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Committee Leaders Request Update on Ebola Outbreak

Sep 12, 2014

Chairman Upton: "We must be diligent in our work to protect the public health and safety of all Americans and ensure we take the steps necessary to avoid a disastrous global outbreak."

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell seeking more information regarding the ongoing Ebola outbreak and preparedness and response efforts at home and abroad. 

The leaders write, "In recent days, officials have warned that the emergency response thus far has not contained the outbreak and must be ‘vastly increased and accelerated’ immediately to avoid missing a closing ‘window of opportunity’ to control the deadly virus. Last week, Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned that the Ebola virus is ‘spiraling out of control’ and ‘moving faster than anyone anticipated.’"

The leaders seek to understand what has led to the increased warnings from administration officials in recent days. Additionally, they are requesting more information regarding emergency preparedness and response efforts; current protocols for screening, containment, and post-recovery; how many federal dollars have been spent; the current risk that the virus poses to the United States; and the status of testing and developing vaccines and therapies.

"Congress is greatly concerned about the ongoing Ebola outbreak and monitoring the situation closely. We must be diligent in our work to protect the public health and safety of all Americans and ensure we take the steps necessary to avoid a disastrous global outbreak," commented Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).

The letter was signed by Upton, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Vice Chairman of the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees Michael C. Burgess (R-TX), and full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Read the complete letter online here.

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