Congressional Democrats are siding with the Obama administration — and against a growing number of Americans — when it comes to a government mandated travel ban from Ebola hotspots in Africa.
While 67 percent of Americans support the idea of a travel ban, many elected Democrats are decidedly against the idea. The Hill reports, “House Democrats are pushing back hard against proposals to institute a travel ban in the fight against the Ebola virus.”
Texas Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee told The Hill, “I don’t think we gain anything by spending our time talking about quarantines [of entire countries]. We don’t have an epidemic, and for that reason I don’t think that calling for a quarantine of countries answers the question. We have to turn internally and look at our own selves and make sure our health infrastructure is where it needs to be.”
Democrat congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin said of a travel ban, “Aside from being impractical, this reactionary strategy will force Ebola patients underground making it nearly impossible to track their movements, hinder the capacity for international healthcare workers to transport and administer critical aid, and erode the continent’s fragile economy.”
She didn’t elaborate as to how that would come to pass, or how it would impact Americans, the people she’s sworn to protect, but she apparently wasn’t asked.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, and the White House, have been adamantly opposed to a travel ban, siding with Jackson Lee in saying it would make things worse.
Opponents of a ban claim it will make it more difficult to get much needed medical supplies into the region, but are quick to casually dismiss charter flights or the fact that the government can fly in whatever and whoever it likes wherever it likes.
Texas Democratic congressman Mark Veazey, who represents parts of Dallas where Ebloa is spreading, told The Hill via email, “It is now more important than ever to follow the advice and guidance of the medical professionals and infectious disease specialists at the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] and World Health Organization [WHO] in order to prevent any additional Ebola infections.”
Few, it seems, in the Democratic Caucus are willing to side with the clear will of the American people.