US President Barack Obama has declared that travelers from West Africa will not be banned from entering the United States but his government will ensure that protocols for screening travelers are properly followed. President Obama made the statements in an AP televised appearance and reassured Americans that the chance for an Ebola outbreak in the US remained “extremely low”.
The statements come amidst calls by several US lawmakers to close US borders to West Africans after a Liberian national developed Ebola symptoms while in the United States.
Alan Grayson, a US representative representing Florida has called for the US State Department to institute travel bans on travelers coming from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and is only one of several others making similar calls.
In his televised address, President Obama also called on other countries to increase their contributions towards the Ebola crisis response in West Africa.
“Although we have seen great interest on the part of the international community, we have not seen other countries step up as aggressively as they need to” said Obama.
Meanwhile, Eric Thomas Duncan, the Liberian who developed Ebola symptoms during a visit with family members in Texas, is said to be in critical, but stable condition after being administered with an experimental drug called brincidofoviron on Monday.
Duncan is thought to have been infected with the Ebola virus as he attempted to transport a seriously ill pregnant woman to a Liberian clinic just days before his travel to the United States.