Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | democrats | czar | Sharyl Attkisson

Sharyl Attkisson: CDC Keeping a Lid on Ebola Numbers

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 07:49 PM

Whether or not it's acting on orders from the Democratic operative hired to be the nation's "Ebola czar," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has gone noticeably quiet since the uproar earlier this year over Ebola cases in the United States, investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson tells Newsmax TV.

Emmy winner and author Attkisson told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that the CDC, for example, is not using its Web site to inform the public how many people U.S. health officials are monitoring here due to risk factors including travel to and from African countries hit by Ebola outbreaks.

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The figure is more than 1,400 people, but Attkisson said she had to call the agency to get it, and was also told "that it would not be posted, and that I would have to call back to get updates."

Attkisson said that the agency usually does publish updates online "if there is an outbreak or some sort of infectious disease that people might want to track and keep up with, which leads me to think there was a meeting and a decision made not to make that information easily accessible."

Ron Klain, a former Al Gore presidential campaign aide hired by President Barack Obama to coordinate the government response to Ebola, has been just as hard to locate, said Attkisson.

"My guess is that because he's been so behind the scenes, I feel like he was part of deducing the strategy to try to manage the information — they might say to minimize panic, but I would also argue perhaps to minimize negative coverage on how the government was handling it," she said.

Attkisson noted that CDC chief Tom Frieden — who came in for harsh criticism when Ebola cases began appearing in the United States — has also kept a low profile since Klain's hiring.

Attkisson also defended the intensity of Ebola coverage in the mainstream media, arguing that it spurred important changes in U.S. health policy and procedures.

"It caused the government to reverse course and turn around and institute new safety measures they didn't plan to do at airports, and … to change the way that they recommend healthcare workers handle cases," she said.

"All of that came about, I would argue, because there was public attention and media coverage … that a lot of people are now criticizing and saying, 'Well, was it overhyped?' It's typical in the United States that when a worst-case scenario is averted or doesn't happen, sometimes we look back and say, 'Was too much coverage or too much attention given to this?' " said Attkisson.

"I don't think concern is gone and I don't think that it was overstated," said Attkisson. "There is and remains a great deal of concern that as long as the epidemic is so bad in West Africa, we do remain at increased risk here in the United States."

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Whether or not it's acting on orders from the Democratic operative hired to be the nation's "Ebola czar," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has gone noticeably quiet since the uproar earlier...
democrats, czar, Sharyl Attkisson
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2014-49-23
Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 07:49 PM
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