The U.S. government must treat the Ebola crisis much more seriously and stop downplaying how deadly the virus really is, Rep. Mike Kelly says.
"The government needs to stop acting as if it's absurd for people to fear a virus that liquefies their internal organs," Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican, said Friday on the "Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"This isn't a 48-hour flu. This is a disaster and so deadly. We can't sit back and say, 'We think we're going to be OK in a couple of days.' We won't.
"We really need to have a strong strategy and that starts at the top with a very strong initiative."
And that initiative has to be global in scope, according to Kelly, a member of the Ways and Means Committee.
"There has to be a global, multinational coalition and a global strategy of how we're going to fix this. We need to talk about a global village right now," Kelly said.
"While we're concerned about American citizens and I am, that's my utmost concern right now, we better understand that we've got to make sure that the whole world is involved with this.
"And that they're not only just involved, but they're also picking up the tab. I'm tired of the hardworking American taxpayers picking up the tab for everything. It begins at home, but we got to get other people on board to curb this."
Kelly said the threat of bioterrorism must also be addressed.
"We have American citizens who have left our country and gone to other parts of the world to learn how to do horrible things, come back home, blow themselves up in a mall and take lives," he said.
"Think about the job they can do, the harm they can inflict and inflict on the American people by bringing this deadly disease into our cities, schools, towns and into our homes. Horrible, horrible."
Kelly is also calling for immediate action from the White House on travel restrictions to West African countries where the Ebola virus is flourishing.
"The president doesn’t need an act of Congress right now to protect the American people ... You can quarantine people for a very short period of time to really check and see if they're safe to come back in the country," Kelly said.
"I would be the last one to tell somebody they can't go there, but I would say they can go there, but they won't be coming back until we know what's going on.
"The fact that we're even debating whether we need to ban this type of traffic is crazy."
The Ebola crisis, which is spiraling through West Africa, entered the United States when a man with the virus flew here from Liberia.
He later died and two nurses in contact with him at a Dallas hospital were found to have contracted Ebola.
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