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Washington D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) welcomed this week’s announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Last month, McCaul sent a letter to the State Department urging the Administration to provide assistance to the DRC to help contain the Ebola outbreak, and to ensure it doesn’t become a global health epidemic capable of reaching the United States.

Lead Republican McCaul: “I am deeply concerned about the growing Ebola epidemic in the DRC. We are facing the second largest outbreak in history with over 1,600 deaths mounting since 2018. This week’s designation by the WHO as a global health emergency further demonstrates the magnitude of concern. I remember the 2014 outbreak that infected three people from my home state of Texas. We were fortunate that there were not more infections there or in the rest of the United States. To ensure this doesn’t happen again, we must increase attention to the crisis and encourage a coordinated international response to ensure that assistance is effective and achieving results. As we learned in 2014, containment is of the utmost importance as the risk of this horrific disease becoming a global epidemic is only an international flight away. I urge the Administration to continue prioritizing funding, including complementary development assistance efforts, to support local populations, health workers, and prevent further spread into neighboring countries.”

Background: Last month, Lead Republican McCaul and Chairman Engel sent a letter to the Administration requesting the allowance for Ebola related assistance efforts to continue after funding was suspended following the DRC’s designation as a Tier 3 country pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). USAID subsequently announced its decision to scale up United States response efforts by providing $98 million to the DRC. McCaul continues to push for increased attention by the Administration and our international partners to contain this global threat.