By Charlene Aaron
CBN News – With Americans on high alert after a second nurse contracted Ebola in the U.S., lawmakers are demanding answers from the nation’s top health officials.
On Thursday, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, faced tough questions from members of Congress about the CDC’s ability to contain an Ebola outbreak.
“Dr. Frieden, a second nurse infected with Ebola took a flight to Cleveland after she registered a fever. We have reports that say she contacted the CDC and was told she could fly. Did she, in fact, contact the CDC and ask for guidance on boarding a commercial flight as far as you know?” Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., asked the director.
“My understanding is that she did contact the CDC and we discussed with her her reportive symptoms as well as other evaluation,” Frieden responded.
“People’s lives are at stake and the response so far has been unacceptable,” Upton said.
The issue of travel bans also dominated the hearing. Some lawmakers pressed officials on why travel restrictions are not in place for passengers coming from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa, especially since nearly 30 African countries have imposed travel bans.
President Obama says he might appoint an Ebola czar to coordinate the fight against the virus in the U.S., but he remains opposed to a ban on travel from West Africa.
“The problem is in all the discussions I have had thus far with experts in the field, experts in infectious disease, is that a travel ban is less effective than the measures we are currently instituting,” the president said.
Meanwhile, the first U.S. health care worker diagnosed with Ebola is talking and sitting up in her hospital bed.
In this video, Nina Pham wipes tears before being transferred to a special isolation unit at a Maryland facility.
“Come to Maryland. Everybody…party party in Maryland,” Pham says on the video.
The second nurse, Amber Vinson, is being treated at Atlanta’s Emory University.
The investigation continues as to how the two nurses contracted the virus. And despite assurances from the White House and the CDC, Americans are still concerned that the government isn’t on top of the Ebola situation.
Meanwhile, one of the nurses who treated the first Dallas Ebola patient is now quarantined on a cruise ship. The nurse handled a lab specimen from James Duncan, the Liberian man who died from Ebola last week.
After that, she and her husband took a Caribbean cruise. Now, she’s self-quarantined on that ship though she’s shown no symptoms of the virus.
U.S. officials are trying to bring her and her husband home early.
Report via CBN News
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.