Ebola and flight bans

I was curious why there haven’t been any flight bans since the ebola outbreak has landed in the US. A quick google search led me to a Time article [linked below] in which CDC director Tom Frieden says:

If we try to eliminate travel… we won’t be able to check them for fever when they leave, we won’t be able to check them for fever when they arrive, we won’t be able—as we do currently—to see a detailed history to see if they’ve been exposed

But this doesn’t make any sense. If we eliminate travel, they wouldn’t be arriving or leaving at all. Unless they swim? Or if they’re smuggling themselves over on boats? I’m sure that eliminating flights will greatly reduce the number of people who arrive here infected.

Further down in the article there’s an argument that there are no direct flights between the US and affected countries anyway. Which is why I would insist on closing down the airports of affected countries rather than simply banning flights. But I guess it’s possible exclude passengers with connecting flights who have originated in affected countries. Also, if the US institutes a flight ban, I’m sure many countries would follow.

It does seem the simplest way to avoid having an epidemic here. I understand why airlines wouldn’t want to — they lose money. I wonder what the real reasons are behind the CDC’s refusal to call for a flight ban.

Edit: I just found another article in which the author hypothesizes that the CDC’s position on banning flights may be due to a commitment to the ideology of open borders. Personally, I’m more inclined to believe that the director of the CDC is beholden to Obama (his position being an appointed one) and Obama being beholden to airlines and other big businesses.

Why Airlines and the CDC Oppose Ebola Flight Bans


2 thoughts on “Ebola and flight bans

    1. A more aggressive quarantine seems to be reasonable public health policy. I’m not worried about getting ebola, but I do think we could’ve prevented there from being any cases of ebola in the US if we just had something simple like a flight ban. I mean, it’s cheaper for us than actually dealing with cases of it here. Which is good.


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