Health Care

Republicans call for Ebola czar

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said Thursday that the lack of a central U.S. authority on Ebola has hindered lawmakers’ ability to confront the crisis’s major funding challenges.

Moran, ranking member on the Appropriations Committee’s health subcommittee, said he doesn’t know what resources are needed to control the outbreak because President Obama has not appointed one person to direct the response.

“There is no person to go to, to tell us how all this is going to be funded,” Moran told Buzzfeed News. “And I don’t think there is a plan internationally to bring the folks together to combat this.”

Moran, who is also the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is the latest Republican to criticize President Obama’s leadership on the deadly disease that reached the U.S. this week.

His comments also amplify GOP calls for an “Ebola czar.”

Republicans first called for the White House to appoint an official to oversee Ebola efforts, led by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

“We are now more than six months into an Ebola epidemic and it remains unclear who is coordinating and leading the U.S. response,” Portman wrote in a statement on Sept. 16. He said the lack of a U.S. coordinator has “led to a delay in an effective U.S. government response and an absence of financial and operational accountability.”

The U.S. has committed more than $1 billion in an attempt to contain the outbreak, spread across a half-dozen executive agencies ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

Tags Jerry Moran Rob Portman

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