The international effort to contain the spread of the lethal Ebola virus has gone quite poorly, with over 4,000 deaths attributed to the disease so far and new transmissions reported in recent days in the US and Europe. As health care workers battle the outbreak on the front lines in various countries, a public outcry has sprung up surrounding the lack of funding available for research and treatment. But more money for the Ebola fight has just been contributed by a surprising source: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. As observed by the Hollywood Reporter, Zuckerberg announced on his Facebook page earlier today that he and his wife Priscilla Chan, a physician, have made a $25 million donation to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn't spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio," Zuckerberg wrote, explaining his motivation for the unexpected donation. The money is only a fraction of the $1 billion that the World Health Organization says is necessary to halt the further spread of the disease, but is still a significant amount of money to come from individual donors. Zuckerberg and Chan's donation follows other large donations made by tech magnates, including a $50 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a $9 million donation from Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. Chan and Zuckerberg have previously contributed multimillions to other charitable endeavors, including schools in the San Francisco Bay area and in New Jersey.