Date
20 November 2017
US President Barack Obama, with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, talks to the press on the Ebola outbreak. Photo: Reuters
US President Barack Obama, with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, talks to the press on the Ebola outbreak. Photo: Reuters

Obama open to naming ‘Ebola czar’, airs doubts on travel ban

US President Barack Obama said Thursday he may adopt a recommendation for him to designate a single individual to lead his administration’s efforts in responding to the spread of the deadly virus in the country, the Associated Press reported.

He also said he is open to a travel ban from West Africa, where thousands have already died from the outbreak, “if that is the thing that is going to keep the American people safe”, the report said. He warned, however, that such a measure could be counterproductive.

“It may make sense for us to have one person … so that after this initial surge of activity we can have a more regular process just to make sure we are crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is,” the president was quoted as saying. 

Obama said his team of Ebola advisers is doing “an outstanding job”. But he said several of them are also confronting other priorities.

On the proposal to impose a travel ban, mainly coming from the Republicans, Obama said such a move could increase the instance of travelers avoiding detection.

“They are less likely to get screened and we may have more cases of Ebola rather than less,” he said.

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CG

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