Skip to comments.Dems call for Obama to ban flights from Ebola countries - accuse him of trying to "pass the buck"
Posted on 10/09/2014 1:25:38 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
A growing number of Democrats are pressuring President Obama to ban flights to Ebola-ravaged countries despite repeated warnings from global health leaders that closing borders could accelerate the crisis.
A group of 27 lawmakers, including three Democrats, signed a letter Wednesday urging Obama to ignore health officials and immediately halt flights from the West African countries worst-affected by Ebola.
The lawmakers accused Obama of attempting to pass the buck onto organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), which have advised against travel bans. Obama has said he would not ban travel unless the WHO reversed its position.
[The WHO] has no duty to protect the lives and well-being of Americans, as you do. Furthermore, it has utterly failed to stem the epidemic through its own action. The responsibility for this decision is yours, not theirs, they wrote.
The three Democrats Reps. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) are among the growing handful in their party who have publicly criticized the Obama administrations response to Ebola.
Sinema faces a tough reelection challenge from Wendy Rogers, a retired Air Force pilot.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla) also called for travel bans earlier this week, joining dozens of Republicans who have urged for similar action.
Fifty-eight percent of people support travel bans as a way of stopping the spread of the virus, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 people released Thursday.
Ebola has killed more than 3,300 people over the last year, but concerns were not widespread in the U.S. until August, when several infected Americans were brought home for treatment.
Those fears escalated in late September, when a Liberian man was diagnosed with the disease after flying to Dallas. The patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, died Wednesday.
In their letter, the lawmakers also told Obama to consider quarantining passengers who may have been exposed to ensure they are not infected.
Ebola symptoms can take up to 21 days to appear a dormancy period that allowed Duncan to enter the U.S. undetected. Ebola patients are not contagious until symptoms arise.
Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), who signed the letter, said quarantines could be a necessary step to protect the public.
"My constituents and I do not want to begin the venture of quarantining those living in our country. Unfortunately, by allowing travel to and from countries that have been infected with this deadly virus, we could be heading in that direction," Ross said in a statement Thursday.
"This is the only way to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the United States and its citizens is preserved," Ross said.
The White House has already taken steps to address some of the lawmakers demands.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday that five of the nations busiest airports will soon begin more active screening for passengers arriving from West Africa. About 95 percent of all travelers from those areas fewer than 200 people per day will pass through those airports.
As part of the new precautions, trained workers will measure each persons body temperature and ask questions about possible exposure to the deadly virus.
While the State Department has issued warnings against nonessential travel to affected countries, federal health authorities say the U.S. will not ban travel.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have repeatedly warned that travel bans could hinder the international response to the crisis.
CDC Director Tom Frieden said global travel restrictions would make it harder for health authorities to contain the epidemic in West Africa, increasing the risk that the disease could spread.
The airline trade group, Airlines for America, has also maintained that commercial airplanes pose no Ebola threat.
We think that air travel is totally safe and people should keep getting on airplanes, if you look at the facts of how the disease is communicated, the organization's president Nicholas Calio said in a speech Thursday.
Just spreadin’ the health around........................
You know why they are pressuring The One? Because the areas they rep probably have a high level of illegals and they don’t want to get sick. Come on let them all in! That’s what you guys want right? Let’s set up all those Africans in Nancy Pelosis district.
Roger Daltrey could not be reached for comment.
We are doomed.
3 is what they call “growing”? Geesh, I called all 3 of my Dem reps this morning. Did they change their minds for me?
Racsim is a new word.
They need to ask mommy Valerie. Barry can’t deal with this pressure.
Is Kabuki Theater racist?
Maybe you should have run an American for President instead of a "citizen of the world".
Banning flights from Ebola countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States) is almost a symbolic gesture. There are so many connections through Paris, Brussels, London, and other hubs, that whether a flight is direct hardly matters.
The real issue is passports, and that’s where we can get some added safety - if we treat those countries just like Saudi Arabia treated them for the Hajj. I don’t expect leadership from Obama, not in an area that would make America safer.
Accusing him or stating a fact?
People can be infected for up to 3 weeks before they show symptoms. And people lie, just like Duncan did. Anyone coming from West Africa should be quarantined for 3 weeks, at the minimum. All those FEMA camps might be good for something.
Who knew so many democrats were racists...
This ebola thing has the distinct potential of becoming bigger than even Kim Kardashian’s rear end.
“The three Democrats Reps. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa)”
They must have learned that they and their families ARE NOT on Valerie Jarret’s ZMAPP dose list.
I don't know about you, but I get ALL of my information about communicable diseases from Airlines for America - the recognized EXPERTS in the field...
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