Cruz Rejects Obama Arguments Against Ebola Travel Ban

Sunday Show Roundup: Texas senator criticizes Obama White House for rejecting common sense

October 19, 2014

On Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) continued to call for a travel ban on individuals coming from the three West African nations impacted by the recent Ebola outbreak.

"We’ve now seen both Democrats and Republicans coming together and saying, listen, this is a basic common sense step. While there is an active epidemic raging, we should not be having commercial airline flights with up to 150 people a day coming to the U.S. For whatever reason … the Obama White House is digging in and not listening to the voice of common sense coming from both sides of the aisle," Cruz said on CNN's State of the Union.

Last week, President Barack Obama said he is "not philosophically opposed" to a travel ban, but, with the advice of his advisers, believes a ban would exacerbate the situation.

Cruz push backed on that argument.

"The doctors and the experts that are saying [a travel ban will make things worse] are working for the administration and repeating the administration’s talking points, and their arguments don’t make sense."

Cruz continued, "The first argument about the screens doesn’t make sense because they don’t work during the twenty-day incubation period. And the second argument that they make is they say that at travel ban would prevent health care relief workers from arriving in West Africa. No one is talking about banning flights into West Africa. Of course physicians, and nurses and health care workers should be allowed to go in there, and we can send them in on charter flights or with appropriate safety precautions."

Sixty-seven percent of Americans support a travel ban, but the majority of federal health officials remain adamantly against it.

"We respect the opposing opinion, but what was just articulated by Sen. Cruz—the fact is it would be very, very difficult if you lost control of easily tracking people," said Anthony Fauci, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"You’ve got to look at the numbers to look at how many people are really trying to get into the country. Thirty-six thousand people in two months went to airports to get out of those three countries. Seventy-seven were blocked because of a health issue. When they investigated them none of them had Ebola, a lot of them had Malaria. So there’s not a lot of people trying to get into the country. That’s the thing that needs to be understood."

Fauci said it was not true that he and other officials are against a travel ban because of politics.

"I’ve never had an experience where the president is telling me to tell him something that he wants to hear. … They just ask, what is your opinion about this."