- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, blasted President Obama on Wednesday for “inexcusably” failing to designate a figurehead in charge of the efforts to combat the deadly Ebola virus.

“Americans need to have some reassurance that someone in our country is in charge of confronting this epidemic and keeping Americans safe from it,” Mr. Rubio wrote in an op-ed for CNN. “So far, inexcusably, this has not really happened.”

Mr. Rubio, a possible contender for the 2016 GOP nomination, also criticized the administration for waiting too long to get involved with health care efforts at the source of the outbreak in West Africa, arguing that the U.S. was best equipped to stymie the disease.

“The United States initially stood back and allowed the global response to be led by the World Health Organization, which failed to combat Ebola in its earliest stages. As a result, Ebola ballooned from a local problem to a regional problem, and now to a global problem,” he wrote.

Following the infection of two health care workers who treated the now-deceased Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas, Mr. Rubio wrote that future cases should be dealt with in U.S. facilities that have shown a history of success in curing the disease.

“Two medical facilities in the United States have already successfully treated patients that have now been cured and two others have specialized facilities for treating patients with the virus. We should consider centralizing all future cases at these medical facilities, but hospitals across the United States will still need to focus on screening and isolating suspected cases that may arrive at their facilities,” Mr. Rubio wrote.

As part of a five-step plan to beat Ebola, Mr. Rubio wrote that the U.S. should increase efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine, temporarily ban new visas for non-U.S. nationals traveling to the country from West Africa, and focus on containing the virus at the source.

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