Travel Ban: How Not to Fight Ebola


Ebola is upon us and Republicans have a cure: A travel ban. Many have them been vying with each other to shame the administration into imposing one. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who is clearly positioning himself for a

unicefguinea / Foter / CC BY-NC

possible 2016 presidential run, issued a press release noting that the ban would "seem to be an obvious step to protect public health in the United States." Donald Trump, who is threatening the country with another presidential run, tweeted that the president was being either "arrogant or stupid" in resisting it.

And then there is the master of understatement, Rush Limbaugh, who alleged that the main reason why the administration was rebuffing the ban was "political correctness.

Government exists to protect the life and property of its citizens. So there might be an argument for a travel ban if it actually worked and could be enforced without giving up on every civilized value.

But there isn't. A ban is unnecessary and would be quite likely counterproductive, I note in The Week today:

Unnecessary because there is already a de facto private ban in place, given that U.S.-based airlines stopped flying to Ebola-afflicted countries two months ago (to protect their crew and passengers from exposure — and themselves from lawsuits). And counterproductive for a whole host of reasons.

To see those reasons go here.