While the Obama administration continues to argue against travel restrictions on flights from Ebola ravaged areas, Australia has become the latest nation to shut it’s borders and freeze all visas from West African countries.
The Australian immigration ministry is currently “not processing any application from these (Ebola) affected countries,” said its lead Minister, Scott Morrison, adding that the government is also suspending its humanitarian program.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 28, 2014
Morrison also announced that holders of permanent Australian visas based in West African countries would be subject to a mandatory, three-week quarantine process prior to their departure. Thorough checks will also be carried out upon arrival of any travelers approved to visit Australia.
While some in Australia have accused the government of being overly isolationist, the Prime Minister, Tony Abbot said that Australian authorities “are continuing to talk to our friends and partners about what more might be done to address the situation in West Africa,” and that he did “not rule out Australia doing more.”
The Australian response provides a stark contrast to that of the US government, with the Obama administration still refusing to issue travel restrictions, arguing that isolating affected regions could make the problem worse.
@cnnbrk Good!!! America should do the same thing!!!! Stop spreading Ebola! Stop caring about feelings or legal crap!! It's killing people!!
— Katrina (@Hurakane21) October 28, 2014
A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll revealed that a vast majority of Americans from both sides of the political spectrum want entry restrictions put into place. A whopping two thirds of Americans want flight bans, while 91 percent want stricter screening procedures at U.S. airports.
A more recent Reuters poll consolidated the findings.
— nicole (@kurwathis) October 28, 2014
Even Senate Democrats and Democratic Governors are now declaring their support for a travel ban, realising that it is overwhelmingly popular with voters.
— Verge Das-Neves, esq (@vergedasneves) October 28, 2014
With Governors in Illinois, New York and New Jersey all attempting to implement quarantine restrictions on returning health workers, the Obama administration has said it is working on new federal guidelines for those returning from Ebola-stricken areas. The White House is keen to keep quarantine procedures voluntary.
The Wall Street Journal reports that new guidelines, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend that people at high risk of developing Ebola voluntarily isolate themselves from others for 21 days.
Of course, neither the CDC nor the White House can enforce anything on States when it comes to their responses to the crisis.
CDC Sets New Ebola Guidelines, But Can’t Enforce Them http://t.co/wtGrpo9yDs
— Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) October 28, 2014
“I don’t think when you’re dealing with something as serious as this you can count on a voluntary system,” said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, speaking on Fox News Sunday. “This is the government’s job.”
He added: “I think this is a policy that will become a national policy sooner or later.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told CNN’s State of the Union that state officials are taking action in the absence of federal leadership.
“Governors of both parties are reacting because there isn’t a trust in the leadership of this administration,” Issa said.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.