Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) says Ebola is enough cause for concern to stop people from coming into this country from areas where its outbreak continues.
Blunt, speaking Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, says travel visas for passengers trying to enter the U.S. from Ebola-stricken countries should be temporarily suspended.
“I’d suspend those visas until we have this under better control and have a sense that the carriers they are using are monitoring this in a better way than they have been up ’til now,” says Blunt.
He says Americans feel less safe than they did a month ago after questions were raised about how hospital workers are protected and trained to handle disease outbreaks.
“People didn’t get upset about this as long as hospitals were dealing with it in the right way,” says Blunt. “You had two missionaries come to Emory [University], they were there, they were cured. I didn’t see a single comment by any American saying we’re concerned that this isn’t being handled correctly.”
The Ebola situation has amplified the criticism some have leveled at Republicans, saying they are refusing to confirm President Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murphy. They are accused at holding it up at the direction of the NRA, who doesn’t like that Murphy sees gun violence as a public health issue.
Blunt says a different kind of politics is behind the delay in that confirmation vote.
“Until this came up, frankly, I’ve heard very little discussion about the Surgeon General. I’m hearing now that the Attorney General nomination won’t happen until after the election. We keep putting everything off until after the election and that’s one of the reasons that things don’t work.”
Blunt thinks Americans see this as the latest in a series of situations for which government response hasn’t been what it should be.
“If this was one incidence where people thought the government wasn’t doing what the government was supposed to do, it would be much less of a reaction than we see now where there’s this long list of the government being one step behind whether its the border, the IRS, the Secret Service,” says Blunt. “Now this health concern is more real than it would be if there wasn’t a sense that the government is just not being managed in a way that people would want it to be managed.”