State Department Considering Plan to Transport and Admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into US for Treatment

On Wednesday I learned that the U.S. Department of State is considering a plan to transport and admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into the United States for treatment. This plan calls for the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs to allow non-U.S. citizens who are infected with Ebola to enter the United States even though under existing law non-U.S. citizens with communicable diseases of public health significance are not allowed to enter the country. The Administration has repeatedly refused to enforce common sense measures such as restricting travel visas from Ebola affected countries in order to prevent future infections. Now, instead of acting in the best interest of Americans, the Administration is contemplating a policy that would pose an unnecessary health risk to the American people.

The Administration has not been transparent and forthright with this proposed plan. Instead of announcing their intentions in a forthright manner to the American people, the plan was hidden in a State Department memo that only came to light after it was discovered by the media. In response to the Administration’s utter lack of transparency and poor decision making, this week I wrote a letter to President Obama requesting that he cease consideration of this proposal immediately. If the President truly believes that Ebola-infected non-US citizens should be allowed into our country for treatment, he should share this idea with the American people and seek the approval of Congress before moving forward.

The United States has always led the world in response to humanitarian disasters and we will continue to work thoughtfully and thoroughly to contain this terrible disease at its source. The military and civilian personnel participating in Operation United Assistance have made great strides building infrastructure and providing ground support in the affected zones. Their continued efforts have made a huge impact on these communities and I am confident that their work will continue to have a strong impact mitigating this dangerous disease. While our nation plays an active role in working to stem this growing problem and helping those who have been affected abroad, we also have a duty to protect our citizens here at home. The Administration should immediately cease consideration of any plans that would unnecessarily put U.S. citizens in danger of contracting Ebola.


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