10.16.14

Senator Burr: 'We continue to be two steps behind this deadly virus'

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

“Two weeks ago, I urged the President and his Administration to reassess the strategies and protocols we have in place to deal with the threat posed by the deadly Ebola virus.  Unfortunately, it appears that little has changed in the federal government’s response.  In the meantime, the NIH Director is playing politics, the CDC Director is playing catch up, and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS— a position created years ago to lead our nation’s medical and public health response in just such an emergency – is nowhere to be found.”

“In the last two weeks we have witnessed the first death from Ebola, and the first two cases of transmission, in the United States.  Along with those news reports, however, come conflicting reports of protocol breaches and travel advice.  These reports led to a day’s worth of media criticism of a nurse’s professionalism, followed by even more questions about whether the CDC is ultimately capable of fulfilling its core mission – disease control and prevention.”

“We continue to be two steps behind this deadly virus.  We must firm up our protocols for treating patients, improve training and preparedness of our health care professionals, and take a serious look at travel to and from the hot zone in West Africa.  We must treat Ebola like the public health emergency it is, rather than continue to manage it as just another political crisis that will soon pass.”

“Once again, I urge the Administration to stop, look at the entirety of our response effort, and conduct a fundamental reassessment of what we are doing — and why – and take actions that will ensure the safety and security of the American people.”