(by Jerome R. Corsi, WND) WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday on Ebola, government health workers were unable to answer specific questions posed by Republicans skeptical of President Obama’s decision to deploy 3,000 U.S. troops to Liberia to combat the disease.
None of the government health witnesses testifying were able to answer basic questions, including how many physicians and nurses would be among the 3,000 troops allocated or what type of protective equipment and training would be employed to prevent infection.
The witnesses explained the State Department was in charge of the military mission, not the Pentagon.
“Who do we call when there is a problem with the troops in Liberia?” asked Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, a physician and a guest on the committee.
“You call USAID,” replied Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID.
She explained the situation in Liberia is a medical emergency, and USAID is directing the Obama administration’s response in West Africa.
USAID reports to the State Department, not to the Department of Defense.
As WND reported, retired Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin has charged that sending American troops to combat Ebola in Liberia is “an absolute misuse of the U.S. military.”
Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., began the questioning by asking the government health witnesses whether or not the Obama administration has allocated sufficient funding to support the military mission in Liberia. Smith also asked what steps the administration plans to take to protect the health of the troops deployed there.
Unable to directly answer Smith’s questions, Lindborg stressed the U.S. wants to provide “command and control” in Liberia, coordinating international efforts to provide physicians and nurses.