U.S. Congress, Health Officials Say Focus On Ebola, Future Epidemics Needs To Be Maintained

News outlets report on comments made by lawmakers and public health experts during a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

CQ News: Ebola Prompts Effort to Bolster Hospital Preparedness
“A bipartisan pair of senators voiced concerns Wednesday about the government’s ability to respond to future public health threats, saying they would push a measure to improve preparedness at designated hospitals. Members of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee also cited issues with a program to develop and stockpile countermeasures for a variety of threats. Administration officials used the committee hearing to emphasize the necessity of emergency funding to aid their response to the Ebola outbreak…” (Ethridge, 11/19).

The Hill: As Ebola attention fades, lawmakers beg for spotlight
“Lawmakers are pleading for public attention on Ebola after the disease disappeared from the political agenda almost immediately after Election Day. Congress has held five hearings on Ebola since returning from the midterm recess, including four this week. Nearly all have featured top members handling the Obama administration’s response. Still, attendance has been scarce and news coverage has nearly evaporated…” (Ferris, 11/19).

The Hill: Frieden: World will not see Ebola worst-case scenario
“…Dr. Tom Frieden said Wednesday that the world will not see the worst-case scenario on Ebola that he predicted earlier this summer, which said as many as 1.4 million people could be infected by early 2015. ‘We don’t think projections from the summer will come to pass,’ Frieden told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs…” (Ferris, 11/19).

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