Off the Record

Greta: Appointing an Ebola czar would be nuts!

'Off the Record,' 10/9/14: Bigger bureaucracy is not the answer to the Ebola crisis. #Ebola


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record" for a minute. Earlier this week, Senator Jerry Moran and Congressman Frank Wolf, both Republicans, sent a letter to President Obama asking him to appoint an Ebola czar. Ebola czar? I think that's nuts.

Don't get me wrong - of course I want to do whatever it takes to beat Ebola. But a bigger bureaucracy - and now is the not the answer. That's just more people in Washington bumping into it each other, and having a turf war. It is Washington at its worst.

Think about it, we already have a job to handle a national health crisis. We don't need to invent one. We have a cabinet level job for that. It's the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and right now, that is Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, just like it was Tommy Thompson's job to handle the anthrax scare in 2001.

Secretary Burwell says she has been in Ebola meetings every day since July. So she may not be visible, but she says she's on the job. So we don't need an Ebola czar. In the meantime though, if Washington really wants to help, give her all the emergency authority and money and tools she needs to handle the crisis. If legislature wants to do something, make sure the West African nations have what they need to stop the spread of Ebola there, so we don't get more sick patients here.

And one other thing, Congress should make it easy for the FDA to fast-track the Ebola drug, so as we face this international crisis, let's focus on what we really need. That's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.