The government’s confused response to the Ebola epidemic has had some calling for the appointment of an Ebola czar to head the United States’ response to the crisis. As Mollie Hemingway writes in The Federalist today, however, the country already has an Ebola czar: Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Her job?
…as National Journal rather glowingly puts it, “Lurie’s job is to plan for the unthinkable. A global flu pandemic? She has a plan. A bioterror attack? She’s on it. Massive earthquake? Yep. Her responsibilities as assistant secretary span public health, global health, and homeland security.” A profile of Lurie quoted her as saying, “I have responsibility for getting the nation prepared for public health emergencies—whether naturally occurring disasters or man-made, as well as for helping it respond and recover. It’s a pretty significant undertaking.” Still another refers to her as “the highest-ranking federal official in charge of preparing the nation to face such health crises as earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and pandemic influenza.”
So, hands up: who knew we had an Ebola czar named Dr. Nicole Lurie? And where is she?
A brief YouTube video posted in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seems to prove that Dr. Lurie is able to appear on camera when it’s handy for her.
One accomplishment Dr. Lurie can point to: