Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who has said he’s considering making a run for president in 2016, criticised the government’s response to the Ebola epidemic at an appearance in New York City on Thursday.
“Time and time again, the CDC and the administration in general have told us things that turned out not to be true,” Jindal said. “They first said — the president said it was unlikely the virus was going to get here. It did get here, it turns out it did get here. Then he said it was unlikely it was going to spread and it did spread.” (The CDC warned back in August that Ebola’s spread to the US was “inevitable.”)
Jindal made his critique of the administration of President Barack Obama in an appearance alongside New York’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino at Grand Central Station in Manhattan. At the press conference, both Jindal and Astorino called for the US to ban flights entering the country from the three West African nations that have seen a substantial number of Ebola cases.
There has been one confirmed Ebola diagnosis in the US and two confirmed transmissions. Both cases of transmission involved nurses who treated the first patient.
On Thursday, there was a congressional hearing to discuss the threat posed by Ebola. Jindal addressed reports the second nurse found to be infected asked the US Centres for Diseases Control whether she should have been allowed to travel within the country following her exposure. She flew from Texas to Ohio after her initial exposure and the CDC reportedly cleared her travel. Whether or not the CDC allowed the second nurse to fly, Jindal said it was apparent officials have not taken “common sense steps” to fight the disease.
“It’s pretty clear they refused to take common sense steps and call for the ban of these flights,” said Jindal. “That’s been something I’ve been calling on for quite some time now. This is just common sense. Why in the world wouldn’t we do this?”
The CDC has said banning flights from the affected region in Africa would actually aid the spread of the virus and prevent and emergency response. Jindal disputed this during his press conference in New York.
“We’re not saying stop the medical workers and the first responders from going to Africa and helping out on the ground,” said Jindal. “What we are saying though is why is routine — why is it a matter of routine? Why are we allowing folks to come into this country from these countries where they have a widespread exposure to Ebola?”
Jindal described the government’s response to Ebola as one of multiple situations where the Obama administration has fallen short, including on the “economic challenges facing our country.”
“They have been a dollar short and a day late time and time again,” said Jindal. “They seem to underestimate the challenges. They don’t seem to be responding competently. I’ve called it malpractice. I think that they need to be doing do a much better job protecting us.”
Jindal added the administration “could do more to expedite the development” of experimental treatments and vaccines for Ebola.
“There are common sense steps that this administration and CDC could be taking to do a better job of protecting us from Ebola,” Jindal said. “I think they should be doing that.”
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