October 16, 2014
Many of you have contacted me with your concerns about Ebola. According to the CDC, “Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains.” America's first confirmed case, Thomas Eric Duncan, contracted the disease after he traveled to Liberia. He subsequently died in Dallas. Unfortunately, two Texans who treated him have since tested positive for the disease, raising concerns regarding the effectiveness of security parameters. One even boarded a commercial airplane despite being “monitored.” Are we taking enough precautions to stop this often fatal disease from spreading? Are our hospitals prepared to handle this disease and implement the security protocols that must be in place? No one is able to answer these questions with confidence.
Two weeks ago, I called upon the CDC to recommend that the President invoke his authority under federal law to prohibit non-essential travel to and from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea until this outbreak is contained. Current efforts to monitor temperatures and quarantine people are not working. As we saw with the case of Duncan, it can take up to 21 days for people infected with Ebola to show symptoms. So, taking temperatures at airports is a grossly inadequate response to this crisis. The only exception should be for emergency personnel, military and doctors who should travel only on military planes. Once Congress returns to session, I will also introduce legislation to restrict non-essential travel to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
With no vaccine and no guaranteed course of treatment, there is no time to waste. The health of our citizens should be the main priority of our government.
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GOD and TEXAS,
Member of Congress