Oct. 17, 2014

No ‘Philosophical Objection’ to Travel Ban

The White House has been criticized for its refusal to implement a travel ban to and from Ebola-plagued African nations. Barack Obama explained his rationale: “I don’t have a philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban if that is the thing that is going to keep the American people safe. The problem is, is that – in all the discussions that I’ve had thus far with experts in the field, experts in infectious disease – is that a travel ban is less effective than the measures that we are currently instituting. … If we institute a travel ban instead of the protocols that we’ve put in place now, history shows that there is a likelihood of increased avoidance. People do not readily disclose their information. They may engage in something called broken travel – essentially breaking up their trip so that they can hide the fact that they have been to one of these countries where there is a disease in place. And as a result we may end up getting less information about who has the disease, they are less likely to get treated properly, screened properly, quarantined properly, and as a consequence we could end up having more cases rather than less.” And don’t worry – he has a proven track record of handling important issues well.

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