Rep. Barbara Lee: Republicans Cut Hospital Preparedness Before Ebola Risk

CONGRESS | 13 DISTRICT | In contentious races across the country, Ebola has become a political hot potato. On Friday, Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee used the infectious disease to criticize House Republicans for past cuts to health care and hospital preparedness programs.

Speaking during last Friday’s episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Lee slammed the House leadership for stymieing President Obama’s appointment of Dr. Vivek Murthy for U.S. Surgeon General for 18 months, along with cuts, Lee said, could affect the nation’s ability to combat the threat of Ebola, if it were to become more widespread in the U.S.

“We have to remember that the budget cuts, and I have to just say it was the Republicans who cut the budget by 44 percent for hospital preparedness programs, cut NIH (National Institutes for Health) by over 10 percent and cut CDC (Center for Disease Control) by 17 percent,” said Lee.

Republican charge Democrats, like Lee, are using the threat of Ebola as a ploy to push through Murthy’s confirmation. Lee, also added during the program, she was pleased by the President’s pick of Ron Klain as the administration’s Ebola ‘czar.”