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Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. health officials are telling Congress that they have trained 250,000 American nurses, doctors and other health workers on how to safely handle any Ebola patients who arrive in this country.

Beefing up the U.S. response is a key part of President Barack Obama's $6.2 billion emergency aid request to fight the disease in West Africa and guard against it at home. Lawmakers began considering the request Wednesday, with Republicans asking if the Obama administration has taken enough security measures.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said the extra money is crucial to continue such steps as training, buying more protective equipment for health workers and especially stopping Ebola in West Africa.

She says officials believe "we have the right strategy in place both at home and abroad."