Congresswoman Diana DeGette, (D-Colo.), faulted the House subcommittee charged with investigating the spread of Ebola for failing to act on her request to hold a hearing on Sept. 2 – more than two weeks before Thomas Duncan, the first patient to be diagnosed with the deadly virus in the U.S., traveled to Dallas from Liberia.
“I’ve been on this committee for a long time: I’ve seen SARS, I’ve seen bird flu, H1N1, and I knew this could be happening,” DeGette told msnbc’s Chris Hayes Thursday. “So on Sept. 2, I asked the chairman if I could have a hearing on Ebola. We’re not having a hearing now until two and a half weeks before the election.”
DeGette told Hayes that she requested the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hold hearings in September and then again in October. On Sept. 18, House leadership announced that members could leave Washington and return to their districts more than a week earlier than scheduled, and return after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.
“Only just a few weeks before the election, everybody is now called back to do this hearing, and you know, I will say, Sept. 2, that’s before Mr. Duncan showed up, that’s before the nurses were infected, so maybe we could have gotten to the bottom of some of these protocols before that. And, I don’t know, maybe none of this would have ever happened,” DeGette told Hayes.