KSDebate – Viewer question: Ebola

Darren Dedo, KSN News: Keith Ashley emailed this question – “How do they think that the United States should deal with the Ebola epidemic?”

Pat Roberts (R): The Ebola epidemic, along with ISIS, shows you how we should secure the border. I issued a statement a couple of days ago. Why can’t we do now what we know we are going  to have to down the road? And that is to have a quarantine on West Africa, stop the air traffic from west Africa to the united states.

We ought to get our best and brightest over to that country as fast as we can. The World Health Organization said if we do not take action within the next 60 days, we could lose 10,000 people a week. That is a humanitarian disaster. Again, this all goes back to ISIS, Ebola, and the other problems we see on the border, we must secure the border.

Greg Orman (I): Ebola is a serious issue. I think we need to have a serious public health response to it that does include sending the best and brightest over to West Africa. I also believe we should suspend air travel with West Africa for the time being until the crisis is contained.

This goes back to a crisis in leadership. Senator Roberts has made some very strong statements about Ebola when he is back in Kansas. When he was in Washington last month, he skipped a hearing on Ebola virus. I think it’s inappropriate to talk tough here when you had an opportunity to do something about it, you chose to skip the hearing.

Rebuttal

Pat Roberts (R):  The hearing was held out of session during September, it was held in the Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee, nothing of substance came of it.

We have a crisis of leadership with regards to the situation. The administration, namely the president, has been two steps behind and asleep at the wheel. He just said he will have a much more aggressive program. We do not know what it is, of course. It is the president that we need to look to for this kind of leadership and we are looking for his plan and strategy and we don’t know it yet. We have to do this now.

Greg Orman (I): Again, the crisis in leadership in Washington is on both sides of the aisle. While you did not attend the hearing on Ebola, you did not attend two out of three hearings in the agriculture committee. And I think that crisis of leadership, is a crisis of leadership that you share into.

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