President Obama is against a travel ban from West Africa because he says that people can't be blamed for going in the first place if they are sick. However, as more calls grow louder for an anti-travel ban on flights, President Obama is still opposed to denying travel to West Africans or cutting flights to other affected nations.
In response to the travel restrictions put forth by the Obama administration, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) have introduced a bill called the Travel Ban Relief Act. Although the White House has issued a statement saying that it supports the efforts to restrict travel to West Africa by health-care workers and aid workers, the Department of Homeland Security has issued its own statement saying that it believes the travel restrictions are necessary. Meanwhile, law makers on both sides of the aisle continue to use the term travel ban without providing a definition.
A travel ban has no effect, because there are currently no direct flights from the U.S. to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The main problem with a travel restriction like this is that it will force people to travel from one country to another, which would mean that they would be forced to travel by car instead of flying.
Another reason that the Obama administration is opposed to a travel ban is that it would require that health-care workers and aid workers who come from afflicted areas take special security training and undergo mandatory personal protection procedures. This is important for the safety of the people who may be in their care, but not so much for the safety of the people who will come into contact with these workers. The lack of proper personal protection equipment means that health-care workers who visit West Africa will be exposed to risks of disease and the possibility of contracting diseases.
A travel ban does not have to include all travelers, and Obama has proposed some measures that would make travel even easier for people who have a valid travel card, such as allowing credit card payments at the point of departure or arrival. But most of the restrictions that the administration is putting forward would apply only to travel from the affected area and would not cover people traveling from other countries where there is a risk of an outbreak.
Many experts say that the Obama administration's current proposal is not adequate. Many other politicians and organizations have also stated that the administration's actions are not sufficient enough. They have called for additional restrictions and suggested that more medical professionals to be sent to the affected countries to help treat those who are infected with the deadly virus.
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