President Obama said Tuesday that despite progress, West Africa is "nowhere near out of the woods" on Ebola.

"It underscores how important it is to continue to push forward until we stamp out this disease entirely in that region," Obama said before a meeting on the virus with national security and public health officials. "Until we do, there are threats if additional outbreaks, and given the nature of international travel, it means that everybody has some measure of risk."

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said later that the president was referring to the country of Mali, which was declared free of the virus, only to see it come back.

Obama said that attention on the virus in the United States has ebbed in the past week, "the challenge remains."

A doctor with ties to Maryland was airlifted from Sierra Leone to Nebraska Medical Center this weekend. The doctor, Martin Salia, died Monday.

Salia had a mistaken test in Sierra Leone that showed he did not have Ebola.

Obama said that when the disease is properly diagnosed and treated "we have a great chance of curing it," Obama also called on Congress to pass a bill that would give $6 billion to fight Ebola.

Earnest said that the White House has been "candid" about the fact that while it is very unlikely that there will be a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States, "the risk to the American people is not eliminated until the disease has been stopped in its tracks in West Africa."