Trump Wants Ebola Travel Ban

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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Add Donald Trump to the list of Americans who want to keep out people from Ebola-stricken countries.

“What the hell is Obama doing in allowing all of these potentially very sick people to continue entering the U.S.!” the Donald tweeted out Sunday evening.

“Is he stupid or arrogant?” Trump added.

The hotel owner’s comments came after administration officials insisted over the weekend that a travel ban for people from the three afflicted West African countries would somehow make it harder for U.S. aid workers to fly into countries where the very contagious and very deadly disease have killed more than 3,300 people.

“We need regular travel” to the affected West African countries, Thomas Friedan, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday, Oct. 5. “If we don’t control the outbreak [in Africa], there’s a real risk that it could spread to other countries.”

But other experts — and GOP politicians — disagree, following the arrival of a Liberian disease-carrier on Sept. 20. Since that victim flew into Dallas, he’s fallen gravely ill, and required a large-scale effort by the federal government to track and warn or isolate many adults and children that had close contact with.

In recent days, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Paul Ryan, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Rand Paul have all talked up the possibility of restrictions on travel from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Peter Piot, the discoverer of the Ebola disease and now the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says the disease could become much more dangerous when diseased people fly out of Africa to densely populated countries.

“There will certainly be Ebola patients from Africa who come to us in the hopes of receiving treatment,” Piot told a German publication Oct. 3.

“They might even infect a few people [in Europe] who may then die. But an outbreak in Europe or North America would quickly be brought under control,” he said.

“I am more worried about the many people from India who work in trade or industry in West Africa. It would only take one of them to become infected, travel to India to visit relatives during the virus’s incubation period, and then, once he becomes sick, go to a public hospital there. Doctors and nurses in India, too, often don’t wear protective gloves. They would immediately become infected and spread the virus,” he said.

Once the virus escapes into a large population, it is more likely to mutate into a more dangerous disease, he said.

“That really is the apocalyptic scenario,” he said.

“From the perspective of a virus, it isn’t desirable for its [human] host, within which the pathogen hopes to multiply, to die so quickly. It would be much better for the virus to allow us to stay alive longer… But that would allow Ebola patients to infect many, many more people than is currently the case,” he said.

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