One Republican congresswoman wants to keep anyone that’s been to West Africa out of our country.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis said during a recent debate that she thinks the United States shouldn’t allow people who have spent any time in one of the nations hit by the Ebola outbreak, the Huffington Post reports. “I do believe that we should cease to allow people who have been in the three countries in West Africa, we should not allow them to come into the country until things settle down,” she said.
Quiet as it’s kept, many Americans (on both sides of the aisle) that have been terrified by this epidemic have suggested the same thing in their private conversations. Bolder people have put that opinion on their social media. However, a top ranking official at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention said that’s actually a terrible idea that would put even more people at risk of catching Ebola.
This is because there is no way for us to regulate how people would move about the continent; over in West Africa, there is only so much that their governments and authorities can do to keep people from breaking through a quarantine. If people want to get out of a hot zone, they will find a way to do it by any means necessary.
“Paradoxically, it will increase the risk that Ebola will spread in those countries and to other countries, and that we will have more patients who develop Ebola in the U.S.” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. People will move between countries, even when governments restrict travel and trade. And that kind of travel becomes almost impossible to track.”
What Cynthia didn’t consider in her strategy for is that West Africa would not be the only region we would need to impose a travel ban against. There are few if any direct flights from the U.S. to West Africa and countless travelers from the affected countries have a layover in Europe before getting to the states. It should be that the BBC has had to report that, sadly, a United Nations worker in German has died of Ebola. Patients have also been treated for the virus in Norway, the United Kingdom, Spain and France.
If it wasn’t already clear, the tragic news illustrates that the Ebola virus has broken out of West Africa to become a global problem that affects all types of different people. If such an embargo were imposed, Americans that have gone out to Africa to help in the relief effort would effectively be stranded in a foreign land.
Blocking travel from West Africa is a knee-jerk reaction, but Thomas said that it would “only provide an illusion of security and would lead to prejudice and stigma around those in West Africa.” The only effective way to contain the virus would be to get those infected with Ebola into isolation as quickly as possible.