Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” anchor Bill O’Reilly criticized the Obama administration’s refusal to ban flights from areas stricken with the Ebola virus on Friday.
“As we have seen with Thomas Duncan, the Liberian national in Dallas, Texas, screening cannot, cannot stop the movement of [sick] people because the incubation period for Ebola is up to three weeks. So far, at least 13 African countries are restricting people entry from the nations where Ebola is the problem. In addition, British Airways and Air France, among others have suspended flights to dangerous areas, but the USA has done nothing, nothing. Does that make sense you?” He wondered.
O’Reilly added that “a possible reason for the inaction is political correctness,” and played a clip of author David Quammen saying the US has an obligation to help Liberia because of slavery. O’Reilly responded “that’s insane. Insane.”
He also stated “thinking ahead, and taking precautions is simply responsible policy. Time and again, the Obama administration has failed to do that.” And “there is no reason on earth, on this earth that right now we should be accepting anyone in this country with a West African passport.”
Dr. Marty Makary, a surgeon at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine argued against a flight ban, declaring “you know, flu virus mutates from China, we don’t stop flights from China.” He added “I think it’s reasonable to limit flights from West Africa,” and that the US should only have “essential personnel” in the country while warning against “too dramatic of a limitation.”
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Mary Schmidt agreed with O’Reilly that the US should put a stop to flights because people will lie on the screening questionnaires and that 2 or 3 more cases of Ebola in the US would exhaust federal resources.
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