CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden assured Americans last week that “we know how to stop Ebola in its tracks.”
Yet this week we learn of two new cases of Ebola, contracted by nurses who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Nurses at that hospital say there were fluctuating safety protocols, improper protective gear, a lack of treatment supplies, a lack of training, and no one to dispose of hazardous waste properly.
We also hear that many other hospitals in the U.S. are not prepared to safely treat Ebola victims. President Barack Obama convened a special cabinet meeting to discuss the Ebola crisis. He called for an emergency response team that will provide aid in any future outbreaks, but still did not call for a travel ban to and from west Africa.
Obama said about a month ago that Ebola was unlikely to reach our shores and that if it did it would not become widespread. Obviously it is here and it shows signs of an impending spread.
The Ebola danger to Americans trumps all the weak arguments put forth by the Obama Administration against a travel ban. The screening measures that are taken at airports would not have caught Duncan.
Without travel restrictions, there will be potentially many more individuals like Duncan who enter the country undetected, putting many of our citizens at risk.
I urge the president to prioritize the safety of Americans over any ideological considerations preventing decisive actions to thwart the spread of Ebola. Imposing travel restrictions and securing our borders is an immediate first step.
Citizens’ lives depend of how decisively the President acts as a leader now. I hope he does not let us down.