10.03.14

Senator Burr Releases Statement on the Current Ebola Situation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) released the following statement:

“Last month, the President said we had to act fast to address the global threat of Ebola; however, his Administration’s response has been anything but fast and successful.  By all measures our response to Ebola has fallen short.  The President’s concerns are real—defeating Ebola is a matter of national security.  From the outset of the Ebola outbreak we have been two steps behind, when we should have been two steps ahead.  We have been scrambling to catch up as the Ebola virus spirals out of control, leaving a path of unprecedented human devastation in West Africa.  Thousands have become ill from this virus, thousands have died, and these numbers could explode to over a million in the coming months. 

The President made a lot of commitments to combat Ebola, actions which I supported, but it has become clear that the Administration’s capacity to fulfill these promises in a timeline that sufficiently addresses this crisis does not exist.  The Administration’s neglect at having a single individual in charge of coordinating America’s Ebola response has caused difficulty with interagency coordination and the ability to successfully meet the timelines presented by the Ebola crisis. This has been a tragic failure of leadership that is unacceptable.  For the most prepared country in the world we are finding out just how ill-prepared we really are.  It is time to admit the realities that the current strategy to combat Ebola is not working.  We need a designated leader, backed by the President, who can meet the urgency of this crisis head on and protect the American people, and end the confusion about who is charge of our total response effort.  The President’s Ebola designee should on day one immediately require all agencies to reassess the Ebola strategies, timelines, goals, and policies we currently have in place, and ensure that we set realistic goals and adopt policies that put the safety of the American people and national security in place.  We need to assess all options and swiftly correct course if we are going to have a shot at turning the tide in this deadly epidemic.”