Obama Exploring Additional Airline Passenger Ebola Screenings As Some Officials Call For Travel Limits

News outlets report on the Obama administration’s announcement it is exploring additional procedures for screening airline passengers to prevent more people infected with Ebola from entering the U.S., as some Republicans call for travel bans to be implemented. The White House also released a new fact sheet on the U.S. response to Ebola.

The Hill: Obama: We’re boosting Ebola screenings
“The White House is developing additional passenger screening protocols to prevent persons with Ebola from entering the United States, President Obama told reporters following a meeting with top health officials on Monday…” (Sink, 10/6).

Los Angeles Times: Obama announces plans for new Ebola screening of airline passengers
“The Obama administration is developing additional screening protocols for airline passengers both overseas and in the United States to control infectious diseases like Ebola, the president said Monday…” (Hennessy-Fiske/Muskal, 10/6).

New York Times: Ebola Screening at Airports Will Increase, Obama Says
“…Mr. Obama made the announcement after being briefed in Washington by Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mr. Obama called the fight against Ebola ‘a top national security priority,’ but did not specify how screening would be changed. Dr. Frieden said that officials would explore a variety of options…” (Sack, 10/6).

Politico: Barack Obama to boost airport screening for Ebola
“…National security, homeland security, and senior health officials briefed the president on the continuing U.S. response to [the Ebola] outbreak, from measures in Dallas to contain the disease after the first U.S. case was diagnosed there in a Liberian man, to the escalating federal mobilization as part of a global response in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea…” (Levine, 10/6).

Reuters: U.S. working on new screenings for Ebola but no travel ban
“…However, the White House said that a ban on travel from West African countries, which some U.S. officials have called for, would slow the fight against Ebola. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said officials did not want to impede transport systems used to send supplies and personnel to the hardest-hit countries in West Africa, so a travel ban was not being considered…” (Rampton/Valdmanis, 10/7).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Weighing Additional Passenger Screenings for Ebola
“…Officials said adding a U.S. screening process for incoming passengers would be designed to strengthen procedures for checking people who enter from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the countries hardest hit by the virus. There are no direct commercial passenger flights from those countries to the U.S., so the logistics of identifying specific passengers to screen could be complicated. The administration is expected to announce the measures in coming days…” (Lee/Sparshott, 10/6).

Washington Post: U.S. will augment Ebola screenings for airline passengers in U.S. and Africa
“…In his remarks Monday, Obama was sharply critical of countries that he said have not responded aggressively enough to the epidemic, which has killed more than 3,400 people and infected double that number…” (Berman/Dennis, 10/6).

The Hill: Rick Perry: Feds must act now to stop Ebola
“The effort to contain Ebola in Texas is working, Gov. Rick Perry (R) declared Monday even as he urged the federal government to take ‘immediate steps’ to keep infected people out of the United States…” (Ferris, 10/6).

Wall Street Journal: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Calls For Added Federal Ebola Screening
“…Speaking at the Texas capitol building, the Republican governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate said Texas had ‘learned a lot about the unique challenges of situations like this, and it’s important that we continue to adapt our responses’…” (Koppel, 10/6).

Washington Post: Leading Republicans press for limits on travel to prevent spread of Ebola
“…Republican strategists say [calls from Republicans for the Obama administration to do more on Ebola are] all part of an effort to flex leadership credentials and tap into concerns Americans have with President Obama’s readiness to handle crises after a series of missteps in his second term…” (Sullivan, 10/6).

The Hill: House Ebola hearing planned at Dallas airport
“The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the Ebola epidemic Friday at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the panel’s chairman announced Monday. … The hearing follows rising calls from the GOP for the Obama administration to ban travel from countries affected by Ebola…” (Viebeck, 10/6).

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