House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday joined a rising number of Republicans in calling on the Obama administration to ban west African travel to help stop the spread of Ebola.
"A temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries afflicted with the virus is something that the president should absolutely consider, along with any other appropriate actions as doubts about the security of our air travel systems grow," the Ohio Republican said.
"It is also imperative we ensure that federal, state and local agencies, along with our public health infrastructure, are prepared, remain vigilant, and follow proper protocols to identify the virus and take appropriate measures for those who have been exposed to it," Boehner said.
The speaker's comments came as a second nurse who treated a Dallas patient who died last week of Ebola, Amber Vinson, was diagnosed with the deadly disease. She traveled from Cleveland to Dallas the day before she was diagnosed.
Vinson, 29, was among 70 medical professionals at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas who treated a Liberian patient, Thomas Eric Duncan. Duncan contracted Ebola after treating a pregnant woman in Africa who later died of the disease.
Duncan died Oct. 8 of the virus. He had flown into Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on a United Airlines flight from Washington's Dulles Airport. That case led U.S. officials to expand health screenings
of passengers from west Africa who arrive at five major U.S. airports.
"Our hearts go out to the healthcare workers who have contracted the Ebola virus here in the United States, as well as those who have been impacted by it around the globe," Boehner said. "We pray for their speedy recovery, and we pray for those who are helping to treat and care for these individuals, including our medical experts and military personnel who are in west Africa to help stem this deadly disease.
"Concerns about the possibility of an outbreak of this sort prompted the House to provide more funding for the CDC than requested, and the tragic developments seen in recent weeks demonstrate that decision was a prudent one," he said.
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