“Thomas Eric Duncan waged a valiant fight for his life. His loved ones will miss him and his death is a tragic one…”
Texas Insider Report: Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member on the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Judiciary Committee released the following statement regarding the serious outbreak of the Ebola virus and the death of Thomas Eric Duncan.
“The death of Thomas Eric Duncan indicates the deadly aspects of this Ebola virus. The fact that we do not know all of the facts of Ebola reaffirms the commitment we must show to those Mr. Duncan was exposed too. Any delay of the treatment of someone suspected of having Ebola cannot be tolerated.
“Over the last week I have been in conversation with officials with the CDC regarding the approach that needs to be taken and the information that is needed to be given to average citizens regarding Ebola.
“Last week I went to Bush Intercontinental Airport and met with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials to see what procedures were in place to screen international travelers coming to the United States. At a Press Conference I announced the need for enhanced protocol from the CPB when it comes to checking incoming passengers and the need for well-staffed CDC facility at all major international airports.
“Texas is one of only 13 states certified by the CDC to conduct diagnostic Ebola testing and we have health care institutions and professionals who are second to none. Today the White House and Homeland Security announced that the country will now be using those same protocols and procedures for major U.S. airports. Medical professionals on every level should know these new procedures and they should be implemented immediately.
“Again, those exposed to the Ebola virus by Mr. Duncan should be monitored for 21 days. Ebola is a deadly virus killing one in the United States and thousands in Africa. That is why I join with the President in believing that world must join in fighting this deadly disease.
“On Friday I will be participating in a Field Hearing in Dallas entitled ‘Ebola in the Homeland: The Importance of Effective International, Federal, State and Local Coordination.’ With the interconnected nature of our world, threats to the homeland are only a flight away. Effective coordination at all levels of government and with our international partners is vital for all aspects of our security. At this hearing I want to hear from officials who can explain the efforts that have been taken to respond to the first case and now death from Ebola in the United States.
“At this hearing I first want to hear why the treatment of Mr. Duncan was delayed and then further an explanation of the efforts that were taken to respond to the first case and now death from Ebola in the United States. I also want to hear what we will do to continue to improve our preparedness and capabilities, particularly when it comes to screening passengers entering the country.
“Lives are at stake. We must make sure our health care system is up to the task of handling this disease. Ebola is now an epidemic that has reached the shores of the United States and is an epidemic of the likes that we have not seen before. It is spiraling out of control in Africa and we must make sure that does not happen here in the United States.
“Today, thousands of people in West Africa are infected. That number could rapidly grow to tens of thousands. And if the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected, with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us. So this is an epidemic that is not just a threat to regional security – it is a potential threat to global security if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic.
“That has profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease.”