The gift to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
comes at a time when international groups, including Doctors Without
Borders and the World Health Organization, have said resources to
contain the epidemic and treat those affected are falling tragically
Allen said the donation from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
will help CDC establish emergency operations centers in Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the worst Ebola outbreak on record
has killed about 2,300 people and shows no sign of slowing six
months after it began.
"The tragedy of Ebola is that we know how to tackle the disease, but
the governments in West Africa are in dire need of more resources
and solutions," Allen wrote in an essay scheduled to be posted on
his blog. "The developed world needs to step up now with resources
Last month, Allen's foundation donated $2.8 million to the American
Red Cross for its work on the outbreak.
On Wednesday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $50
million to United Nations agencies and other international groups to
purchase supplies, such as protective gear for healthcare workers
treating Ebola patients, and to expand the emergency response.
U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress for $88 million in new
Ebola funding, including $25 million for CDC, but this week
congressional leaders said they would provide no more than $40
Allen said his foundation's gift would help CDC establish and equip
emergency operations centers in the three most-affected countries,
focusing on public health, not patient care.
The centers will use "data management and communication systems for
disease and patient contact tracing, to detect and stop the disease
from spreading," Allen wrote. They will also expand lab testing to
identify new outbreaks, and disseminate information about the
epidemic to the public.
[to top of second column]
"A winnable battle should never be lost," Allen wrote.
CDC has just over 100 public health experts in the Ebola zone, and
plans to send more.
"Ebola is raging through parts of West Africa like an out-of-control
forest fire but it can be controlled if the world comes together,"
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement issued by the
The CDC Foundation, which was established by Congress in 1994 to
raise funding to augment what CDC gets from Congress, recently
committed $1 million to the Ebola response, including money for
computers, personal protective equipment and thermal scanning
thermometers for airport screeners, and training for healthcare
Since resigning from Microsoft in 1983, Allen has become a prominent
philanthropist, supporting scientific research through the Allen
Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Artificial
Intelligence. He also owns the Seattle Seahawks football team and
the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team.
(Reporting by Sharon Begley)
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