Virginia lawmakers call for travel ban to prevent Ebola

Virginia lawmakers call for travel ban to prevent Ebola

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia lawmakers are calling for an immediate travel ban, saying it's essential to protecting Virginians from the spread of Ebola. Leading the fight is Del. Bob Marshall.

In a letter to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Marshall and two other Virginia lawmakers wrote that airports and seaports must be secured, even if it means going to court against the U.S. government.

"You know the old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Well there's no cure for this Ebola," Marshall said.

He sent this letter calling on McAuliffe to act "promptly and decisively," even encouraging him to use police powers to, "protect our citizens from exposure to Ebola" even if it means going to court.

"They have no excuse," said Marshall. "They are not protecting our health. They are not protecting our lives. I have no idea what their agenda is. I'm interested in prudent action to protect the lives and health of Virginians."

And as the holiday travel season inches closer, Richmond International Airport representatives would not comment on their response to Ebola right now. However, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. and several other major airports have said they will start special Ebola screenings on Thursday.

VCU Medical Center's leader of the hospital's Ebola response team. Dr. Gonzalo Bearman, Chief of infectious diseases and head of the hospital's infection prevention program, says even sitting next to someone traveling from West Africa on a plane, is probably okay.

 "I think the risk would be exceedingly low," he said.

All the same, the Centers for Disease Control is busy tracking down passengers who traveled with a nurse from Texas, now confirmed to be battling Ebola.

The Governor's office says its reading the letter, and McAuliffe spokesperson Brian Coy said in a statement, "The Governor understands the concerns about protecting Virginians. He is confident in Virginia's readiness to confront the virus."

A true travel ban to Virginia could take court action, but Marshall and two other lawmakers say it could also be the only true way to protect Virginians.

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