Kentucky U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield has asked President Barack Obama to call for an immediate travel ban from West African countries affected by Ebola. Whitfield says recent events have tragically demonstrated how U.S. transportation networks can serve as conduits for dangerous pathogens.
“Ebola appears to be spreading even within the hospital setting, we should not delay in taking action to prevent individuals carrying the virus from traveling to our country,” Whitfield said . “A concise and immediate travel ban for such individuals who live in or have traveled from certain West African countries is necessary to ensure the safety of the American people.”
The Representative sent a letter to the President Monday after speaking with military leaders about the deployment of U.S. troops from Fort Campbell Army Base to West Africa to help contain the outbreak of the virus. Whitfield opposes what he calls unnecessarily endangering U.S Troops from the First District of Kentucky, saying their mission would be better served by world humanitarian health organizations.
"This President has already placed our troops at unnecessary risk that has the potential to not only endanger their lives, but the lives of their families, and their communities upon their return," Whitfield said. "Our priorities should be to protect our homeland first, secure our borders, and work aggressively to develop a vaccine to eradicate Ebola.”
The Congressman has also requested the President ensure that service members who contract Ebola and die will receive hazard duty pay and full combat fatality compensation and benefits for their families.