Why Aren’t We Doing THAT?
NBC News reports:
A majority of Americans support banning all flights to the United States from countries experiencing an Ebola outbreak, an exclusive NBC News online survey reveals.
A Petition to the White House requests:
the FAA ban all incoming and outgoing flights to ebola-stricken countries until the ebola outbreak is contained
The Petition currently has over 18,000 signatures.
And it is obvious that screening passengers coming from Ebola hotzone countries can’t work.
But the Centers for Disease Control says that – paradoxically – banning flights would increase the spread of Ebola:
A travel ban to the countries facing an Ebola outbreak could paradoxically make the problem worse, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden said during a Saturday press conference.
Frieden said the CDC would consider any and all precautions, but warned that a travel ban could make it harder to get medical care and aid workers to regions dealing with the outbreak.
He cited the recent delay African Union aid workers experienced trying to get to Liberia.
“Their ability to get there was delayed by about a week because their flight was canceled and they were stuck in a neighboring country,” he said.
But why can’t commercial flights be stopped… while medical and humanitarian flights are allowed to continue?
After all, the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and other governmental agencies worldwide say they are now starting to deploy enormous resources into stopping the spread of Ebola in Africa. These agencies all have private airplanes.
Those flights could continue. And the limited number of healthcare and aid workers flying to Africa to fight Ebola could all be quarantined and/or tested for Ebola before they return.
So that would give the best of all possible worlds: the spread of Ebola by way of commercial flights would stop, but the flow of aid and medical assistance to Africa would continue unabated.
Postscript: I am not a healthcare expert. If an infectious disease expert sees a flaw in the above analysis, I’m all ears.