Tags: Barack Obama | Ebola Outbreak | Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | cdc | tom frieden | michael brown

Ex-FEMA Chief Michael Brown: CDC's Frieden Should Resign

By    |   Friday, 17 Oct 2014 07:35 PM

President George W. Bush's point man for natural disaster preparedness, who was vilified for his handling of Hurricane Katrina, told Newsmax TV on Friday that the agency chief responsible for the Obama administration's fumbling first response to the Ebola virus ought to do as he did, and resign.

"Having been through that same kind of grilling, there's a point where you leave, where you lose public confidence," Michael Brown, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner in remarks about Tom Frieden, embattled head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Brown, a Denver radio talk show host, said that a gracious and voluntary exit is "the best thing" Frieden "could do for the president," especially since President Obama has named an "Ebola czar" — longtime Democratic political operative Ron Klain — to oversee the federal response to the disease landing in the United States.

"The [CDC] director ought to say at this point, 'You know what? Let me step aside because right now I'm a distraction,' " said Brown, who resigned as FEMA director in September 2005, two weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, catching federal, state and local responders unprepared.

Brown said the appointment of Klain, best known as Vice President Al Gore's chief strategist in the 2000 Florida presidential vote recount, presents other problems. For one, Klain has no medical or public health background.

"We already have a czar that's in charge of public health, and that's the assistant secretary for emergency preparedness and response in HHS," he said, referring to Nicole Lurie, a U.S. Public Health Service rear admiral who is prinicpal adviser on public health emergencies for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Brown described Lurie, an Obama nominee, as "noticeably absent" from the administration's Ebola response despite her portfolio.

"So what we're doing now is, we're trying to fix a problem in CDC which should have already been managed by someone that Congress has already authorized to be the person in charge of these kinds of things," said Brown.

"And now we're going to make a political appointee on top of that? This is bureaucracy run amok again," he said.

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President George W. Bush's point man for natural disaster preparedness, who was vilified for his handling of Hurricane Katrina, told Newsmax TV on Friday that the agency chief responsible for the Obama administration's fumbling first response to the Ebola virus ought to do as he did, and resign.
cdc, tom frieden, michael brown, fema
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2014-35-17
Friday, 17 Oct 2014 07:35 PM
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