Sanford would favor travel ban amid Ebola concerns

VIDEO: Sanford would favor travel ban amid Ebola concerns
Published: Oct. 17, 2014 at 1:16 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2014 at 10:28 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Congressman Mark Sanford says he would favor a ban on travel into the United States from Ebola-ravaged countries in Western Africa.

Sanford says the most obvious thing that could be done on a federal level to protect Americans is to have a travel ban from that part of the world to the United States.

"So far people have been reluctant to do that, but what I hear from folks when I move around the district as I've been doing the past couple of days is people say, 'That makes common sense,'" Sanford said. "Because right now you have people getting on airplanes, flying to Cleveland, and back to Dallas as the nurse did, and a lot of uncertainty out there as to, 'Wait a minute, am I going to be the person sitting beside somebody that might have this on an airplane?'"

Sanford was referring to Amber Joy Vinson, the second nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola after treating Thomas Duncan, who contracted the virus in Liberia before flying to Dallas. Vinson flew across the midwest the day before being diagnosed with Ebola.

Sanford also addressed the idea of conducting special flights for Americans in the region that would return them to the United States, but require that they be quarantined.

"It's certainly a less costly [solution] than the one we've got going," Sanford said. "We've moved about 4,000 American troops into that region of the world over the last couple of weeks, and that's going to get real expensive real fast."

Sanford attended a Department of Homeland Security meeting last week in Dallas that focused on Ebola.

"In some ways, I left with more questions than answers," Sanford said. "I think there's been a real disconnect with this disease that rightfully has a lot of people alarmed."

Sanford also referred indirectly to a controversial video that lit up social media showing the transport of Vinson from a Dallas hospital to a medical facility in Maryland.

"On the one hand, we're told you can only catch it by human contact, there has to be direct human contact, but meanwhile, right as we speak, the nurse that contracted the disease being moved from Dallas, Texas to Maryland, and yet if you look at the pictures, in the motorcade, the person driving the car is driving in a space suit," Sanford said. "If it's safe as people say, I need bodily fluid contact, why are people wearing space suits as they clean apartments, as they transport people, as they go to hospitals?"

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