PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Did the late Thomas Eric Duncan enter the United States under false pretenses, covering up his exposure to Ebola in Liberia to customs officials?
That question is unresolved, but the whole experience has many wondering if those who travel to and from countries with Ebola should be quarantined first.
“I think we are playing with something that is so contagious and so deadly that I’m not sure that the stance we are taking is aggressive enough,” U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a Butler Republican, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
The outbreak of Ebola in the United States has caused some local Members of Congress to take a very strong stance, questioning whether the U.S. government is really doing all that it should.
Kelly has joined other Members of Congress in urging a travel ban on Americans to Ebola-affected African countries, except those engaged in fighting the disease, and a restriction on visas to Africans wanting to enter the United States.
“This disease is so communicable and can be transferred around the world in a matter of hours, I think not just America but the world is in grave danger if we don’t get this under control right away,” added Kelly.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, an Upper St. Clair Republican, agrees, saying about 150 people a day are entering the U.S. from the three Ebola-affected countries.
“I’m very concerned at this point,” added Murphy. “Just saying let people come to the United States, keep a list of who they are, track them, take their temperature, and hope for the best — I don’t think keeping your fingers crossed is a reasonable medical practice.”
Murphy says those who travel from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone should — at a minimum — be more carefully scrutinized, perhaps quarantined.
“I’m not saying they have to remain in a building in Africa, but show us some way that there can be some level of monitoring and isolation rather than free access to travel,” said the congressman.
On Thursday, Murphy is chairing a congressional hearing on the government’s response to this crisis.
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