Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced on Monday he will introduce legislation banning travel to the U.S. for nationals of Ebola-stricken African countries once Congress returns the week after the Nov. 4 elections.
The bill would immediately ban U.S. visas for nationals of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, to be lifted once the Centers for Disease Control certify that the outbreak has been contained. It would also subject other countries where the Ebola outbreak reaches “significant levels,” Rubio’s office said.
“We must take any and all necessary precautions to contain this virus – and common sense restrictions on travel from countries now confronting this epidemic is an important step,” the Florida senator said in a statement. “The most effective way to combat this deadly virus is to address it at its source.”
The move comes two weeks before the midterm election, as many Republicans and some vulnerable Democrats have called for a travel ban over the Ebola virus. The White House opposes such a ban, and public health specialists have warned that it would be ineffective or counterproductive by making it harder to track infected individuals and by reducing the flow of aid to the most affected countries.