Obama Stubbornly Refuses Ebola Travel Ban

 

The calls are growing louder for the Obama administration to ban travel from countries dealing with Ebola virus outbreaks. But, throwing caution to the wind, the White House refuses to even entertain this common-sense first step to protect the United States from experiencing an outbreak of its own.

“There are protocols in place where those individuals who are leaving West Africa and traveling to the West are screened,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said yesterday. “We’ve also provided guidance to pilots, flight attendants and others who… are sort of responsible for staffing our transportation infrastructure, we’ve given them guidance for monitoring the health and well-being of travelers, to ensure that if they notice individuals who are exhibiting symptoms that seem to be consistent with Ebola, that the proper authorities are notified.”

No slight intended, but I’m nervous that our first line of defense from a global pandemic is an overworked stewardess who couldn’t get my Bloody Mary order right. Worse still, the administration is treating Ebola not like a disease, but as a civil rights issue. Today, State Department Spokesman/Hashtag aficionada Jen Psaki denounced travel bans as ideologically problematic.

“It actually would be counterproductive, in our view, to put that type of limitation on people,” Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on the idea of a flight ban. “It remains essential that the world community engage in order to help the effected countries address and contain this ongoing health crisis.”

While some have said a travel ban should be imposed because of uncertainties about the spread of the disease in the United States, Psaki said a ban would prevent doctors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from traveling to the United States to receive training on how to deal with the virus. She said some doctors would soon be arriving in the U.S. for that purpose.

That’s right: We’re flying in medical personnel from Ebola hot zones, many of whom may have recently treated patients suffering from the contagious disease. Has Ms. Psaki heard of teleconferences? Why would doctors need to fly here when they could use Skype?

As I write this, various political functionaries are giving an Ebola presser at the White House. Live on CNN, they insist there is nothing, nothing at all, for anyone to worry their pretty little heads about. The four bureaucrats and one general’s halting list of bullet points, vague promises and dutiful praise of Obama’s competence instills approximately zero confidence.

Few Americans are in panic mode about this medical emergency, but many are increasingly concerned about our government’s chirpy “we got this” assurances. After nearly six years of Obama, we’re used to being lied to, spun, and mocked for disagreeing with the spin.

This deep public unease will make it tough for Obama to avoid the inevitable. He’d be far better off banning travel immediately.

There are 34 comments.

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  1. Nick Stuart Inactive

    And sometime in the next month or so my #2 son will be one of the Army soldiers deployed to Africa on this fools errand.

    • #1
    • October 3, 2014, at 2:26 PM PDT
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  2. billy Inactive

    Jon, it’s very simple; our nation’s borders may not be secured under any circumstance. Once we start turning away ebola carriers, the next thing you know we’ll start turning away all those dreamers.

    It is a slippery slope.

    • #2
    • October 3, 2014, at 2:29 PM PDT
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  3. Rawls Inactive

    Devil’s advocate here. Would instituting a travel ban show that we’re afraid of ebola, and thus make it all the more appealing as a biological weapon terrorists could purposefully contract and bring here?

    • #3
    • October 3, 2014, at 2:35 PM PDT
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  4. Tuck Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: There are protocols in place where those individuals who are leaving West Africa and traveling to the West are screened,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said yesterday.

    See an expert evaluation of those protocols in this thread.

    • #4
    • October 3, 2014, at 2:35 PM PDT
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  5. civil westman Inactive

    If only the government were as exercised about the risk of ebola as about the perils of second hand smoke.

    • #5
    • October 3, 2014, at 2:38 PM PDT
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  6. Totus Porcus Inactive

    Ebola stubbornly refuses to comply with another Obama red line:

    We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States.

    • #6
    • October 3, 2014, at 2:39 PM PDT
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  7. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Rawls:Devil’s advocate here. Would instituting a travel ban show that we’re afraid of ebola, and thus make it all the more appealing as a biological weapon terrorists could purposefully contract and bring here?

    Does locking your door show you’re afraid of theives and make you all the more appealing as a target for theft?

    Maybe, but it is a common-sense precaution.

    • #7
    • October 3, 2014, at 2:56 PM PDT
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  8. Blondie Thatcher

    Nick Stuart
    And sometime in the next month or so my #2 son will be one of the Army soldiers deployed to Africa on this fools errand.

    You all will be in my prayers. Fools errand indeed.

    • #8
    • October 3, 2014, at 2:59 PM PDT
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  9. Dietlbomb Inactive

    Rawls:Devil’s advocate here. Would instituting a travel ban show that we’re afraid of ebola, and thus make it all the more appealing as a biological weapon terrorists could purposefully contract and bring here?

    Yes. But the terrorists already know we’re afraid of pretty much everything. Suicide bombers are crazy, but there’s a difference between the instant martyrdom of self-detonation and the agony of ebola. I doubt the terrorists could convince enough jihadis to contract the virus to make them a greater terror to the American people than Obama’s negligent public health policies already are.

    • #9
    • October 3, 2014, at 3:07 PM PDT
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  10. Dietlbomb Inactive

    This ebola situation has given me the biggest gut reaction yet to all of the Obama administration’s failures. If the virus becomes an epidemic here, Obama’s refusal to close the borders should be cause for impeachment.

    • #10
    • October 3, 2014, at 3:10 PM PDT
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  11. Petty Boozswha Member

    Our new neighbor Mr. Duncan must have been aware of these stringent protocols. He was asked if he had been in contact with anyone with Ebola and debated his answer: if I say yes I get to stay here in Africa, squat in the dust and die, if I lie I get to go to America, get a million dollars of free medical care and live – decisions, decisions, which door should I choose?

    • #11
    • October 3, 2014, at 3:17 PM PDT
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  12. Xennady Inactive

    Once again I feel compelled to point out that if the GOP was an opposition party worthy of the name every single one of the them in Congress would have already been shrieking for a travel ban right freakin’ now.

    But no, because they’re apparently waiting for the democrats to propose it first, or perhaps permission from the New York Times to deviate from open borders dogma.

    Pitiful, inexcusable- and likely deadly.

    I’m glad to see Bobby Jindal suggest it, because at least I can console myself that at least one Republican has a clue.

    • #12
    • October 3, 2014, at 3:17 PM PDT
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  13. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    Nick Stuart: And sometime in the next month or so my #2 son will be one of the Army soldiers deployed to Africa on this fools errand.

    Please thank your son for his service — from all of us.

    • #13
    • October 3, 2014, at 3:21 PM PDT
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  14. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    Rawls: Devil’s advocate here. Would instituting a travel ban show that we’re afraid of ebola, and thus make it all the more appealing as a biological weapon terrorists could purposefully contract and bring here?

    I think everyone on earth is somewhat afraid of Ebola, so I don’t think this would increase the likelihood of it being used as a terror agent.

    • #14
    • October 3, 2014, at 3:23 PM PDT
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  15. John Walker Contributor

    They’re too busy harassing U.S. citizen foreign correspondents about to leave the country.

    • #15
    • October 3, 2014, at 4:11 PM PDT
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  16. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Charlie Cooke at National Review on his Mad Dogs and Englishman podcast said that conservatives linking ebola and immigration is irrational, rather like liberals linking climate change to every issue. And on this, Cooke is dead wrong.

    • #16
    • October 3, 2014, at 4:32 PM PDT
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  17. Xennady Inactive

    Dietlbomb:This ebola situation has given me the biggest gut reaction yet to all of the Obama administration’s failures. If the virus becomes an epidemic here, Obama’s refusal to close the borders should be cause for impeachment.

    You’re assuming that enough of the present regime will remain in existence to observe such legal niceties as impeachment, should ebola become an epidemic.

    I hope you’re right.

    • #17
    • October 3, 2014, at 4:48 PM PDT
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  18. Z in MT Inactive

    Rawls:Devil’s advocate here. Would instituting a travel ban show that we’re afraid of ebola, and thus make it all the more appealing as a biological weapon terrorists could purposefully contract and bring here?

    In the G-file today Jonah Goldberg lays out this very frightening scenario of suicide-ebola-bombers coming to the US infecting a bunch of people then blowing themselves up messily in a crowded area to infect as many people as possible. This scenario is very frightening. To answer Dietlbomb, they don’t have to go through the agony part before killing themselves, just handle pretty bad flu like symptoms for about 24 hours.

    • #18
    • October 3, 2014, at 5:02 PM PDT
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  19. Z in MT Inactive

    As a health issue, the U.S. and the UN should implement a travel ban on all of west Africa (with very controlled exceptions for medical staff and supplies).

    • #19
    • October 3, 2014, at 5:05 PM PDT
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  20. billy Inactive

    Matthew Continetti has some thoughts on the matter,

    The Case for Panic

    • #20
    • October 3, 2014, at 5:30 PM PDT
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  21. Annefy Member

    I keep hearing Ed Harris’ voice in my head … “There is no Captain Trips!”

    • #21
    • October 3, 2014, at 6:56 PM PDT
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  22. Dietlbomb Inactive

    Z in MT:

    Rawls:Devil’s advocate here. Would instituting a travel ban show that we’re afraid of ebola, and thus make it all the more appealing as a biological weapon terrorists could purposefully contract and bring here?

    In the G-file today Jonah Goldberg lays out this very frightening scenario of suicide-ebola-bombers coming to the US infecting a bunch of people then blowing themselves up messily in a crowded area to infect as many people as possible. This scenario is very frightening. To answer Dietlbomb, they don’t have to go through the agony part before killing themselves, just handle pretty bad flu like symptoms for about 24 hours.

    I’m not sure. I find myself completely incompetent to do simple chores when I have a bad cold. Ebola is debilitating.

    • #22
    • October 3, 2014, at 7:42 PM PDT
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  23. Qarlo Clobregnny Inactive

    Maybe if an ebola patient jumped the fence and got into the White House he’d be a little more understanding.

    • #23
    • October 3, 2014, at 9:26 PM PDT
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  24. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    What a crock of BS. Are the government a bunch of children? They act like a travel ban has to block everybody going both ways or can not have exceptions. Allow anybody that wishes to fly into the infected areas to go. Just if they do go they get to stay for the duration or on the way out they go into a XX day quarantine before being allowed entry into this country. Exceptions can be made for medical or military if proper protocols are followed. Reasonable precautions can be taken that while may cause some inconvenience can still address the issue effectively.

    Why are we sending troops into this thing? Last I heard Ebola can not be killed with bullets or normal military weaponry. Our soldiers did not sign up for this sort of thing, are not trained for it and should not be sent into it.

    • #24
    • October 4, 2014, at 1:13 AM PDT
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  25. Randy Webster Member

    It’s not like Obama or his family have anything to worry about. And if a few of us die, well, what’s the big deal?

    • #25
    • October 4, 2014, at 8:57 AM PDT
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  26. Randy Webster Member

    Jon, your picture at the head of the article reminds me of the scene in Buckaroo Banzai (you’re welcome, James) where the Secretary of Defense is in the Pitt, and says “Look at this place, don’t you have any pride? It looks like a pigsty,” and John Big Boote says “It’s not my G–damned planet, monkeyboy.”

    • #26
    • October 4, 2014, at 9:21 AM PDT
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  27. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Randy Webster:It’s not like Obama or his family have anything to worry about. And if a few of us die, well, what’s the big deal?

    Reminded me of Poe’s The Masque Of The Red Death. 

    • #27
    • October 4, 2014, at 10:34 AM PDT
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  28. Randy Webster Member

    Nick Stuart:

    Randy Webster:It’s not like Obama or his family have anything to worry about. And if a few of us die, well, what’s the big deal?

    Reminded me of Poe’s The Masque Of The Red Death.

    I’ve trended towards Kipling lately, but Poe has a lot to say.

    • #28
    • October 4, 2014, at 10:49 AM PDT
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  29. Profile Photo Member

    Nick Stuart:And sometime in the next month or so my #2 son will be one of the Army soldiers deployed to Africa on this fools errand.

    Oh how I wish this fool Obama didn’t have errand men like your son–or somebody else’s daughter–to do his bidding. By what stretch of the powers lawfully possessed of this or any CinC can the Army be ordered into battle against Ebola?

    • #29
    • October 4, 2014, at 11:26 AM PDT
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  30. coniston Member

    If only someone would suggest that like Princess Elizabeth in WW2 or Princess Diana with AIDS that Michelle or O’s daughters should go to visit an Ebola patient to set an example for other Americans. The sane response is NFW of course…

    • #30
    • October 4, 2014, at 11:49 AM PDT
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