NIH Official: West Africa Travel Ban Could Be ‘Counterproductive’

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October 19, 2014 12:37 p.m.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Sunday said that the calls for travel bans from West Africa don’t make much sense.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have now called for the U.S. to ban individuals traveling from the countries impacted by the Ebola outbreak from coming into the U.S. if they are not American citizens.

But Fauci said that such a ban could just be “counterproductive.”

“[W]hen people come in from a country it’s much easier to track them if you know where they’re coming from,” he said about a travel ban on ABC’s “This Week.” “But what you do if you then completely ban travel there’s the feasibility of going to other countries where we don’t have a travel ban and have people come in.”

Fauci said that while he opposes a travel ban, he recognizes that there’s a valid argument in support of it.

“I think one needs to understand that people who say that, we respect that opinion and we understand that there’s some rationale for that,” he said.

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