At the House Oversight hearing on the U.S. Response to Ebola Outbreak, Thursday, Rep. Scalise (R-LA) firmly urged the president to immediately institute a travel ban until it can be proven that Americans are safe from more cases coming into the United States.
In an attempt to find out who was actually driving the policy, he asked the CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden if he had had conversations with the White House about a travel ban, and struggled to get a straight answer.
“From the point of view of the CDC, we’re willing to consider anything, Frieden answered.
“But have you considered that?” Scalise pressed. “Have you had conversations with the White House about a travel ban?”
Friedman: “Ah – we’ve – ”
Scalise: “That’s a yes or no question.
Scalise: “Have you had conversations with the White House about a travel ban?”
Friedman: “We’ve discussed many aspects…”
Scalise: How about a travel ban? Have you had that conversation with..
Friedman: We’ve had discussions on the issue of travel to and from West Africa..
Scalise: And have ya’all ruled it out?
Friedman: I can’t speak for the White House but I can tell you that the CDC…
Scalise: You can speak for the CDC. If you were in on those conversations – maybe they had their own conversations without you – but if you were involved in conversations with the White House about a travel ban, did they rule it out – are they still considering it?
Friedman: From the CDC’s perspective, we will consider anything that will protect Americans.
Scalise: Are you going to answer the question about your conversations with the White House? IS THE WHITE HOUSE CONSIDERING A TRAVEL BAN?
Friedman: I can’t speak for the White House.
One gets the feeling that the good doctor has been threatened with having his toenails ripped off if he discloses anything about those ebola conversations. So much for the most transparent administration ever.
Scalise went on to question Friedman about the Marines who have been sent to Liberia, and the lax protocols that are currently in place. He chastised him for jumping to the conclusion that the nurses in Dallas had violated protocols without knowing for a fact that they had.