The President is under growing pressure from Republicans in Congress who want to see an increased response to the Ebola crisis. One of those Republicans is Indiana Representative Susan Brooks (R-5th District.)
Rep. Brooks is the chairman of the Emergency Preparedness subcommittee of the Homeland Security committee in Congress. In that role she sent two letters to the Obama Administration this week urging that new travel restrictions be created.
A letter to the director of Homeland Security and Secretary of State John Kerry recommends the suspension of over 13,000 visas held by individuals in West Africa until the outbreak is under control.
A second letter is prompted by news that Ebola victim Amber Vinson traveled by plane from Dallas to Cleveland after being exposed to the virus. Brooks calls on the Director of the Centers for Disease Control to place healthcare workers who, like Vinson, treated an Ebola patient on a Do Not Board list for a minimum of 21 days.
“So that individuals who are coming into contact with any of these victims should not be allowed to board our airplanes right now,” she said.
Brooks says she is pleased by the selection of Hoosier Ron Klain to be Ebola Czar even though he has no expertise in the battle against infectious disease.
But she is also critical of the Obama Administration for eliminating the position called Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense Policy that existed in the Bush Administration.
“How is it,” she asked, “that there isn’t someone in the White House who wakes up each and every day concerned about biodefense?”
Brooks has requested that the CDC respond to her questions by next Tuesday.
In the meantime, Representative Brooks will meet with leaders from the State Board of Health and the Marion County Health Department on Monday. The goal is to help create better coordination with the federal government as the battle against Ebola continues.