In response to the Ebola outbreak, President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now requiring all airline passengers from afflicted nations to fly into one of five U.S. airports.
The DHS, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in a United Nations (UN) document that “enhanced screening measures” will be present at the following five U.S. airports: New York’s John F. Kennedy, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta, and Chicago.
The UN document stated, “Passengers flying into one of these airports from flights originating in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are subject to secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperatures taken, before they can be admitted to the United States. These airports account for about 94 percent of travelers flying to the United States from these countries. At present there are no direct, non-stop commercials flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to any airport in the United States.”
The restrictions are an attempt to “prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States.”
Ebola entered the U.S. in September when Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man, flew to Dallas, Texas. At that time, CDC Spokesman Dave Daigle admitted that Ebola screening for airplane passengers flying from West Africa to the US is inadequate. He said, “I think he [Duncan] got on the plane asymptomatic, without any symptoms whatsoever… the symptoms occurred after he landed or after he arrived in the US so it’s very difficult to prevent that. I mean the viruses don’t respect borders.”
Despite this admission, it took the federal government several weeks to finally instate travel restrictions from Ebola-afflicted nations. In early October, more than a dozen flights from Liberia were available on any given day. For instance, travels were able to purchase a ticket for as little as $1,400 that gets them from Monrovia, Liberia, to Washington, DC.
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