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Two Republicans Call on CDC Chief to Resign Amid Ebola Spread

Two Republicans Call on CDC Chief to Resign Amid Ebola Spread
Center for Disease Control (CDC) head Dr. Thomas Frieden. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 05:23 PM

Two Republican U.S. lawmakers called for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas R. Frieden’s resignation, saying he mishandled the cases of two health-care workers in Texas who contracted Ebola.

Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, a member of the House Republican leadership, told conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham that Frieden had failed to prevent the spread of the virus to two health workers who cared for a man who died of the disease in Dallas. Representative Tom Marino of Pennsylvania also called for Frieden to quit, saying that the “Ebola situation is beginning to spiral beyond control.”

Sessions, whose district is home to the hospital where the Ebola patients were treated, and Marino commented after the agency said today that the second Texas health worker who tested positive for Ebola flew from Dallas to Cleveland and back before reporting she had symptoms.

Some congressional lawmakers, especially Republicans, have criticized the response of President Barack Obama’s administration to the threat of Ebola spreading in the U.S., with some calling for a ban on travelers entering the country from West African nations where the disease is rampant.

U.S. officials are now tracking 132 others who were on the Frontier Airlines flight taken by the newly diagnosed Texas woman. The flight has raised concern that the virus could spread beyond the Dallas area.

Two Cases

So far, there are only two documented cases of people contracting the virus in the U.S. Both are health workers who came into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, who flew from Liberia to visit family in Texas before showing symptoms. He died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Oct. 8.

“The reports my colleagues and I have received are utterly unacceptable and the information provided to the public has been cryptic and in some cases misleading,” Marino said in a statement. “This has provided a false sense of security to many of our citizens. That is exactly the opposite of the CDC director’s primary responsibilities.”

Americans were waking up to the news of a second case of Ebola in Texas today with “a sad sense of reality,” Sessions said in an interview with CNN.

“Reality is we really don’t understand enough about Ebola,” said Sessions, adding that patients should be isolated and sent to specialized hospitals instead of regional facilities.

Sherrod Brown

Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown has joined lawmakers urging the administration to do more to curb the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Brown called on the CDC to “dedicate immediate resources to organize monitoring services in Northeast Ohio.

‘‘This includes close coordination with Ohio health officials and medical facilities, tracking and monitoring of Ohioans who may have been in contact with the patient, and the readying and potential deployment of infection experts to Ohio,’’ Brown said in a statement.

In a letter to Frieden and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Brown urged federal officials to identify and locate anyone who had contact with the Texas woman while she was in Ohio and monitor them for potential symptoms, train local health officials on proper protocols for interacting with infected people and prepare a team of infection experts who could deploy to Ohio if there is an outbreak there.

Cruz, Roberts

Marino was one of 27 House lawmakers, 3 Democrats and 24 Republicans, who signed an Oct. 8 letter to Obama calling for a ban on individuals entering the U.S. from the worst-affected countries in West Africa.

Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Pat Roberts also have urged the administration to halt flights from affected countries.

‘‘Common sense dictates that we should impose a travel ban on commercial airline flights from nations afflicted by Ebola,’’ Cruz told the Dallas Morning News yesterday.

Also, the top Republicans on the House and Senate transportation panels, Representative Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania and Senator John Thune of South Dakota, today urged an immediate travel ban.

Ohio’s other senator, Republican Rob Portman, said in a statement that the ‘‘latest troubling news regarding the Ebola crisis demonstrates why our government must be more proactive in the fight to prevent the spread of Ebola,’’ adding that he’d consulted with local and federal officials.

Portman said Obama should appoint an official to coordinate U.S.strategy to combat Ebola. Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, also has called on Obama to designate an ‘‘Ebola czar.’’

Senator John Cornyn and Representative Michael McCaul, both Texas Republicans, on Oct. 10 wrote U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske urging that Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport be added to five airports that the Department of Homeland Security selected last week for enhanced Ebola screening.

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Two Republican U.S. lawmakers called for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas R. Frieden's resignation, saying he mishandled the cases of two health-care workers in Texas who contracted Ebola.Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, a member of the House...
Ebola, resign, spread, travel
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 05:23 PM
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