House Republicans call for travel ban
by Carol Thompson
U.S. House Republicans are calling for a travel ban from West Africa in an effort to contain the spread of the Ebola virus in a move that many are calling long overdue.
U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (NY) said in a statement released yesterday that the ban should take effect immediately.
“It is imperative that we take all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent this virus from spreading any further,” Hanna said. “We should not delay a temporary travel ban from affected West African countries.”
Hanna added that swift precautions are necessary to ensure the safety and health of the public. “Ultimately this disease needs to be stopped in West Africa and this crisis can be halted, but not without firm, decisive action and control of our borders and other borders throughout the world.”
At least 27 Republicans and three Democrats have signed the letter, however, President Barack Obama and a majority of House Democrats oppose the ban. Those opposed to the ban have referred to it as “ill advised” and claim it would only drive those sick underground making it difficult to track their movement.
CDC Director Tom Frieden opposes the ban. Yesterday, some Republicans called for Frieden’s resignation.
Americans have been on edge since the announcement that a second nurse, Amber Vinson, has the lethal disease. Vinson had taken care of Thomas Eric Duncan, the man who brought Ebola to the United States, when he was a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Vinson had taken a flight from Ohio to Texas with an elevated temperature. There were 132 passengers on the flight and the plane was used for subsequent flight prior to learning Vinson had been symptomatic during her trip.
Yesterday Vinson was transferred to the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.
Polls and Internet comments indicate a majority of Americans support the travel ban and some are calling it a measure that should have been done when the outbreak of Ebola began.
Image: Flickr/Donnie Shackleford