Paul Allen, billionaire philanthropist and owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, has pledged $100 million toward the effort to "Tackle Ebola."
Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, is supporting the development of two medevac containment units that will be used to safely evacuate medical professionals from West Africa. In order to address the expense of medevac transport, Allen has developed the Ebola Medevac Fund, which will provide money for the gap between what insurance will cover and the actual cost of the transport.
"The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen," Allen said Thursday during the announcement of his commitment to the cause. "To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, coordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem. I am committed to doing my part in tackling this crisis."
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The University of Massachusetts Medical School also will receive money in order to help provide lab and decontamination equipment for Liberian hospitals.
Allen is encouraging others to join his #TackleEbola campaign on social media and through donations. He has previously supported the Ebola-fighting efforts through contributions to the American Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and the CDC Foundation.