Representative Blumenauer Makes Statement on West Africa Ebola Outbreak

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—October 21, 2014.

We should be careful in restricting travel between West Africa and the U.S. during this current Ebola outbreak. 

People in affected countries still find a way to travel, and governments could have a harder time tracking those movements. Sealing off aid and resources to West Africa will likely exacerbate the epidemic and make it more difficult to contain.

We must carefully promote actions that have been adopted to make sure they prove effective. The 5 airports that receive the vast majority of the travelers arriving from West Africa—New York City’s John F. Kennedy, Chicago-O’Hare, Atlanta, Newark, and Washington-Dulles—are now implementing extra layers of screening. Passengers will be asked questions about their potential exposure to the virus as well as observed for signs of illness. Those who have a fever will be quarantined and tested for the Ebola virus.

Furthermore, the CDC has activated several regional centers with specialty biocontainment units that are equipped and trained to treat highly infectious disease, including Ebola, in order to contain any additional cases.

Make no mistake; this is a wakeup call about far more than Ebola. The budget-cutting zealots have been starving our public health infrastructure and medical research. These budget cuts that allow the NIH to fund only one in six research proposals make it hard to develop an Ebola vaccine. To address the current threat of Ebola and prevent similar episodes in the future, we need to increase—not cut—funding for the NIH and CDC.