Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz on Wednesday questioned President Obama's decision to appoint what he considers a political operative to lead the country's Ebola response, instead of the acting-United States surgeon general.
"I want a doctor telling me how to deal with this," Chaffetz said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
Obama on Friday named Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Biden, to the Ebola post.
"You have somebody who's got a medical history, background, expertise, who understands the bureaucracy," Chaffetz said. "Why aren't we empowering that person? I don't understand why the Obama administration is doing it this way, but they chose somebody who's political and not somebody who is actually a doctor."
Chaffetz said Klain is already "off to a bad start," considering that on Monday he told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he could not testify at an upcoming hearing.
"It seemed like a simple request, but he refused," Chaffetz said.
"What does that say about this position that he's filling? If he doesn't feel comfortable answering very basic questions from Congress, is he really ready to be up on the job when it's happening in real time, right now?"
Chaffetz also put blame on the president for eliminating a bio-defense special assistant position that was present in the previous two administrations.
"It's bigger and broader than just Ebola," he said. "There are other types of things that can be infectious diseases or bio-attacks on the homeland. And yet, President Obama got rid of that position."