Missing in action: The Federalist tracks down America’s invisible Ebola czar

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?

Why has Obama's Ebola Czar (yes, we have an Ebola Czar) been totally MIA during this crisis? http://t.co/UImXxBiwof

— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 14, 2014

@RBPundit We have an Ebola Czar? I've never seen this woman in my life.

— Lem (@Lemang01) October 14, 2014

Have you heard of Dr Lurie? No? That's weird since she is responsible for handling outbreaks in the US. #Ebola http://t.co/mtPpBzjPZq

— One Of We (@Meeeech_L) October 14, 2014

Oh, look. We already have a well-funded Ebola Czar. Let's learn more about her and her job! http://t.co/DbOKELgLTP

— Jimmie (@jimmiebjr) October 14, 2014

You want an "Ebola czar?" We already have one ===> @DrLurie_ASPR At least she's not fighting Ebola via hashtags.

— BorderLine Guy (@SarcasmAndBeer) October 14, 2014

@dcseth What? There's an actual Ebola czar? What the fuck do they do?

— RB (@RBPundit) October 14, 2014

Am I the only one who didn't know we already have an "Ebola Czar?" Does anyone know who this person is?

— RB (@RBPundit) October 14, 2014

So there's already a person who is being paid to plan for Ebola and NO ONE has gotten her ass in front of a camera? http://t.co/rOpeom8Cyn

— RB (@RBPundit) October 14, 2014

How the hell can they talk about budget cuts when there's apparently someone being paid to be invisible? http://t.co/rOpeom8Cyn

— RB (@RBPundit) October 14, 2014

@RBPundit She thought it was a no-show job, so she's treating it like one. #EbolaCzar

— bonhomme (@bonhomme36) October 14, 2014

TOP MEN WOMEN: President Obama Already Has An Ebola Czar. Where Is She? “What’s particularl… http://t.co/lGJkCO1Zuv via @instapundit

— Instapundit.com (@instapundit) October 14, 2014

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.

I wonder how Dr. Nicole Lurie is involved in the Ebola response. I've never heard of her but apparently it's her job. http://t.co/G4IXBcTAev

— Amber B (@AmberBinGA) October 14, 2014

One accomplishment Dr. Lurie can point to:

Before she went AWOL, Obama's Ebola czar gave a huge no-bid contract to a company owned by a billionaire Dem donor http://t.co/6fKIg2bCkD

— The Federalist (@FDRLST) October 14, 2014

@FDRLST @BeBeaches Isn't it time we stopped calling them czars, and started calling them dons? Their actions scream of racketeering.

— Less Govt, More Fun (@Leslie_H20) October 14, 2014

@FDRLST Isn't that the primary job description of all Obama's appointees?

— Andrea (@Anvesaka88) October 14, 2014