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Ted Cruz says Obama administration keeping Congress in the dark on Ebola fight

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the fourth annual Texas Tribune Festival held at the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Monday that the Obama administration isn't telling Congress much about the steps it's taking to fight the Ebola virus, or why the government hasn't shut down flights from West Africa until the outbreak there is contained.

"I'll confess, at this point, they're not telling Congress a whole lot more than what's being reported publicly in the news," he told KOKE FM in Austin, Texas.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Monday that Congress doesn't know much more than the public about the Obama administration's plans for Ebola. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez)

One question that has arisen since a man tested positive for Ebola in Dallas is why the Obama administration hasn't blocked all flights from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone. Administration officials have all said blocking those flights would make it harder for the U.S. to help those countries fight Ebola.

But the scare caused by the one positive test and other possible infections has prompted some in Congress to call for a flight ban. Last week, Cruz joined that group and asked the Federal Aviation Administration why it still allows flights to land in the U.S. from those West African nations, but he indicated Monday that he's gotten no response so far.

"I remain concerned that we don't see sufficient seriousness on the part of the federal government about protecting the American public," he said.

Officials have said Ebola can't be spread by patients who don't exhibit the symptoms of Ebola, and that there is no risk of the virus spreading on flights without those symptoms present. Still, the Dallas patient has put at risk dozens of people, which Cruz said shows the flaw in the administration's plan.

"We don't have an effective way to screen for someone who has contracted this virus and yet is not yet symptomatic," he said.

Cruz also note that the administration very quickly shut down U.S. flights to Israel earlier this year, for what many say were political reasons. He said the reasons for blocking flights from West Africa appear to be more numerous this time around.

"In this instance, we have a serious health threat, and I'm concerned that the administration is not treating it with the gravity it deserves," he said.

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