Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Emerging Threats | CDC | Frieden | Ebola | Congress | infectious disease

CDC's Frieden to Explain Agency's Mistakes to Congress

Image: CDC's Frieden to Explain Agency's Mistakes to Congress
Center for Disease Control (CDC) head Dr. Thomas Frieden. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 08:24 AM

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be questioned today at a congressional hearing about the agency's missteps in responding to Ebola, which have led to the infection of two health care workers who were treating the country's first patient.

According to The New York Times, Frieden is likely to be grilled about his career and the agency's response. He has already admitted that his agency should have deployed an infection control team to the Dallas hospital as soon as the first case was diagnosed.

"It was the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. and I think all of us look at what we did and what we could have done differently, because there should never be a health care worker infected," he said, according to The Times.

As the nation's chief public health official, Frieden has already been under first this week for the what he acknowledged were mistakes that lead to the infection of the health  workers.

The second health care worker was permitted by the agency to take a flight even though she had a slight fever, prompting concerns about its spread to other passengers on the plane.

Two Republican lawmakers have already called for Frieden's resignation, as has Fox News television host Bill O'Reilly.

Earlier this week, Frieden admitted, "We have to rethink how we address infection control, because even a single infection is unacceptable."

Frieden has been described as a perfectionist, a workaholic, and a visionary, who had a strong career track record, according to The Times. In New York, as the city's health commissioner, he stopped outbreaks of tuberculosis and banned public smoking.

"Tom Frieden is a tactical commander," Dr. Jonathan Mermin, a CDC disease detective involved in the agency's Ebola response, told The Times. "At times I have thought of him as a honey badger. It's the most tenacious mammal in the animal kingdom. It never gives up."

House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday became the highest profile lawmaker to call on the president to ban all flights from West Africa, something Frieden has been vocal in his opposition to. 

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Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be questioned today at a congressional hearing about the agency's missteps in responding to Ebola.
CDC, Frieden, Ebola, Congress, infectious disease
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2014-24-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 08:24 AM
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