President Barack Obama speaks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Obama traveled to the CDC, to address the Ebola crisis and announced that he is sending 3,000 American troops to West Africa nations fight the spread of the Ebola epidemic. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says that in an interconnected world, outbreaks of deadly viruses like Ebola have the potential to affect every nation.
Obama is speaking to representatives of more than 40 countries attending a global health summit at the White House.
The president says that while the U.S. is taking “an opportunity to lead” the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it must also be a global priority. Obama announced last week that the U.S. was dispatching 3,000 military personnel to the region to help contain the outbreak.
More than 6,200 people have been sickened by Ebola, and about half of those have died.
The president says it’s crucial to make sure the world is not “caught flat-footed” if there are future outbreaks of deadly viruses.