Despite a firestorm of criticism aimed at the government’s handling of the Ebola crisis, Sen. Kay Hagan praised the Centers for Disease Control during a Wednesday press conference and reversed her earlier support for travel restrictions on Ebola “hot zone” countries.
“The CDC and the World Health Organization is certainly giving us great guidance, but we’ve got to be sure that the implementation is perfect,” Hagan said according to a Time Warner Cable news report.
Hagan’s praise for the agency came as a second Dallas nurse — who cared for the “index patient” Liberian national Thomas Duncan — was confirmed to have contracted the disease.
“When they talk about these breaches, we’re going to learn from mistakes. These are life crisis mistakes that we cannot make,” she added.
Hagan however responded to calls for a travel ban by saying it would not be the right fix.
“That’s not going to help solve this problem,” Hagan said according to the report. “That’s not going to contain the epidemic that we see happening in Africa.”
In contrast, in a recent debate Hagan said, “Travel bans should be part of the overall strategy, but it can’t be the only part. By doing just isolating the flights from those countries, isn’t going to help solve that problem.”
Hagan, who is in a tight reelection bit against Republican challenger state House Speaker Thom Tillis, made her comments of praise as multiple lawmakers have criticized the CDC’s handing of the crisis, called for travel bans, and a couple have even called for the CDC director to be removed from his post.
In reaction to Hagan’s praise Tillis reiterated his call for a travel ban on Ebola countries.
“With all due respect to Senator Hagan and President Obama, the CDC has failed to provide proper guidance to help prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States,” Tillis said.
“The cases in Dallas have proven that the CDC and Obama administration do not yet have a plan in place to handle Ebola properly,” he continued. “The last thing we need right now is to risk even more Americans being exposed to the virus. This is not a partisan issue. We need to stand together and keep the American people safe by immediately implementing a travel ban on Ebola-inflicted nations in West Africa.”