In NH and nationally, GOP trying to make Ebola, travel ban a campaign issue

Republicans in New Hampshire and throughout the country are making a ban on travel to the United States from West African nations most affected by Ebola a campaign issue.


Today, Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown wrote a letter to Gov. Maggie Hassan saying the state’s health care workers “deserve the best possible training with the necessary equipment, so that they can diagnose the disease and treat the virus without putting themselves or the broader community at risk of infection.


“I write to ask that you take every reasonable precaution to ensure that New Hampshire’s hospitals and medical community have the proper training protocols in place statewide.”


Brown has also called on President Barack Obama to invoke a travel ban on flights into the United States from West Africa and, according to his campaign, “impose a temporary embargo on the issuance of visas to people traveling here from infected countries.”


“We are facing a public health emergency and early action now will protect Americans from the unnecessary risk of exposure to Ebola,” said Brown.


And the Republican State Committee criticized today Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for opposing a travel ban in a television interview on Wednesday. In that interview, on New England Cable News, she said, “I don’t think at this stage that a travel ban makes sense. We need to train people and we need to make sure there are resources there to do that.”


State GOP chair Jennifer Horn said Obama and Shaheen are “wrong” on the question.


“Many African countries have successfully imposed a ban to stop the spread of Ebola, and we must do the same,” she said in a statement. “What is happening in Texas started with one infected patient who came here from Liberia. It’s time for Jeanne Shaheen and President Obama to impose Ebola travel restrictions to keep Americans safe from disease.”


The calls came amid news about a second Dallas nurse contracting Ebola.


According to Yahoo News, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement late Wednesday that “a temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries afflicted with the virus is something that the president should absolutely consider.”


And in a debate on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter parted ways with Shaheen and the White House and agreed with her Republican rival, Frank Guinta, that there should be a travel ban.


According to various news reports, on Wednesday GOP Senate candidates across the country called for a travel ban, including Joni Ernst in Iowa, David Perdue in Georgia, Steve Daines in Montana, Tom Cotton in Arkansas, Cory Gardner in Colorado, Ed Gillespie in Virginia, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Terri Lynn Land in Michigan, and incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.


On Thursday morning, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a potential 2016 presidential candidate, specified travel restrictions, and in Manchester Thursday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, also a possible 2016 hopeful, said he has long proposed that “we ought to be talking about no longer having commercial flights to the United States (from the affected area).”


Author: John DiStaso

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