State Department Dismisses Ebola Memo As the Ignored Work of 'Mid-Level Official'

By Susan Jones | October 30, 2014 | 7:46 AM EDT

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki (U.S. Dept. of State)

(CNSNews.com) - Asked about a State Department memo saying the United States “needs to show leadership" by bringing foreigners with Ebola to the United States for treatment, a State Department spokesman dismissed it as the work of a "mid-level official."

"One, just factually, the document referenced was drafted by a mid-level official, but not cleared by senior leaders. It never came to senior officials for approval, State Department spokesman Jen Psaki told reporters. "And any assertion that the memo was cleared by decision-makers is inaccurate," she added.


"There are no plans to medevac non-Americans who become ill with Ebola to the United States," Psaki continued. "We have discussed allowing other countries to use our medevac capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third countries, subject to reimbursement and availability. But we're not contemplating bringing them back to the United States for treatment."



A reporter followed up: "So...what you're saying is that one guy somewhere in this building came up with this idea and put it on paper, but it never went anywhere. Is that what you're saying?"

"Correct," Psaki replied. She said the memo is "weeks old" and not "current."

Asked if the recommendations contained in the the memo have been "flat-out rejected," Psaki said, "It's sitting on a shelf or on a computer, since we use computers nowadays, by the individual who wrote it, I suppose.

"I think the important point here is that our European partners, since several weeks ago when that was written, have addressed this by providing a guarantee to international health workers that they would either be flown to Europe or receive high quality treatment on the spot. So, it's not applicable at this point.

Psaki said the memo was "never discussed at any levels, in any serious level, with decision makers."

She said just because people's names are listed on the memo doesn't mean they cleared it. And she said she has no idea if the memo was being circulated to other agencies, such as the Homeland Security Department.

As CNSNews.com reported, the memo -- obtained by Fox News "from a Capitol Hill source" -- said the U.S. is the "logical" destination for some foreign Ebola patients: "For example, we have an obligation to assist non-citizen employees and contractors of U.S. agencies and programs as well as NGOs and private firms based in the United States."

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