Majorities of Americans want a travel ban on flights from countries ravaged by the Ebola virus and do not want U.S. troops sent to Africa to help fight the disease.
An NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll taken a day before Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian immigrant who became the first person diagnosed with Ebola on American soil died on Wednesday, found that 58% of Americans believe the United States should institute “a travel ban on flights form countries where the Ebola virus has broken out” while only 20% do not. In the same poll, 51% of Americans disapprove with the decision to “send U.S. troops to Africa to help fight the spread of Ebola.”
The Obama administration intends to send 4,000 troops to Africa to combat the virus and, contrary to the administration’s initial statement, the federal government conceded this week that troops could come in contact with the Ebola virus. Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed concerns that a whole ship of U.S. troops could be infected with the virus if the Obama administration does not exercise extreme caution.
The federal government also announced on Wednesday “new screening procedures at five American airports that see the most travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone: New York’s JFK International Airport, Washington-Dulles, Newark, Chicago-O’Hare and Atlanta.” As NBC News noted, “approximately 150 passengers come to the U.S. from those countries each day,” according to federal officials.
The survey was conducted online on Tuesday and has a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points after statistical weighting was “used to make the sample statistically representative in terms of age, sex, race, education, and region based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.”