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Bill Clinton calls US efforts against Ebola a 'good beginning'

Former President Bill Clinton said the United States was a "little behind the curve" in efforts to combat the deadly Ebola outbreak. The Clinton Global Initiative is working with the US and other aid organizations to ship medical supplies to West Africa.

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    Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program Launch, Monday, Sept. 8, at The Newseum in Washington. On Saturday, Clinton said the world will needed to do more to fight Ebola.
    Jacquelyn Martin/AP
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New initiatives from the United States, Britain, France and other countries to help fight Ebola marked a "good beginning," former President Bill Clinton said on Saturday, but said the world will need to do more.

"We're still a little behind the curve but we're getting there," Clinton told reporters in a conference call, a day before his charity, the Clinton Global Initiative, was set to begin its 10th annual meeting in New York.

"And we have to deal with trying to identify and isolate the cases in the Congo and especially Nigeria where there are so many people," he said.

Since the current outbreak was first detected in March, Ebola has infected at least 5,357 people, according to the World Health Organization, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It has also spread to Senegal and Nigeria. The virus has killed an estimated 2,630 people.

CGI announced on Saturday that an airlift it had coordinated along with other U.S. aid organizations was shipping 100 tons of medical supplies to West Africa to fight Ebola. The charity said it was the single largest emergency shipment from the United States to West Africa to date.

The airlift was scheduled to depart New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday afternoon.

In a major expansion of the U.S. effort against Ebola, President Barack Obama this week announced that the United States would send 3,000 troops to West Africa help tackle the outbreak, including a major deployment in Liberia.

"We're going to have to do whatever it takes to contain the epidemic," Clinton said of Ebola.

"It's a sprawling, growing thing. But at least they're putting the infrastructure in and have shown a willingness to put some money behind it, and I think it's a good beginning."

Reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing by Leslie Adler

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