- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday that it is possible to write a ban on travel from Ebola-stricken West African countries while still letting medical personnel and aid get through.

Despite intense pressure from members of Congress to impose a ban to stop the disease from entering the U.S., Obama administration health officials have said a travel ban would actually hurt because it would hinder efforts to stop Ebola in West Africa.

But Mr. Cruz said it’s easy to carve out exceptions.

“Health care personnel can be brought in on military C-130 flights,” the Texas Republican told The Dallas Morning News. “The risks of epidemic are far too large for us to allow unimpeded commercial flights.”

The U.S. does not have direct airline service to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. Travelers from those countries must connect to U.S.-bound flights usually through major hubs in Paris, London or Brussels.

Homeland Security officials are starting to take the temperature of passengers deemed to be traveling from those countries at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and will add four other airports to the screening list this week.

Mr. Cruz said travelers from those countries should be blocked altogether, and flights from West Africa should be grounded.

“Common sense dictates that we should impose a travel ban on commercial airline flights from nations afflicted by Ebola,” Mr. Cruz said. “There’s no reason to allow ongoing commercial air traffic out of those countries.”

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