ARLINGTON, Va. — Speaking at a press conference today at the Pentagon, President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced a comprehensive plan to “degrade and eventually destroy ebola” through the use of targeted airstrikes.

Citing ebola’s willingness to kill indiscriminately and even target children, the very old, and the very weak, Obama and Hagel were unflinching in their insistence that ebola must be eradicated. “We cannot erase every trace of ebola from the world,” Obama admitted, “That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge.”

The plan will involve airstrikes on the nations hardest hit by the recent most deadly outbreak of ebola, including Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. Airstrikes will target those currently with ebola, though those near them will also be impacted. Hagel noted in his statement that those nearby are likely to be infected anyway, so their deaths would be inevitable. “Those currently not suffering from ebola may soon become sympathetic to ebola,” he elaborated. “We must strike this disease at the root if we are to eradicate it.

“Even now, some Americans are infected with the deadly scourge of ebola,” Hagel went on. “They hold American passports. All they need do is get on a plane and they can bring ebola to our homeland’s shores. We must wipe them out before this is allowed to occur.”

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one White House aide admitted that the cost of the air campaign will exceed $100 billion and there are, as yet, no appropriations set aside for this spending. When questioned about this, Hagel retorted that “We cannot put a price on freedom. And make no mistake, ebola hates freedom. It destroys your organs, making you unable to move.”

A predator drone off the coast of Liberia launches an initial missile into an ebola-infected village.

A predator drone off the coast of Liberia launches an initial missile into an ebola-infected village.

Obama was quick to observe that this is not merely an African epidemic. “If left unchecked, this disease could pose a growing threat beyond that region — including to the United States,” he said.

Republicans were quick to criticize Obama’s plan as falling short of the decisive action necessary to deal with ebola. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell questioned the plan to only kill Liberians currently carrying the virus. “Shouldn’t we have a more comprehensive strategy to destroy the entire country?” he asked in a response statement issued following the President’s press conference. “After all, those in Liberia without ebola could someday get it. And then they will hate freedom. I question whether the President truly cares about homeland security.”

The rapid emergence of ebola has taken the country by storm, terrorizing Americans everywhere and capturing the nation’s horrified imagination. Shortly after the announcement, a poll showed that 94% of Americans favor the strikes to kill every man, woman, and child with ebola, and 55% say they do too little to stem the disease’s inexorable spread.

Obama promised that America would not be the only nation striking at those with ebola, noting that Somalia and North Korea had both pledged to send missiles for the war effort and that Myanmar was considering joining the fight as well.

Concluding his remarks, Obama noted that this mission would not be without danger to Americans abroad. “Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ebola. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved — especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ebola wherever it exists, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.”