Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Ebola | travel ban | WAfrica

GOP Lawmakers: Travel Restrictions Needed to Stem Ebola Risk

By    |   Tuesday, 14 October 2014 04:47 PM

Republican voices are growing more insistent in demanding White House management of the Ebola crisis include some form of a travel ban to the United States from West Africa, where a deadly epidemic continues to rage.

Enhanced screenings at five big U.S. airports isn't enough, Florida Republican Rep. Tom Rooney wrote President Barack Obama in a letter Tuesday.

"I am extremely concerned that existing pre-screening procedures at airports in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and the enhanced entry screening at five U.S. airports fail to restrict travelers not yet exhibiting symptoms of Ebola from entering the U.S.," Rooney wrote.

Rooney wants the White House to back up its assertion that a ban would only hurt efforts by health workers to get to the countries affected and battle the epidemic.

"I believe further statistical and anecdotal evidence is necessary to support these arguments and to better explain to the American people why issuing travel restrictions, however minimal, is not in our national security interest," Rooney wrote, arguing a limited travel ban could apply to non-essential travel.

"Would limiting non-essential travel of dual citizens and those receiving tourist visas alleviate the burden on [Customs and Border Protect and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] personnel charged with entry screening, and would it reduce the risk of allowing individuals with the virus into the U.S.?" Rooney asked.

Adding his voice to the call for a travel ban is Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who said he had "no confidence" in the Obama administration's management of the crisis.

“I call on the president to actually lead on this issue, take emergency action and protect American lives before we have an epidemic here at home," Roberts said, The Hill reported.

“The cases of Ebola in the United States came to our shores on a plane from Liberia,” Roberts added. “West Africa is the source of this potential pandemic, and we should fight this virus there, at its source, not on our borders or in our airports.”

As the country faces "a potential national health emergency that could overwhelm our healthcare system, threaten the economy, and place national security at risk if not handled properly,” Roberts blasted the president for "inaction" and "failure to lead."

"Americans are frightened, and they deserve better," he said, The Hill reported.

Despite calls from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and other Republicans, the Obama administration has repeatedly said there will be be no travel ban from West African countries stricken by the Ebola virus outbreak.

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Republican voices are growing more insistent in demanding White House management of the Ebola crisis include some form of a travel ban to the United States from West Africa, where a deadly epidemic continues to rage.
Ebola, travel ban, WAfrica
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2014-47-14
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 04:47 PM
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