Travel and Visa Ban, Investigation into CDC's Ebola Response, Protecting our Troops in West Africa

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Washington, October 17, 2014 | comments

Washington, D.C. – In light of a second health care worker, 29-year-old Amber Vinson, contracting Ebola on American soil, U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (TX-03) is following up on his recent efforts to protect the health of Americans by proposing legislation, the Stop Ebola Act, calling for an investigation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and seeking answers with respect to the deployment of troops to Liberia. 

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans are concerned Ebola could become widespread in the United States,” said Johnson.  “I have personally called on President Obama and other high ranking officials to halt travel and visas from Ebola affected countries.  Unfortunately, the President is failing to listen to the American people and do the right thing by stopping travel and visas from these countries. That is why I introduced the Stop Ebola Act, along with my colleague Congressman Kenny Marchant.”

“Our nation is behind the curve in combating the domestic spread of Ebola,” said Rep. Marchant (TX-24). “Containment efforts will remain inadequate if we rely solely on the reactive measures being taken by the administration.  The Stop Ebola Act is a proactive approach to preventing additional travel-related cases of Ebola in the United States.  I have called for travel and visa restrictions since Ebola’s first appearance in North Texas and thank Congressman Johnson for his shared commitment to utilizing every available precaution to keep the American people safe."

The Stop Ebola Act would ban all new visas to citizens of Ebola-affected countries and would ban travel to the U.S. for any person who is not a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident if their journey originated in, or they traveled through, any Ebola-affected country.

Congressman Johnson continued, “While preventing more Ebola cases from being brought into our country is of critical importance, we must also contain the disease here.  After all, the latest developments in Dallas show the dangers of Ebola – it just takes one individual to spread Ebola.  That is why I’ve called on Inspector General (IG) Levinson of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate the CDC’s response.  Bottom-line:  we cannot afford any further mistakes.”

Johnson’s letter asks the IG to determine what “breach in protocol” at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital led to the infections of health care workers Nina Pham and Amber Vinson.  Because the CDC admitted it had failed to send teams to Dallas with the necessary equipment, protocols, and procedures to stop the further spread of Ebola, the letter also requests specific information about what measures and protocols are now being implemented to adequately protect our health care workers and prevent the future spread of Ebola on American soil.

“As a 29-year Air Force veteran and a Prisoner of War for nearly seven years, I have always been a strong advocate for our servicemen and women. I am deeply concerned by the President’s decision to send our troops to Liberia.  That is why – in addition to these other measures – I’ve asked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for answers regarding the risks facing our troops fighting Ebola.”

“It is time for President Obama to put the health of Americans first.  Period.   Rest assured that I am fully committed to making sure that my constituents are protected and will continue to do everything I can to contain and stop this deadly disease in its tracks.”



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