Ebola Concerns Throw Spotlight on Travel, Illegal Aliens

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In the midst of widespread concern about the first confirmed case of American Ebola in Dallas, the CDC is scrambling to assure Americans that they have it under control. More than 100 people nationwide are currently under observation for the disease, but as of Sunday Thomas Duncan remains the only official case.

Part and parcel with the growing concerns, conservative politicians have begun to wonder loudly about the possibility of illegal aliens bringing the disease with them across the porous border. While government officials insist they are doing everything in their power to prevent that from happening, many are concerned that they aren’t doing enough.

“The border is not only a danger for national security purposes, it is also a danger for a worldwide pandemic should it occur,” Rand Paul told Glenn Beck last week. The prospective 2016 GOP presidential candidate said that we should be doing more to ensure that our border is secure in the wake of the Ebola scare.

Obama and the left, of course, are trying to downplay concerns about the border. Whenever reports arise regarding the possibility of terrorists or disease-carrying immigrants coming across into Texas, you can count on a government official to be there, assuaging fears. Yet the reports keep coming. A recent CBP report showed that at least 71 people from three West African countries – the very places infested with the virus – came to the U.S. illegally between January and July of 2014.

The concerns are not just centered around Ebola. With a mysterious enterovirus sweeping the nation, concerns about possibly-related cases of paralysis, and reports of TB-infected immigrants, diseases in general are threatening the U.S. population due to the loosely-controlled border. The left wants to shut down these kinds of reports because they seriously undermine the administration’s desire to see immigration reform.

American Citizens Get Ready

Amid fears of an outbreak, emergency supplies have been selling like hotcakes. Rubber gloves, surgical masks, and plastic suits are being purchased by the truckload by citizens who want to be prepared should this turn into a worst-case-scenario. According to Amazon.com sales numbers, disposable Tyvek suits from DuPont have sold at a rate more than 233 percent above normal this week. 3M’s particulate respirators, which are quite a bit cheaper than DuPont’s suits, have seen sales more than 4,000 percent above the average. It’s clear that many Americans fear that things will get worse before they get better.

Even with all this concern in the air, the CDC says that they do not recommend enforcing a travel ban to and from the West African countries hosting the disease. In fact, Director Tom Frieden said Saturday that such a ban could actually worsen the problem, making it harder to get medical supplies and aid to countries suffering from the outbreak.

That may be, but it hasn’t occurred to anyone that we could enforce a general travel ban while still making it possible for workers and supplies to get to West Africa? Making exceptions seems like the easiest thing in the world, yet it is apparently beyond the capabilities of the federal government. With this in mind, it is perhaps understandable that Americans don’t believe the CDC is as capable of preventing a full-fledged outbreak as they claim.