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CDC Spokesman Admits Screening Inadequate, Won't Ban Flights From Liberia

CDC Spokesman Admits Screening Inadequate, Won't Ban Flights From Liberia

CDC Spokesman Dave Daigle stated that the US would not be preventing flights from countries with massive outbreaks of the Ebola virus from coming in to the United States, despite seemingly admitting that the case of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan showed that airport screening cannot catch every case of Ebola on CNN’s “OutFront” on Wednesday.  

When asked whether he would recommend the US simply not allow flights from countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia, Daigle responded, “I don’t think so, and that’s certainly not, I’m not even sure if that’s a CDC call.” 

He then 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 that airport screening failed in this instance because the infected individual had no symptoms, and that people can carry Ebola into the US without showing any symptoms that would be noticed by a screener, Daigle again expressed confidence in the screening system and argued that a flight ban was unnecessary.

Daigle was also asked about earlier reporting by CNN that members of their crew were not screened despite admitting they had just returned from covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, he said “I don’t know about [that] particular experience but I can tell you that when I returned from Nigeria, I went through exit screening in Lagos and when I came back, and I arrived in Atlanta, I thought it was a very good questionnaire…my experience was different I guess.” 

He also stated that he was unaware of a report from The New York Times that Duncan had come into contact with a pregnant woman who later fell ill and died, and also did not know Duncan’s flight history.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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