Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

House Panel Gets an Ebola Response Update; Vaccine Needed

A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee today holds a hearing on the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis. Roll Call will live stream the hearing session starting at 2:00 p.m.

Witnesses at the hearing include Thomas R. Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and officials from the  State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama on Wednesday concluded a Washington, D.C., summit of African leaders and remarked in a press conference that he will defer to scientists on any decision to release experimental Ebola drugs for use. CQ HealthBeat’s John Reichard reports that CDC officials are stressing that emerging Ebola drugs have not been tested on humans. The developer of Zmapp, a reportedly promising drug, also lacks the capacity to manufacture it in large quantities. However, the drug is not designed as a way to keep people from getting Ebola. A National Institutes of Health official noted on Wednesday that developing an Ebola vaccine is critical in order to encourage  health care workers to assist in treating the disease (view CDC update on Ebola treatments and vaccines).

CQ HealthBeat also reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) does not have the financial resources to adequately respond to the crisis and that the global health agency’s limited capacity to handle global health threats is poorly understood. Earlier this week, the State Department and the CDC announced additional financial assistance to WHO and international health care relief organizations.


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    Why does it have to be a vaccine? How about an anti-viral drug like used for HIV? I know the CDC is a crazy cracker-jack pro-vaxer agency. But to declare the only solution there going to except is a vaccine before any solutions exist. Woow I don’t know what to say to that.

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