President Barack Obama
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty Images

When the World Health Organization made clear the severity of the Ebola crisis, President Barack Obama sprang into action and committed a significant number of health care workers and military to the region—approximately 4,000 troops. Now that the virus has reached American shores and people are calling on the government to do more, the president told the Pentagon on Thursday to put the National Guard on standby just in case more troops are needed in West Africa for logistical reasons, Al-Jazeera reports.

“In announcing the executive order permitting the deployment of National Guard troops, the White House said the additional personnel would not be providing direct health care aid in the countries,” the news site explained.

On Wednesday the president canceled a trip and called an emergency meeting with members of his Cabinet, directing them to be “more aggressive” in their respective plans to counter the Ebola outbreaks in the U.S. and assuage fretting Americans.

Predictions from the World Health Organization are not painting a pretty picture of the casualties that will amass if the world does not stop Ebola in its tracks.

“It has projected that there could be between 5,000 and 10,000 new cases a week in early December unless urgent action is taken,” Al-Jazeera said of WHO’s predictions.

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The United Nations is trying to raise $1 billion by Dec. 1 to save lives.

Read more at Al-Jazeera.