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Goodlatte on New DHS Ebola Policy: Would Not Have Stopped Duncan From Reaching Dallas

Goodlatte on New DHS Ebola Policy: Would Not Have Stopped Duncan From Reaching Dallas

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said more still needs to be done to protect Americans from Ebola after the Department of Homeland Security announced a slight change in traveling protocol from Ebola-affected countries Tuesday.

“I’m glad that the Obama Administration is showing more concern about the possibility of people infected with Ebola entering the United States and spreading this deadly disease, but the Administration must do more to protect Americans,” Goodlatte said in a statement. 

“Obama Administration officials openly admit that these enhanced screening measures would have never detected the disease in Thomas Eric Duncan, a non-U.S. citizen, who later infected two American nurses in Dallas,” he added.

Tuesday the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will require all travelers from the West African nations coping with Ebola to travel through the five U.S. airports actually screening for the virus beginning on Wednesday. 

“Today, I am announcing that all passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place,” DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson said in a statement. “We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption. If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed.”

The five airports screening for the virus– Dulles, O’Hare, Newark and Hartsfield-Jackson airports — were screening 94 percent of the daily travelers from those West African countries.

According to Goodlatte and a number of other, mostly Republican lawmakers, the most effective solution would be a temporary ban on travel by non-citizens to the U.S. from those Ebola-stricken countries. 

“President Obama has a real solution at his disposal under current law and can use it at any time to temporarily ban foreign nationals from entering the United States from Ebola-ravaged countries,” Goodlatte said. “The vast majority of Americans strongly support such a travel moratorium and I urge the President to take every step possible to protect the American people from danger.”

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