Sen. Mike Johanns supports temporary travel restrictions in wake of the Ebola outbreak.
Johanns says news reports that health officials say a nurse should never have flown commercially shortly before being diagnosed with Ebola prompted him to back travel restrictions.
“I’m not calling for a ban, but I am calling for travel restrictions to help us fight this problem and get on top of it,” Johanns tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Johanns says he has to acknowledge a couple of things in calling for travel restrictions. One, travel restrictions aren’t a perfect barrier to a virus. Second, American citizens have responded to the tragedy in West Africa and should be allowed to return, with proper screening.
Johanns says the only way to really combat Ebola is by the United States providing humanitarian aid to Liberia and other African countries suffering from the disease.
Johanns says Ebola is a very dangerous disease that must be treated very seriously.
“There’s not room for error whatsoever,” Johanns says. “Once exposed, the chances of death are very, very high.”
Johanns also worries about the capacity of American hospitals to treat those who contract the disease. The University of Nebraska Medical Center has one of the few bio-containment units in the country that can treat a patient with Ebola. It has successfully treated one and currently is treated a second victim.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]