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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 6th, 2014
05:39 PM ET

CDC director: Health authorities learning from 'glitches' of Dallas Ebola case

(CNN) – President Obama called for protocols to help stop the spread of Ebola Monday, while downplaying the risk of an epidemic in the United States.

"As I've said from the start of this outbreak, I consider this a top national security priority," Obama told reporters.

Last Tuesday, the CDC isolated the first patient diagnosed with the disease inside the United States, Thomas Duncan. But it took until Friday to remove soiled towels and sweat-stained sheets from an apartment where he stayed, a place where other individuals in contact with Duncan were quarantined.

"We wish the medical waste issue had been resolved sooner. There was a glitch in resolving it, but it is resolved now," said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

There were in fact a number of glitches with Duncan, who the hospital initially sent home. There are also questions as to whether quarantined individuals should have stayed in their respective homes.

"We learn from every experience and make our performance better the next time," Frieden said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

When Duncan first visited the hospital, he went to the emergency room. "They got the history that he had been in West Africa, but they didn't take the appropriate steps. We're working with hospitals throughout the U.S. ... to make sure that's the kind of thing that really should not happen," says Frieden.

The focus, the CDC director emphasized, is on tracking every person in contact with Ebola-infected individuals, and ensuring the are isolated the moment they show any symptoms of the disease.

"That's how you break the chain of transmission," said Frieden.

For more of our interview with CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden, check out the video above.

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