Local congressmen react to Ebola crisis - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Local congressmen react to Ebola crisis

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

President Obama has signed an executive order authorizing the National Guard and reservists to assist in the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

This development comes after a second American nurse who treated a patient with Ebola has contracted the disease herself.

This is what the CDC director told us when the first Ebola case in America was discovered two weeks ago:

"There is no doubt in my mind that we will stop it here."

Director, Thomas Frieden, was expecting to hear that maybe a family member of the original patient would end up with an infection, but he certainly didn't expect to hear that medical staff in the hospital would be next.

Georgia congressman Lynn Westmoreland is not impressed with the CDC's efforts so far, saying, "To this point, the response has been one step behind containing and eliminating the virus."

Westmoreland is calling for a travel ban that will screen all passengers who are flying here from West Africa, regardless of whether they are presently showing symptoms of having the Ebola virus.

Congressman Tom Graves mirrored those remarks, saying, "I would support that action, in addition to other aggressive measures, if it means keeping Americans safe from Ebola."

Congressman Sanford Bishop says he's not convinced a ban on travel is the answer.

"There may necessary travel. But of course, the professionals- whose business it is to know what the risks are and to know how to control those risks should be involved in making that decision," says Bishop.

He added that he does not consider himself one of those experts.

When the question was put to the president Thursday, October 16,, he said people will always find a way to get around the rules no matter what they are.

"They may engage in something called broken travel, essentially breaking up their trip so they can hide that they have been to one of these countries where there is a disease in place."

Public criticism of the effort to contain Ebola is not confined to government leadership and foreign policy. Administrators of the Dallas Hospital where the first case was unsuccessfully treated are facing a lot of questions as well.

CDC officials continue to insist that the matter is under control and the risk of widespread infection in America is very low.

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