reach our shores,” Obama said.
The Ebola outbreak, which began in Guinea earlier this year, has infected 3,707 people as of Aug. 31 and killed 1,848, according to the World Health Organization.