Saturday, November 1, 2014


DETROIT—Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) issued the following statement regarding the Ebola crisis and the federal government’s response:

“While Ebola is a dreadful illness that poses a serious threat to nations in West Africa, the simple fact remains that Ebola is extraordinarily rare in the United States.  There have been only two cases of Ebola contracted in the country, and health professionals have treated both successfully.  

“I applaud President Obama for basing his response to Ebola on science rather than unproven hysteria.  His decision to send a Disaster Assistance Response Team—comprised of leading public health experts—to West Africa has been essential to containing the virus in Liberia and other West African nations.  Given that an appropriate response to the virus requires action from medical researchers, military personnel and domestic healthcare professionals, the President wisely appointed a capable coordinator to oversee the federal government operation.  Central to every aspect of President Obama’s strategy is the important notion that we must eradicate Ebola at its source. 

“Of course President Obama needs the resources and personnel to effectively implement this prudent strategy.  But over the last decade, the federal contributions toward medical research at National Institutes of Health (NIH) have fallen in inflation adjusted terms.  In fact, the agency’s budget has shrunk by more than 20 since 2003.  This reduction is especially irresponsible because the NIH is the world leader in efforts to identify new means of treating and preventing Ebola. 

“Under the Republicans’ misguided across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, other pivotal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have suffered similar funding setbacks.  Additionally, conservatives in the Senate have blocked the confirmation of one of the most highly-qualified nominees for Surgeon General in U.S. history, leaving the position vacant at a time when accurate medical information is particularly important. 

“It’s time to put partisan considerations aside and support President Obama’s strategy to protect Americans and eliminate Ebola globally.  I hope more and more of my colleagues will put aside partisan considerations and support the non-nonsense strategy of our President to protect us here and eliminate Ebola globally.”
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