Tags: Barack Obama | Ebola Outbreak | Chuck Hagel | GOP | Barack Obama | quarantine

GOP Critics: White House Split on Quarantine Is More Mismanagement

Image: GOP Critics: White House Split on Quarantine Is More Mismanagement
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By    |   Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 09:42 AM

The Obama administration's new quarantine requirement for military personnel returning from Ebola relief efforts in West Africa is yet another example of policy mismanagement, Republican critics are saying.

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that returning troops will be subject to a mandatory 21-day quarantine-like policy, reports The Hill. However, civilian healthcare workers are not subject to any official quarantine policy, and the White House has been pressuring state governors not to impose such guidelines.

The administration's overall response to Ebola was "not well thought out," said North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

He said he does not even understand why the military had to be sent to West Africa in response to the health crisis, but "after they've been there, new rules are being made as they continue to serve our nation in West Africa."

Rep. Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican, said the approach for quarantining returning soldiers is much better than the lack of standards for civilians.

"Hopefully, this ambiguity is going to end soon, but I think the military has it right," he told CNN Wednesday.

But as the Ebola crisis unfolds, Republicans complain the government's response is part of a pattern of incompetence.

"I think ultimately what this election has a lot do with is really bad management, mismanagement, the lack of management, managers that can't manage — and the president's at the head of all of this," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on CNN Sunday during a heated argument with Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Hagel ordered the 21-day quarantine following a Joint Chiefs of Staff recommendation  in a contrast between the preferences of military officials and that of President Barack Obama, who has resisted such quarantines and flight bans from the Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa.

He made the announcement just days after Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno initially ordered the policy for all troops returning to the United States from the region, reports The Hill.

Republicans cheered the announcement, with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., saying Hagel "made a tough call" by agreeing with the Joint Chiefs.

Also on Wednesday, Obama met with healthcare workers who have returned from West Africa and who have not been under quarantines, and reiterated that he does not believe volunteer civilian workers should be quarantined, as they sacrifice time away from their families.

A quarantine, Obama said, would put "another barrier on somebody who's already doing really important work on our behalf," and would not be "based on science and best practices."

But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Pentagon's decision means the military will be able to keep returning troops together to actively monitor their health.
Hagel commented that military families want the "safety valve" of a quarantine period, and that the military makes up more Americans in Liberia than does any other group.

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The Obama administration's new quarantine requirement for military personnel returning from Ebola relief efforts in West Africa is yet another example of policy mismanagement, Republican critics are saying.
Chuck Hagel, GOP, Barack Obama, quarantine
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2014-42-30
Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 09:42 AM
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