Dr. Manny: Why is the Ebola czar hiding?


Ebola czar Ron Klain (C) listens in the White House East Room as the U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement about the government’s Ebola response in Washington, October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Hey, where’s the Ebola czar, and what’s the latest on the outbreak?

These are questions that a lot of people keep asking me. Ebola was on the top of everyone’s minds five weeks ago, but now that it’s largely disappeared from the mainstream media, it continues to fade into the background in this country. But the fact remains: Ebola continues to kill hundreds of people in Africa. Ebola continues to destroy families and leave many children without parents.

It was sad for me to hear about the passing of a surgeon – who was a citizen of Sierra Leone and a permanent resident of the U.S. – on Monday.  From what I know, he was a dedicated health care professional who did his best to keep his patients safe and alive. But what is sadder to me is that our Ebola czar, Ron Klain, did not have the courage to publicly come out and offer a statement in regards to the death of this physician, and also has failed in keeping the American public informed about the progress in this Ebola war.

We’ve got hundreds of American volunteers in Africa trying to help patients. We have hundreds of physicians from Joint Forces Command, under the federal government’s Operation United Assistance program, working hard down there alongside American troops who are building hospitals in West Africa. The president is asking congress for extra dollars to continue that. And yet we don’t have any information from our government to give us an idea of whether or not we’re winning the war on Ebola. Why have a national coordinator if questions that people continue to ask are not addressed properly?

I know that the president said that this czar was going to work behind the scenes, but he has to come up for air and give us some level of information. That way, if Ebola does resurface outside the African continent, we will have a more educated answer as to how this problem is now under control.

I read a Sunday editorial in the New York Times, and in it, the commentary seems to be that the United States is the leader in providing resources, medical talent and infrastructure to the areas of Africa that are afflicted with Ebola, but still there are many countries that have failed to provide any help— or in many cases, very limited help— in controlling the Ebola epidemic.

Is the Ebola czar working on this? Is he visiting these countries and looking at their leadership face-to-face and saying, “Hey, this is a problem that affects the whole planet— are you going to help with this world crisis or not?”

I guess my short explanation for all of this is that the president’s administration is just praying that Ebola will be the next president’s problem— and that we will be lucky enough to contain it for a while, and that it will be forgotten in the minds of Americans in the near future.

But to me, this is very shortsighted and clearly shows that this country continues to face a lack of transparency and accountability on issues. I offer my condolences to the family Dr. Martin Salia, and my thoughts and prayers are with all the brave men and women for fighting this war, sometimes, sadly, with very little recognition.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor.
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