Tags: Barack Obama | Ebola Outbreak | Obama | spokesperson | CDC | Ebola

Dr. Zeke Emanuel: WH Should Name Ebola Spokesperson

By    |   Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 12:07 PM

The Obama administration needs to get Ebola "under control" and should name a spokesperson to keep Americans informed about the disease, Dr. Zeke Emanuel told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden has been a primary spokesperson on how medical professionals were handling the cases of the three people in Texas diagnosed with Ebola. Questions about Frieden's effectiveness in managing the effort have arisen, including how the CDC directed health professionals on protocols in treating Ebola patients.

"We need to get it under control. And, we need to have a spokesperson who really feels authoritative. I think, unfortunately, Mr. Frieden's credibility here, people are getting a little nervous, and it's not reassuring," Emanuel, credited with being the architect of Obamacare, said Thursday.

The first patient in the U.S. diagnosed with Ebola was Thomas Eric Duncan, who flew to Dallas from Liberia in September and was diagnosed with the disease several days later. Duncan died Oct. 8, and since then two of his nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson, have been diagnosed with Ebola.

Emanuel said it appeared the "right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing" in the response by the CDC to the first diagnosed cases of Ebola in the United States.

He said the agency made two primary mistakes in managing the Ebola cases — allowing Vinson to travel on a commercial airline after she had begun to show symptoms of the disease, and "not sending a team immediately" to the Texas hospital once Ebola was diagnosed.

Since Obama has access to the world's "leading experts" on Ebola, Emanuel suggested the White House create a "brain trust" that the "public can trust and really have it authoritative."

"When you have multiple agencies, the Defense Department, Homeland Security, HHS, USAID, there really is only one place that can coordinate all those agencies on the same page and really think through things, and that's the White House," he said.

There were multiple problems with the way the Texas hospital responded to the Ebola patients that had to be "taken care of," Emanuel said, including "problems in the emergency room, communication among doctors and nurses, problems in how they've actually instituted the safety precautions for the healthcare workers."

Should more people fall ill to Ebola, Emanuel suggested they be treated at hospitals equipped to handle infectious diseases, such as Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

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The Obama administration needs to get Ebola "under control" and should name a spokesperson to keep Americans informed about the disease, Dr. Zeke Emanuel told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Obama, spokesperson, CDC, Ebola
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2014-07-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 12:07 PM
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