POLITICS
10/17/2014 01:21 pm ET Updated Oct 17, 2014

Rick Perry Supports Air Travel Ban For 'Countries That Have Been Hit Hardest' By Ebola

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) weighed in on his state's response and prevention efforts for Ebola on Friday, saying he supports a travel ban from countries that have been hit hardest by the outbreak.

Perry's office confirmed to Politico Friday the governor had asked President Barack Obama for a travel ban from the affected countries.

Perry is one of many lawmakers seemingly ignoring experts who say a travel ban would be counterproductive. HuffPost's Michael McAuliff reported Thursday:

Thomas Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had testified to Congress earlier in the outbreak that it was possible someone could arrive in the United States and become sick with Ebola. He said then, however, that the disease could be controlled.

While Frieden did not rule out a travel ban, he and Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, explained why it wasn't a good idea.

"It is understandable how someone might come to the conclusion that the best approach would be to just seal off the border from those countries," Fauci said. "But we are dealing with something now that we know what we are dealing with," he said, answering Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who had just held up a map showing numerous flight paths a person could take from West Africa that stopped in multiple other parts of the world first.

"If you have the possibility of doing all of those lines that [Waxman] showed, that is a big web of things where we do not know what we are dealing with," Fauci said.

In his statement Friday, Perry noted preventative steps being taken by Texas officials have been out of an abundance of caution. The AP reports Perry asked Obama to have Ebola cases fast-tracked to facilities better able to deal with the disease.

Thomas Eric Duncan, who had the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States, died in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 8. Since then, it's been confirmed two nurses who had treated Duncan -- Nina Pham and Amber Vinson -- had contracted Ebola.

HuffPost

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