Romney: Administration not serious about treating Ebola

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney charged Wednesday that the Obama administration has not been treating the Ebola crisis “with real seriousness and sobriety.” 

The former Massachusetts governor said he was disappointed with how the president responded, hours after a second nurse at a Dallas-area hospital tested positive for the Ebola infection. The 29-year-old hospital worker contracted the disease after treating a Liberian man with Ebola, and reportedly was granted permission by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to travel via commercial air.

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"Look, this administration couldn't run the IRS right, and it apparently isn't running the CDC right,” Romney said in an interview with NH1. “And you ask yourself what is it going to take to have a president who really focuses on the interests of the American people.” 

Romney went on to applaud Obama’s decision to cancel campaign activities on Wednesday to instead meet with senior staff at the White House, but took another swipe at his former rival while doing so.

"I'm glad he's stopping campaigning for a couple of days and finally focusing on this, this is serious stuff,” Romney said. “This is the lives of the American people and we have to treat this with real seriousness and sobriety, and I don't see that yet."

The White House announced Wednesday night that the president was also scrapping a pair of fundraisers scheduled for Thursday so that he could remain in Washington to oversee the Ebola response.

Following his briefing on Wednesday, Obama said the federal government would adopt a “much more aggressive” response to the crisis, but stopped short of naming a czar to oversee federal efforts or implementing a travel ban on West Africa, as some Republicans have suggested. The administration has said a ban would restrict the flow of aid to effected countries and prolong the danger posed by the virus.

Romney added his voice to that chorus on Wednesday, saying he thought a travel ban would be a good idea.

"I haven't been briefed on all the reasons not to close down the flights but my own reaction is we probably ought to close down the border with nations that have extensive Ebola spreading, and that means not bringing flights in from that part of Africa,” Romney said.

“And people say then we wouldn't have healthcare workers going there. Well, we could give special visas to healthcare workers to allow them to go there and when they come back we put them in quarantine until we are sure they don't have Ebola."