The President of the United States has one duty above all others: to protect its citizens. In a decision that defies common sense, President Obama refuses to ban flights or quarantine passengers from Africa despite a deadly epidemic sweeping through several West African countries. Citing the possible damage to the Liberian economy from a ban on flights, Obama assured Americans that the risk to our citizens is low. “A travel ban is not something we’re currently considering,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Echoing the opinion of many, Governor Bobby Jindal said, “It’s just common sense,” to halt flights from the affected areas.
Meanwhile, the United States military has begun Operation United Assistance to help fight the epidemic. In addition to sending up to 3000 military personnel to the affected areas and taking on the role of command and control to coordinate response, the U.S. initiative will do the following:
- Train as many as 500 health care workers each week.
- Erect 17 health care facilities in the region each with 100 beds.
- Set up a joint command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate between U.S. and international relief efforts.
- Provide home health care kits to hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the U.S. Agency for International Development will deliver to Liberia this week.
- Carry out a home- and community-based campaign to train local populations on how to handle exposed patients.
Our military men and women will be risking their lives, just as much as if they were in a combat situation, on this mission to Africa. Ebola is an unforgiving virus. The least our President should do is to mitigate the risk to innocent Americans by stopping possible infectious travelers from entering our country. But to Obama, the economy of Liberia is more important than the lives of American citizens. President Obama continues to put the interests of other countries ahead of the United States.