The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing comes on the heels of an audit that shows the Department of Homeland Security may be ill-prepared to deal with a pandemic. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A hearing on Capitol Hill is examining the Obama administration's response to the Ebola outbreak. The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing comes on the heels of an audit that shows the Department of Homeland Security may be ill-prepared to deal with a pandemic. The audit, conducted by the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) and posted on a congressional website, said the sprawling bureaucracy has bought more than $16 million of gear and anti-viral drugs since 2006, often without determining how much it needed or keeping track of where supplies were stored. The audit also revealed inadequate supplies of protective gear and drugs for its staff. The OIG report, which was completed in August, has no direct bearing on the government response to Ebola, a virus that public health officials say poses no major health threat to the United States. But it underscores the need for adequate preparedness at a time of elevated public anxiety about deadly contagion. Deborah Burger, the Co-President of National Nurses United also testified at the hearing. "We are your first line of defense, no nation would ever contemplate sending soldiers into the battlefield with armor and weapons. Give us the tools we need. All we ask from President Obama and Congress is not one more infected nurse."