Capitol Report: Enhancing America's Response to Ebola
As we work to stop the spread of Ebola, I have urged the Obama administration to do everything in its power to help protect the American people from this deadly virus. To date, over 9,000 people have contracted Ebola worldwide and more than 4,500 have died.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not properly prepare hospitals for incoming cases of Ebola, and I worry hospitals are still not prepared to handle an epidemic in this country. Only after two of our medical professionals were infected did the CDC strengthen the Ebola protection guidelines for our healthcare workers. I am so glad to see that the Dallas nurses are recovering, but they should have never been in danger in the first place. The Department of Homeland Security has now limited incoming travel from West Africa to five American airports with enhanced screening, and I believe that is five too many. In order to keep Americans safe, we must put greater restrictions and screening methods in place on foreign travelers from the affected countries.
The Obama administration has been too slow to react in aggressively fighting the spread of this virus in West Africa, and in particular here at home. Additional precautions must include even more robust, commonsense travel restrictions and screenings, and doctors agree. As the Republicans Doctors Caucus highlighted in a letter to President Obama, “containment is the key to stopping the spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease.”
I continue to remain vigilant. The Obama administration must step up its efforts to prevent further cases here in the U.S., and help the stricken countries in West Africa. Most importantly, federal agencies need to continue to keep the American people informed.