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Tags: Barack Obama | Ebola Outbreak | Ted Cruz | Ebola czar | Congress | Obama

Ted Cruz Rips Obama's 'Ebola Czar' Selection

Ted Cruz Rips Obama's 'Ebola Czar' Selection
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 17 October 2014 04:49 PM

President Barack Obama's appointment of an "Ebola czar" has triggered an angry response from a Texas senator who is demanding that Congress convene an emergency session to take over leadership in the Ebola crisis and pass a ban on travelers entering the U.S. from the affected West Africa countries.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, reacting to Obama's appointment of attorney Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden with no medical background, issued a statement from his office: "We don't need another so-called 'czar'; we need presidential leadership. This is a public health crisis and the answer isn't another White House political operative. The answer is a commander-in-chief who stands up and leads, banning flights from Ebola-afflicted nations and acting decisively to secure our southern border."

Cruz wasn't alone in his criticism. Rep. John Fleming, R-La., who is a medical doctor, said in a statement, "Leave it to President Obama to put a liberal political activist in charge of the administration’s Ebola response. If reports are true, his so-called Ebola Czar will be someone with no medical background, but who was responsible for administering the failed 2009 Obama stimulus program. Yet again, this president is more concerned with ideology than competence.

"If the Obama Administration wants to gain the faith of the American people in the face of a serious public health threat, they should start with a travel ban on people coming from Ebola hot zones and a CDC director who will ensure that there are select medical centers that are fully equipped and trained to handle Ebola patients. The testimony we heard yesterday from [CDC director] Dr. Tom Frieden added to my existing concerns about his ability to handle the crisis. The time has come for the CDC director to resign."

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., wondered openly why Obama "didn't pick an individual with a noteworthy infectious disease or public health background," Fox News reported.

Cruz added, "The Ebola outbreak shouldn't be treated as yet another partisan battle by the White House; rather, we should come together in bipartisan unity to take these common-sense steps to protect the American people."

Klain, president of Case Holdings and general counsel of Revolution LLC, a Washington tech firm, will report to homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and national security adviser Susan Rice, Fox News reports.

Obama is making the appointment in reaction to pressure from various legislators, such as Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., Fox reports.

In making the appointment, Obama bypassed such medical luminaries as Drs. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes for Health, Frieden and Dr. Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services.

A White House spokesman told Fox that Klain has "strong management credentials, extensive federal government experience overseeing complex operations and good working relationships with leading members of Congress, as well as senior Obama administration officials, including the president."

However, Cruz said, "If the President will not act, if he will not lead, then Congress should immediately reconvene for an emergency session to enact a flight ban and take any other necessary measures to protect the health and safety of Americans.”

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President Barack Obama's appointment of an "Ebola czar" has triggered an angry response from a Texas Sen. Ted Cruiz, who is demanding that Congress convene an emergency session to take over leadership in the Ebola crisis.
Ted Cruz, Ebola czar, Congress, Obama
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2014-49-17
Friday, 17 October 2014 04:49 PM
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