Peters back Ebola travel ban
Detroit — U.S. Rep. Gary Peters says he supports temporary federal government restrictions on travel to countries plagued by the Ebola outbreak.
His statement appears to put both Michigan candidates for the U.S. Senate in agreement on travel restrictions amid growing concern about the disease, three cases of which now have been diagnosed in the United States.
A campaign spokesman said the Bloomfield Township Democrat has been advocating travel restrictions for a couple of weeks. His Republican election opponent, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land of Byron Center, advocated a travel ban on an Oct. 3 radio call-in show.
“Ultimately, obviously, the way to contain the disease is to hit it at its source,” Peters said in an interview with The Detroit News’ editorial board. “We’re setting up military personnel and field hospitals, but until all those are fully operational — and we’re not there yet — I have real reservations about what we’re seeing coming out of there, and I’d support a temporary travel ban.”
Land said there should be travel restrictions “to make sure we do not have more cases come to the United States” but also said the U.S. should provide humanitarian aid to the countries where Ebola-related deaths now top 4,000.
Peters’ campaign released an Oct. 16 letter he sent to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden calling for a stepped-up response in this country.
Peters’ letter says it’s “imperative ... to improve the framework for distributing and communicating important information to health care providers.” His letter also says he’s concerned about the wait times experienced by citizens calling the CDC’s national Ebola hotline.