Pitts Presses for Answers on Ebola Response

Oct 23, 2014 Issues: Health Care

Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) joined with 27 other Energy and Commerce Committee colleagues on a letter to President Obama asking critical questions about his administration’s Ebola response. The members stated their concerns about current travel restrictions, tools for diagnosing the disease and the capabilities of the U.S. health care system to treat Ebola.

“Ebola is testing the capabilities of our public health system, and we have serious concerns about the response so far,” said Pitts. “I think we have the ability to learn from early mistakes, which is why I joined my colleagues in this constructive criticism. I hope that the President listens to our concerns and makes it clear to his appointees that failure could lead to lost American lives.”

The letter is addressed to the President, Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. Last week, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on Ebola response that included the Director of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Tom Frieden, and other government officials coordinating the response.

“Energy and Commerce Committee members have serious concerns about insufficient planning and preparedness from the administration in response to the ongoing Ebola threat. In an effort to provide some peace of mind to the American people, we continue to ask the administration to outline a clear strategy and work with us to ensure that every step necessary is being taken to protect the public health. With a disease as deadly as Ebola, there is no margin for error,” commented full committee Chairman Fred Upton (MI-06). 

Congressman Pitts chairs the Health Subcommittee, with oversight over the Centers for Disease Control. He has received regular updates from Director Frieden regarding Ebola response.