Candy Crowley should always be prepared to be schooled on her liberal assumptions whenever Senator Ted Cruz is a guest on her State of the Union show as happened today when Crowley parroted the administration line that a travel ban from the Ebola Hot Zone nations of West Africa was both unnecessary as well as harmful. Watch how well Cruz set Crowley's mind on the path to learning that a ban on such travel, not liberal shibboleth talking points, is what is needed to halt the spread of that disease into this country.
Cruz follows up with a tasty after dinner mint in the form of a bonus zinger where he entertainingly slam dunks Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY: There's word today that lab tests clear a cruise ship passenger who works at the Dallas hospital that treated Ebola patients. Though showing no symptoms of Ebola, the passenger had been in isolation anyway, but has now been allowed to leave the ship in Galveston, Texas. Just a bit of relief after a week that saw plenty of medical anxiety and political positioning. Joining me now is Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas.
Senator, one of the many things that we have learned over the course of the past several weeks is that public health is largely in the state and local purview. So, looking back over what has occurred in Dallas, when you see what the governor has -- what steps he's taken, what steps Texas public health has taken, and what steps the hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian, has taken, what do you think went wrong in there?
SENATOR TED CRUZ: Well, look, there were, no doubts, mistakes that were made up and down the line at the level of the hospital, at the level of the health officials implementing the protocols.
But I will tell you the biggest mistake that continues to be made is now, more than two weeks into this, we continue to allow open commercial air flights from countries that have been stricken by Ebola. That doesn't make any sense.
We have got upwards of 150 people a day coming from countries with live, active Ebola outbreaks. For over two weeks, I have been calling on the administration to take the commonsense stand of suspending commercial air travel out of these countries until we get the air travel under control. And -- and -- and, for whatever reason, the Obama White House doesn't want to do so.
CROWLEY: What mistakes were made at the hospital level? What mistakes were made by Texas public health officials?
CRUZ: Candy, the first mistake that was made was allowing Thomas Duncan to get on an airplane and fly to the United States.
CROWLEY: I understand.
Actually, as we shall see, Crowley still does not understand as we saw when she tried to change the subject away from the common sense travel ban.
CRUZ: If he hadn't flown to the United States, none of the other mistakes would have happened.
Look, obviously, this hospital, when Mr. Duncan came in the first time with fever symptoms, they shouldn't have sent him home. They should have responded more quickly. But the mistakes continued up and down the line.
When Mr. Duncan came in again, he was allowed, post-developing symptoms, to be around his family, to potentially transmitting the disease there. When he came into the hospital, we know that the protocols that were supposed to be in place somehow were not followed, because at least two different nurses now have contracted the Ebola virus from Mr. Duncan, despite the protocols.
We also know that that second nurse was allowed, after contracting Ebola, to board a commercial airliner flight -- flight. And she was told by the CDC -- she wasn't told, don't get on the flight. The CDC gave her the green light to do that. That was a serious mistake.
CRUZ: Throughout this process, there have been mistakes.
And -- and -- and, listen, dealing with a virus with an epidemic is -- is a learning process. It's obviously a learning process with -- with very high stakes. And so we can't afford mistakes. But -- but I am hopeful that the health professionals -- you know, the doctors and nurses and CDC officials who are risking their lives are -- are brave, courageous professionals.
And I'm hopeful we will continue to improve our response. But -- but...
CRUZ: ... the best thing to do is to minimize the initial contact with Ebola.
And I -- I have to say, Candy, it was over two weeks ago that I sent a letter to the FAA asking what they were doing to protect U.S. citizens to -- to stop commercial air travel out of these countries to protect the pilots, the flight attendants and the fellow passengers.
It's now been over two weeks. The FAA has not responded to those questions. And we have now seen both Democrats and Republicans coming together saying, listen, this is a basic, commonsense step. While there is an active epidemic raging, we should not be having commercial airline flights with up to 150 people a day coming to the U.S.
CRUZ: For whatever reason, Candy, the Obama White House is digging in and not listening to the voices of common sense coming from both sides of the aisle.
At this point Crowley could take no more common sense lessons from Cruz on the necessity of a travel ban and pulled out her Dr. Frieden security blanket:
CROWLEY: Well, perhaps it is because the voices in the medical community, particularly Dr. Frieden has been one of them out there saying that this would be counterproductive.
I want to play you a little bit of what Dr. Frieden had to say about a travel ban.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: Right now, we know who's coming in. If we try to eliminate travel, the possibility that some will travel over land, will come from other places, and we don't know that they're coming in will mean that we won't be able to do multiple things.
We won't be able to check them for fever when they leave. We won't be able to check them for fever when they arrive. We won't be able, as we do currently, to take a detailed history to see if they were exposed when they arrive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: So, if you will, just respond to that and his concern, listen, you know, we won't be able to track these people because they will come in, in other places, and we won't know that they're entering the U.S.
CRUZ: Well, you know, Candy, the administration has given two arguments against a flight ban, neither of which makes sense.
The first one, they say, is they are putting screening in place, the argument you just played, that they have got screening in place in -- in five airports, and then that that should be our line of defense.
Now, I would note that they're -- they have omitted airports like DFW, where Mr. Duncan came. But -- but, more importantly, the screens only work if a passenger is demonstrating symptoms. Ebola, unfortunately, has up to a 21-day incubation period, where the -- where the patient has no demonstrated symptoms and walks right through the screenings.
Mr. Duncan, the one patient we know who did come from to -- from Liberia to America, would have traveled right through the screenings. The screening would not have stopped him because he was not presenting symptoms at that time.
I -- I -- let me ask you a couple things as regard to Mr. Duncan. He did indeed come to the U.S. from Liberia, but he went from Liberia, to Brussels, to Dulles International in Virginia, to Dallas-Fort Worth. So, how does a ban on air travel stop Mr. Duncan?
CRUZ: Because the visa he had coming in was a travel visa from Liberia. We should stop issuing travel visas from Liberia, which, interestingly enough, the neighboring countries in Africa have done.
What we need from the president is serious leadership to protect the American people. This shouldn't be a partisan issue. We should be protecting citizens of this country.
It is not going good for Candy so she sets herself up for a major schooling on just who the experts are that are advising against a travel ban.
But, again, the -- the experts are telling the president -- the president is not a doctor. And if you were president, and NIH or the CDC were saying, hey, you know, this will only make it worse, a travel ban, a flight ban, will only make it worse, what we have in place is better, you would overrule the doctors and the experts?
CRUZ: But, Candy -- hey, Candy, the doctors and the experts that are saying this are working for the administration and repeating the administration talking points.
And their arguments don't make sense. The first argument about the screens doesn't make sense because they don't work during the 21- day incubation period. And the second argument that they make is, they say a travel ban would prevent health care relief workers from arriving in West Africa.
No one is talking about banning flights into West Africa. Of course, physicians and nurses and health care workers should be allowed to go in there. And we can send them in on charter flights or military C-130 aircraft with appropriate safety precautions.
That's very different from saying commercial airliners should fly day after day after day with hundreds of passengers connecting with thousands of passengers coming all throughout the country.
CRUZ: The arguments they're giving don't make sense. And -- and what is unfortunate is watching the Obama administration treat this as -- as yet another political issue, rather than as a public health crisis, for the same reason you have seen virtually no attention from the administration on the need to secure the southern border.
Now, that is notwithstanding the fact that General John Kelly, the commander of the Southern Command, just a week ago said if Ebola is transmitted to Central or South America, we will see a mass migration, the like of which we have never seen. And the administration, unfortunately, is not acting to protect our southern borders or to restrict commercial airline flights from places with an active outbreak.
And -- and that just doesn't make sense.
CROWLEY: And when you say -- just again, I want to put a period on this -- when you say banning flights, you mean withholding visas from those who want to travel to the U.S. coming from these three affected countries, correct?
CRUZ: Right. Absolutely.
A light now appears to flicker on in Crowley's mind but still seems to be a bit dazed from the lesson of Professor Cruz as she is reduced to monosyllabic replies
CRUZ: We should not be allowing non-U.S. citizens traveling from these countries to fly into the United States right now, temporarily.
Look, we get the outbreak under control, it's a different story.
Okay, time now to break out the popcorn and enjoy the bonus zinger starting at the 10:50 mark of the video:
CROWLEY: What do you think about -- and I think I can probably guess this -- but the president has put Ron Klain in charge of sort of keeping control of both the U.S. activities abroad in the three affected West African nations, as well as what goes on here with the CDC and NIH and various hospitals?
CRUZ: Well, look, Candy, I think it's a great example. Mr. Klain is not a doctor. He's not a health care professional. He doesn't have background in these issues. But what he is, is a political operative.
CROWLEY: But there are lots of those, Senator. There are lots of doctors kind of on this, aren't there? Doesn't this need...
CRUZ: Yes, but -- but...
At this point Crowley sets herself up for the massive slapdown so Bada-BING!
CROWLEY: I mean, Republicans have been saying, who's in charge? Who's in charge?
Didn't this need someone who had organizational skills, which the White House says Ron Klain has, to kind of give the public the feeling that the government is on top of this?
And now the magic moment...
CRUZ: Candy, we should be less concerned about giving the public the feeling that the government is on top of this and more concerned about the government actually being on top of it.
You defintely want to see the flustered look on Crowley's face as if she is wondering how she walked right into that one.