Land urges travel ban to Ebola-stricken nations

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Detroit — U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land said Friday the federal government should impose a travel ban to African countries plagued by the Ebola outbreak after the first case of the deadly virus was confirmed in Texas earlier this week.

"The U.S. has to step up. ... We have to make sure this does not come to the United States. Obviously it has already," Land said during a live call-in show on WDET. "This is not a good situation. And I think we need to look at a travel ban or travel restrictions to make sure we do not (have) any more cases come into the United States."

The Republican former secretary of state said President Barack Obama and her Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township, "need to lead" on addressing the growing "world health crisis."

Terri Lynn Land

Land said the United States should ban travel "from countries that have Ebola."

"We need to support them and give them humanitarian aid, obviously, and give any support that we can and handle this health issue," she said on the Michigan Public Radio Network's "Michigan Calling" show. "We've got have some screening. We've got to figure this out. This is a world health crisis. It has to be address. I'm a mom, I've got kids and people are concerned."

The Grand Rapids-area candidate answered questions from show host Rick Pluta and public radio listeners from across the state about issues in the Senate campaign, from Medicare and Social Security to contraception and the president's leadership.

Land's appearance on the radio program came one day after 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney led a rally for Land with Republicans in Livonia.

After the radio show, Land sought to cast blame on Obama for not moving fast enough to prepare for the Ebola outbreak.

"This is a huge issue and the president needs to come up with plan on this," Land told reporters after the radio show. "(Obama) told us it wasn't going to be and now it is a worldwide issue and we need to come together on this. The president needs to lead and come up with a plan. I think that's something they need to take into consideration because obviously the system didn't work."

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, a liberal political organization, issued a statement after the radio program saying Land "dodged a number of questions."

"Terri Lynn Land constantly criticized President Obama for his supposed failure to lead, but she showed us today that leadership and accountability are not qualities that she possesses," Scott said.

Later Friday, Land said she supports Obama's decision to send 3,000 U.S. troops to west African cities to help build hospitals and treatment centers to combat spread of the virus.

"We need to be there to help," Land said in an interview with The Detroit News' editorial board.

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