After weeks of assuring Americans that the Centers for Disease Control was doing all it could to keep Ebola from spreading, director Tom Frieden admitted that a stronger CDC response at the beginning “might have prevented” the infection of a Dallas nurse.
Frieden held a press conference on Tuesday about 26-year-old Nina Pham, a nurse who contracted Ebola at a Dallas hospital while treating the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., Thomas Duncan.
The CDC director agreed with a reporter’s assertion that Pham’s limited experience — particularly with Ebola — could have played a factor in her contracting the virus.
“Caring for Ebola can be done safely, but it’s hard,” he said. “And we want to make sure that the protocols that we have, and the support we have for health-care workers, are there on the ground so we can assist.”
“And you know, I’ve thought often about it,” Frieden continued. “I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the first patient was diagnosed. That might’ve prevented this infection.”