Rand Paul: Imagine ship full of U.S. soldiers with Ebola

By Bob Unruh

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a licensed physician and a possible presidential candidate in 2016, is warning that handling Ebola in a politically correct manner will rebound.

In an interview with radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, he said decisions such as keeping travel open from Africa and sending soldiers to fight Ebola “have been dominated by political correctness.”

“Because of political correctness, we’re not making sound, rational, scientific decisions on this,” he said.

Joinging the program by telephone from the campaign trail for Republicans, he started with a quip.

“I can’t believe that you don’t think it’s enough of a plan to prevent worldwide pandemic to cough into your elbow,” he told Ingraham. “Surely that should stop a worldwide pandemic.”

He noted the diseased, diagnosed this week for the first time in the U.S., remains out of control in West Africa after killing more than 3,300.

He pointed out the head of the Centers for Disease Control just a month ago said there was no need to limit travel from Africa to New York, saying, “This will never come to the U.S.,” and, “We know what we are doing. Trust us.”

“I think … we should not underestimate the transmissibility of this,” Paul said. “Think about the people who are getting this … the doctors and nurses who are gloved, gowned and masked.”

He said there are “people getting it who simply helped someone get in and out of a taxicab.”

“So it’s a big mistake to underestimate this,” he said.

He also criticized President Obama’s decision to send some 3,000 military members to West Africa.

“You also have to be concerned about 3,000 soldiers getting back on a ship. Where is disease most transmittable? When you’re in a very close confines on a ship, we all know about cruises and how they get these diarrhea viruses that are transmitted very easily,” he said. “Can you imagine if a whole ship full of our soldiers catch Ebola?”

He said cutting off travel from Africa, as France and Britain already have done, should be seriously considered.

And he suggested a quarantine might, in the end, be the only effective move.

Around 1918, he noted, the Spanish flu killed 21 million people worldwide, and estimates are that the 14th Century bubonic plague killed 75 million.

Already, he said, the current Ebola outbreak “is 100 times larger than any previous outbreak.”

The Centers for Disease Control announced Wednesday that the first U.S. case of Ebola had been diagnosed at a Texas hospital. It was reported that the patient infected had previously flown from Liberia to the U.S. to visit family.

Paul warned it easily could get out of control across the U.S.


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