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Obama: "I don't have a philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban"

Friday, October 17, 2014 - 01:35

President Obama says ''I don't have a philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban'' on West Africa after meeting at the White House with his team coordinating the United States' response to Ebola. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The President has vowed a more aggressive response to the handling of any new U.S. Ebola cases after the infection of a second Texas healthcare worker prompted him to postpone a political trip in a sign of growing concern. The case of the second healthcare worker who contracted the disease, Dallas nurse Amber Vinson, has triggered alarm because she flew on a commercial airliner a day before reporting symptoms. "I don't have a philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban if that is the thing that is going to keep the American people safe," Obama said with regards to a topic gaining heavy media coverage in recent days. "The problem is that in all the discussions I've had thus far with experts in the field, experts in infectious disease, is that a travel ban is less effective than the measures we are currently instituting," he went on to say. The Vinson case forced Obama, who typically hews closely to his schedule, to abruptly put off a trip to New Jersey and Connecticut, amid growing criticism of the administration's handling of Ebola, which is raging out of control in West Africa. With three weeks to go until congressional elections Nov. 4, Obama had planned to attend a Democratic fundraiser in Union, New Jersey, and headline a rally for the re-election of Democratic Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The postponement suggested a sensitivity by Obama to the unfolding crisis after he drew harsh criticism in August for playing golf moments after delivering his response to the beheading of an American by Islamic State militants in Syria. Obama said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been criticized for its handling of the Ebola situation, would send a rapid-response SWAT team within 24 hours to any hospital or healthcare facility where an Ebola case is reported to ensure proper protections are being carried out. U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, said Obama should "absolutely consider" a temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak - something the White House has so far ruled out.

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Obama: "I don't have a philosophical objection, necessarily, to a travel ban"

Friday, October 17, 2014 - 01:35