Tags: Barack Obama | Ebola Outbreak | Ebola | travel ban | West Africa | airports

Rep. John Mica: Institute Travel Ban to Stop Ebola

By    |   Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 10:43 AM

The Obama administration needs to ban travel from West Africa and put into place other safeguards to ensure people infected with Ebola are not able to enter the United States, according to Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican, who appeared Thursday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV to discuss the emerging crisis.

He noted, however, that there are relatively few flights coming out of Africa, that most people, including Thomas Duncan, the Liberian man who traveled to Dallas in late September and died of Ebola Oct. 8, "work around" and come through Europe, the Middle East or somewhere else. Duncan arrived in the U.S. through Brussels.

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Absolutely, anything coming out of Africa," he said. "The problem is … most of them are going to divert. They come through Europe they come through the Middle East they come through a host of other flights so any international passenger or flight we need immediate questioning of the passengers, we need quarantine. People who have been exposed … we need some 21 days to ensure that they’re not transmitting the disease."

The government is now monitoring and checking only larger airports, according to Mica, a flawed strategy.

"I’m here in Orlando I’ve got two airports who have international flights that aren’t part of that so if you’re going to put bans in you’ve got to have something effective," he said. "We need to question every international passenger arriving, we need to make certain people are quarantined that pose a risk and again, put in place some very serious measures."

Nearly every African nation including South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, and Zambia as well as Colombia and St. Lucia have already instituted travel bans from the three West African countries reeling with Ebola Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

President Barack Obama has "finally engaged … canceled some campaign events and held some meetings after the genie is sort of out of the bottle," Mica said, noting that the president is responsible for "getting someone in charge" to make sure Americans are protected.

Two nurses at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital have tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus since treating Duncan. The second nurse to be diagnosed, Amber Vinson, was given permission by the Centers for Disease Control to board a plane from Dallas to Cleveland to attend a wedding despite having just treated Duncan and alerting the Centers to a slight fever.

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"This should never have gotten to the stage it’s gotten to with the infection of the two nurses," he said. "The nurse never should’ve gotten on that plane. We don’t know how much damage has been done by that."

He said there are now concerns about U.S. military troops deployed to West Africa to help get the Ebola pandemic under control there.

"I’ve heard that they aren’t been properly protected then we’ve got the prospect of them coming back into the population. They need to be quarantined. My goodness even I remember my immigrant grandparents, anyone who posed any kind of a risk, was put into quarantine immediately as they entered Ellis Island and here you’ve got a much more serious situation."

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The Obama administration needs to ban travel from West Africa and use other safeguards to ensure people infected with Ebola are not able to enter the U.S., according to Rep. John Mica, a Florida Republican, who appeared Thursday on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.
Ebola, travel ban, West Africa, airports
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Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 10:43 AM
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