VIRGINIA (WAVY) – Three Republican lawmakers want anyone coming to Virginia through the state’s airports and seaports from Ebola-prevalent areas to be regulated, monitored and potentially refused from entering the Commonwealth.
That’s the ban Sen. Richard Black (R-Va.) and delegates Robert Marshall (R-Va.) and Mark Berg (R-Va.) are asking Gov. Terry McAuliffe to invoke after they said in a letter the federal government has struggled to contain the deadly virus.
Black, Marshall and Berg wrote to the governor Wednesday saying the Commonwealth should develop a similar system as other African nations that have placed restrictions on anyone from Ebola-stricken regions trying to enter those countries.
“We strongly urge you (McAuliffe) to use the police powers of Virginia to protect our citizens and residents from exposure to Ebola even if it means a timely court challenge against passenger airlines or the federal government,” they wrote.
A spokesman for McAuliffe said the governor understands the concerns about Ebola and is confident in the state’s ability to respond if an outbreak should occur.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up screening stations at ports of entry across the country but has not declared a travel ban to or from any of the West African countries where the wave of cases started.
“If we isolate these countries, what’s not going to happen is disease staying there,” said CDC director Thomas Frieden on Fox News Tuesday night. “It’s going to spread more all over Africa and we’ll be at a higher risk.”