McCain wants probe of military’s Ebola response

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhoopi Goldberg signs four-year deal with ABC to stay on 'The View' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden MORE (R-Ariz.) is demanding a probe into the Pentagon’s response to Ebola, asking President Obama to explain why troops are headed to Africa without congressional approval.

“I want to have hearings as soon as we get back as to whether our military personnel should go there,” McCain said Monday at a campaign stop for GOP Senate hopeful Scott Brown in New Hampshire, the Boston Herald reported.


“He didn’t ask permission of Congress,” added McCain, a member of both the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees.

His remarks came as Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno on Monday ordered all U.S. troops returning from West Africa to undergo a 21-day quarantine.

The Defense Department said around a dozen soldiers from U.S. Army Africa, including their commander, Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, and his staff, are being isolated and monitored at a facility at their home station in Vincenza, Italy.

McCain endorsed tougher restrictions to prevent the disease from spreading, including 21-day quarantines.

“What we need to do is — anyone who wants to get on a plane and come to the United States of America should go into quarantine for 21 days, take a blood test and then come to the United States,” he said. “We shouldn’t wait until they get here after they may have contaminated innumerable people.

“This has been a terrible fumbling again by this administration,” McCain added.

A number of states have imposed their own safety measures after a 33-year-old doctor who recently returned to New York fell ill with Ebola after treating patients in Guinea. 

New York, New Jersey and Illinois imposed mandatory 21-day quarantines on health workers returning from West Africa. However the governors of New York and Illinois later limited those measures to allow those possibly exposed to remain at home after pressure from the Obama administration.

Federal health officials have criticized the potential for a patchwork of state quarantine measures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday released new guidelines that would only apply to the highest-risk health workers returning from West Africa.

The administration could send up to 4,000 U.S. soldiers to Africa to assist with the Ebola response. Around 900 troops have already been deployed to provide logistical help, train healthcare workers and construct treatment facilities.

The Pentagon says troops won't have direct involvement with patients but could come into contact with Ebola-infected samples.