Billionaire celebrity Donald Trump on Monday called for the United States to seal itself off from a possible Ebola virus epidemic, denying Americans infected with the deadly disease and all travelers from West Africa entry into the United States.
“We should end flights coming in from West Africa and Liberia. We should certainly do that,” Mr. Trump told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
“Send the doctors to Liberia. Send the doctors to West Africa to take care of our people. That’s one thing. But don’t let [Ebola victims back] in,” he said. “And we have another problem because a lot of people are fleeing West Africa, and they are coming here because they want to get away from Ebola. Now how many of those people have Ebola?”
Mr. Trump began sounding the alarm on his popular Twitter account about Ebola invading the U.S., setting off a fierce online debate, after an American physician stricken with the disease returned Saturday from West Africa for treatment at an Atlanta hospital.
The infected doctor, Kent Brantly, reportedly was showing signs of improvement over the weekend.
U.S. health officials insist they are equipped to safely treat the disease and protect the general population without restricting travel.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has so far claimed nearly 800 lives and infected about 1,500 people. But medical experts say the viral disease can be contained and should be attacked at its source in West Africa.
Mr. Trump compared the Ebola threat to the spread of AIDS.
“If you look at the AIDS epidemic, it started very small and then all of the sudden it grew and grew and to this day we have a massive problem with that,” he said. “On a humanitarian basis, I don’t like having to say it, but our country cannot afford to have another epidemic in this country.”