- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is calling for the U.S. to increase efforts to combat the Ebola virus domestically and fight the Islamic State group abroad, while criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of both crises.

During an interview Tuesday, the Republican told the Leader-Telegram (https://bit.ly/1ttt04J ) that the federal focus needs to shift away from addressing climate change. Instead, he said the U.S. should bar people who have been to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak in the past 30 days from entering the county or place them in quarantine for 21 days.

“That’s kind of the minimal action we should be taking,” Johnson said. “We need to protect ourselves against even the current situation, but we certainly need to protect ourselves against an even worse situation, and we’re not doing enough right now.”

The current strategy of questioning people who are traveling from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the West African countries that have been hit hardest by Ebola, isn’t working to protect Americans, according to Johnson. Travelers who are seeking access to U.S. health care aren’t likely to give honest answers to the questions, he said.

But Johnson has been involved in supporting federal budgets that attempted to cut funding for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff.

“Ron Johnson is someone who has stood in the way of making progress and making sure our country is prepared to handle a global health crisis,” Baldauff said.

Johnson also told the Leader-Telegram that the U.S. should go back to war in the Middle East to defeat ISIS. The violent militant group was able to take over the region, he said, after Obama withdrew American troops.

“They’re a far bigger threat now,” Johnson said. “We haven’t contained them. They’re on the march.”

U.S.-executed airstrikes aren’t enough to combat the extremists, he said, and boots need to be put back on Middle Eastern soil.

Although Baldauff agrees that ISIS poses a threat, she said the safety of U.S. troops has continued to be the president’s utmost concern.

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Information from: Leader-Telegram, https://www.leadertelegram.com/

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