Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on Friday that America doesn’t need an Ebola czar, but in fact needs leadership from President Barack Obama–and needs a president who will ban travel to and from Ebola-stricken nations.
“We don’t need another so-called ‘czar’; we need presidential leadership,” Cruz said in response to the president appointing Ron Klain–Vice President Joe Biden’s ex-chief of staff, who was at the center of the 2009 stimulus bill and the Solyndra scandal–as Ebola czar. “This is a public health crisis, and the answer isn’t another White House political operative.”
Cruz said that instead of a czar, Obama should be leading by banning flights from Africa and securing the border with Mexico.
“The answer is a commander in chief who stands up and leads, banning flights from Ebola-afflicted nations and acting decisively to secure our southern border,” Cruz said. “The Ebola outbreak shouldn’t be treated as yet another partisan battle by the White House; rather, we should come together in bipartisan unity to take these common-sense steps to protect the American people.”
Cruz said that if the president won’t take action, Congress should reconvene now and pass a flight ban.
“And if the President will not act, if he will not lead, then Congress should immediately reconvene for an emergency session to enact a flight ban and take any other necessary measures to protect the health and safety of Americans,” Cruz said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also called on Obama and Klain to ban travel to and from Ebola-stricken nations in West Africa. Rubio said on Friday:
As I expressed on Wednesday, it’s important that the U.S. have someone officially in charge of coordinating the federal government’s response to the Ebola outbreak, both overseas and here at home. This is a complex challenge that must be addressed by a wide range of government agencies, and we need someone to make sure all the different pieces are working in concert to protect Americans and stop this outbreak. Already, concerns have been raised about the President’s choice. I hope Mr. Klain will come forward quickly with a set of concrete actions to reassure Americans that this administration is taking this situation seriously, including but not limited to common sense travel restrictions on individuals from the affected countries in West Africa.