President Barack Obama’s deputies have announced new anti-Ebola airport screening at five airports that receive passengers from West Africa.
The policy reversal was announced by deputies, after Obama and other officials insisted that they don’t need to impose a travel ban on people flying in from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The PR tactic distanced Obama from his administration’s long-standing underestimation of the threat posed by travelers from Ebola-stricken countries.
That growing threat was sharply underlined Oct. 8, when an infected Liberian died in Dallas, after easily entering the United States on Sept. 20.
The new airport screening will take place at Washington Dulles International airport in northern Virginia, New York’s JFK airport, New Jersey’s Newark airport, Chicago’s O’Hare airport and the Hartsfield airport in Atlanta, Ga.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest described the correction as a upgrade.
“What we are essentially doing is adding another layer of security… it will add some confidence in our ability to continue to protect the American people from an Ebola outbreak,” he told reporters Oct. 8.