The Hill: Senator calls for Ebola screening at airports

Posted on October 3, 2014

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Friday said U.S. airports should screen international travelers for Ebola, as the virus ravages Africa. 

With fears growing that the outbreak could spread further into the U.S., Alexander called on the Obama administration to screen all passengers arriving on flights from West African countries like Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

It's a necessary precaution to keep people in the U.S. safe, he said.

“We must take the deadly, dangerous threat of Ebola in West Africa as seriously as we take the ISIS threat in the Middle East," Alexander warned. "The spread of this disease requires a more urgent response from the United States and other countries.”

The GOP lawmaker said people traveling from a country with an Ebola outbreak should be screened when they arrive in the U.S., in addition to be screened before they board the plane.

He also urged the Obama administration to coordinate with other countries to prevent the spread of Ebola.

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) is also calling for travel restrictions from countries that are suffering an Ebola outbreak, but he noted the difficulties airport officials may have in doing this.

“Travelers self-reporting at the airport has been a demonstrated failure and it is nearly impossible to retrace steps to try and track down everyone who has been in contact with a carrier taking multiple international flights across the globe," Murphy said.