Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are donating $25 million to the CDC Foundation to help fight the outbreak of the Ebola virus. The money will be used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Ebola response effort in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and elsewhere in the world where Ebola is a threat. Zuckerberg and Chan are making the grant from their fund at the nonprofit Silicon Valley Community Foundation. ‘The most important step we can take is to stop Ebola at its source. The sooner the world comes together to help West Africa, the safer we all will be,’ said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement.
The grant follows a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has pledged $50 million to fight the outbreak of the deadly disease. Ebola has already killed more than 4,000 people, nearly all of them in West Africa. The Foundation’s money will go to United Nations agencies and other international groups to purchase supplies, such as protective gear for healthcare workers treating Ebola patients. It will also help to to expand the emergency response in West Africa and any other countries affected by the virus.
Last month, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen pledged $9 million to fight the virus, just weeks after giving $2.8 million to the American Red Cross for its work on the outbreak. The World Health Organization said today that West Africa could see up to 10,000 new Ebola cases a week within two months and confirmed that the death rate in the current outbreak is now 70 percent.