News / Africa

US Lawmaker: Ban Travel to US from Ebola-stricken Countries

FILE - House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., listens to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testify before the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 1, 2009.
FILE - House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., listens to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testify before the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 1, 2009.
James Butty

A U.S. congressman has asked the Obama administration to impose an immediate travel ban on the citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as on foreigners who have visited those countries, to contain the spread of Ebola to the United States.  

Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida, a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the restriction should be lifted only when 90 days have passed without a newly reported case.  

He said the ban should be expanded to any other country that reports a case of Ebola.  

Danger to American public

Grayson said the Ebola virus presents an enhanced danger to the American public.

“The countries represent a danger to the rest of the world and because the best way to deal with the situation is to isolate the areas that are affected until hopefully the infection burns itself out, as it has in the past," Grayson said. "We are talking about this time a fundamentally different circumstance, however.

"This is the largest outbreak in history; it’s the deadliest outbreak in history,” he added.

Grayson said, with Liberia already taking steps to close its borders, his travel ban request will only be assisting in that effort by saying that the Ebola-affected countries remain isolated until the infection disappears.

He said his travel ban, if granted by the Obama administration, would not include Nigeria, at least for now.

“Under the definition set forth in my letter, not yet, because the only case we’ve seen so far in Nigeria is the case that originated in Liberia," Grayson said. "So, there hasn’t been, as yet, any case that originated in Nigeria or anywhere other than the three countries I named in the letter – Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia."

The U.S. Peace Corps announced Wednesday it was temporarily removing its volunteers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea due to the increasing spread of the Ebola virus.

Returning Americans

Grayson said the travel ban he’s requesting would only apply to foreign visitors to the United States and not Americans returning from abroad.

“If they are Americans, then we’re expecting that, when they return, they’ll take prudent measures," he said.

"There are ways that can be employed to try to identify people who have been infected, and I would hope that they will voluntarily and enthusiastically submit themselves to those tests so that we can make sure that, if they are returning, they’re not returning with disease,” Grayson said.

The World Health Organization recently said nearly 700 people have died from Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the current outbreak of the virus that began in February.

There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola, which is characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and unstoppable bleeding from areas such as the eyes, ears and nose.

Butty interview with Congressman Grayson
Butty interview with Congressman Graysoni
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

 

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tom from: Connecticut
August 02, 2014 9:36 PM
I wander if the congressman understands the impact of such action as a travel ban. A travel ban would mean imposition of economic hardship on a people that are already struggling to fight a deadly outbreak with limited resources.
If the congressman can do a little research or just Google "Ebola" he will find that this is NOT an air-borne disease There are publish information about ways to prevent the spread of Ebola.
You should be talking about SENDING medical experts or money to help stop the infection, NOT banning travel.
In Response

by: Douglas from: Cleveland, Ohio
August 09, 2014 11:17 AM
It is time to ban all travel to and from Africa to the U.S. This includes Americans returning from Africa. For a disease that is not supposed to be spread through the air, it is spreading very quickly. That, coupled with the fact there is no known cure, means all travel to and from Africa to U.S. should be stopped immedialely.

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
July 31, 2014 2:48 PM
Racism against Africans comes out from different corner for smokescreen reasons. That's all too common! WHO vehemently recommended against travel ban because it assured the world that Ebola spread risk is extremely very low. But Congressman Alan Grayson, for his own race agenda and scary tactic reason, trying ways to to have all black people from African be enlisted to US' No-Fly List program. That kind of agenda will never work!

by: John Thorton from: Kennesaaw
July 31, 2014 1:23 PM
Nancy Writebol fought for her life against Ebola hemorrhagic fever on Thursday.

While she did, the virus that befell the American missionary in Liberia as she worked to save its victims continued on a rampage through West Africa. It is believed to have killed 729 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria from March through July 27, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

It is the worst Ebola outbreak in history. There is no cure and no vaccine, but care from medical workers so far has helped sustain the lives of nearly half of those stricken.

Writebol's family is praying that her life is spared, too.

"U.S. government officials are in ongoing talks to bring Writebol and another Ebola-stricken American, fellow aid worker Dr. Kent Brantly, back from Liberia, an administration official and a State Department source said on Thursday." You may be too late if you don't stop this plan..

by: Alice Monger from: Georgia
July 31, 2014 12:25 PM
Thank you. But I suggest you add Nigerians because they also have been commuting to and from Liberia, Sierraleone and Guinea for business, I am sure.

by: Donald Nat-George from: Friosco, Texas
July 31, 2014 11:28 AM
I hear the congressman loud and clear but I was also expecting him to appeal for an ebola vaccine research which I consider the best weapon against that infectious disease.
In Response

by: Mike from: Connecticut
July 31, 2014 4:53 PM
Actually the best defense against this and other hemorrhagic fevers is quarantining and letting it run its course whether the victim lives or dies. Vaccine is a long-term solution to a contained epidemic, so wasting resources on a vaccine in the short-term doesn't do much to prevent its spread.

by: Ewart Padgett from: Tennessee
July 31, 2014 10:24 AM
The travel ban Mr. Grayson proposes is intended to prevent the spread of Ebola to the U.S. and should include returning Americans, they being no less likely to be Ebola carriers than those who live in the affected areas.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs