Why Don’t We Ban Travel from Liberia?

The administration claims that it would do no good to ban travel from Liberia, but there are reasons to doubt their claim.



It is still not a time to panic, but the Administration has definitely brought us closer.

At the Washington Post website we read: “The ominous math of the Ebola epidemic.”

“The speed at which things are moving on the ground, it’s hard for people to get their minds around. People don’t understand the concept of exponential growth,” said Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Exponential growth in the context of three weeks means: ‘If I know that X needs to be done, and I work my butt off and get it done in three weeks, it’s now half as good as it needs to be.’”

Federal assertion: Banning travel from affected West African nations will not stop the disease.

Indisputable fact: Had we banned travel from those nations, the now deceased Dallas patient. Thomas Duncan, never would have arrived. Had he not come here, 76 medical workers would not have risked exposure, and two would not have come down with Ebola (so far)–the second of whom we now learn just traveled from Dallas to Cleveland and back–and visited family and friends in Akron.

Repeating: We would not have ANY of this here, if a travel ban had been instituted. Forget all of the sophistry and “buts” and “what ifs”… this is not conjecture, it’s plain and simple, hard, cold, Federal stupidity and dereliction-of-duty revealing fact.

[See also, “Why the Government Can’t Keep Ebola Facts Straight.”]

Yes, it’s true no Federal action can guarantee we won’t have another case from another source, but banning travel from those nations for a time will cut off the easiest method of bringing the crisis here. It will also avoid the colossal waste of time, manpower, and money being proposed on useless airport “screening” methods and ineffective temperature sensors. THAT is simply more idiotic airport theater, like the TSA.

Just to be clear, I would never suggest stopping medical workers and supplies from getting in and out. My focus would be unnecessary travel—tourism, family visits, etc.—until the situation calms down. I guess the problem is that government specializes in clumsy “one-size-fits-no-one” plans, and nuance is impossible.

Compassion must be done intelligently. To leave travel as a free-for-all invites us to spread the epidemic across the globe. As we’re seeing here, even a very few cases can cause havoc. If we get hamstrung with our own issues in America we will NOT place a focus on Africa, and then they’ll really be in a fix.

Sometimes there are simply no good answers—pain is inevitable, and the challenge is to deal with reality in a way that will provide the greatest help to the most people in the quickest possible time, and in a sustainable manner.