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Mark Zuckerberg Announces $25M Gift to CDC to Fight Ebola

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced today that he and his wife Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg would donate $25 million to the Center for Disease Control to fight the ebola virus, currently infecting and killing thousands in West Africa and threatening global health.

“The Ebola epidemic is at a critical turning point,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his personal Facebook page. It has infected 8,400 people so far, but it is spreading very quickly and projections suggest it could infect 1 million people or more over the next several months if not addressed.”

“We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent this outcome,” he added, saying that a speedy intervention now would prevent the disease from a “long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio.”

Zuckerberg is one of the very few figures in Silicon Valley who has pledged money to fight ebola: while Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and the Hewlett Foundation have pledged a total of $75 million, the rest of the major Silicon Valley corporations, renowned for their philanthropic efforts, have remained largely silent. An investigation by the Daily Beast revealed that Google has only donated $500,000 so far, while the rest of their competitors declined to comment.

The World Bank estimates that if left unchecked, the ebola outbreak could cost $32 billion to contain by 2015.

[Facebook]
[Image via Frederic Legrand / Shutterstock.com]

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