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Welcome to Congressman Larry Bucshon

Representing the 8th District of Indiana

Dr. Bucshon Comments on Ebola Outbreak

October 17, 2014
Press Release

(EVANSVILLE, IN) – Congressman Larry Bucshon, a physician from Southern Indiana, called for a temporary travel ban from West African countries affected with Ebola. 

Dr. Bucshon released the following statement regarding the ongoing Ebola outbreak:

“We are thankful for the selfless acts of Americans who have answered the call to help their fellow citizens and people around the world. Our thoughts are with the healthcare workers who have contracted Ebola and we pray for a healthy recovery.

“As we work to get a firm handle on the Ebola outbreak, it is acutely critical that we do everything in our power to control and contain this disease.  Enhancing airport screenings is not a sufficient response. I believe a temporary ban on travel into the United States for individuals who have traveled from or live in affected West African countries is a prudent and proper response.  

“While the first cases were transports into the United States, we have subsequently seen the virus spread within the hospital setting.  Therefore, we must implement more specific, diligent training and treatment protocols to protect our healthcare workers and communities and prevent any further spread of Ebola within the United States.

“We need to work together on decisive actions and should avoid attempts to turn this challenge into a political issue. The United States has the best healthcare system in the world and we are uniquely positioned to lead in eradicating Ebola.” 

BACKGROUND:  

Travel Ban:

U.S. military personnel are now authorized to quarantine soldiers assisting in the Ebola mission.  According to CNN, “U.S. military commanders are being given the authority to quarantine troops for 21 days at a Defense Department facility where they will be monitored for signs of the disease and treated if they do contract the virus, a Defense Department memo explained.” (CNN; 10/15/2014)

On Wednesday, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Ranking Member John Thune (R-South Dakota) called for a travel ban and sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson requesting a specific plan to address the Ebola outbreak.

House Action:

On his blog, Speaker of the House John Boehner outlined actions taken by the House and its committees to assist and assess the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak. That information can be found here - http://www.speaker.gov/ebola.

Funding:

Some, like the NIH director, have made political claims regarding funding for Ebola research.  Contrary to these claims, “the Republican-led House of Representatives has acted decisively and consistently when it comes to efforts to combat the deadly disease, even providing more funding than requested for the agencies on the front lines of the fight against Ebola. (Speaker’s Blog; 10/16/2014)

  • Center for Disease Control (CDC) funding: For FY 2014, CDC received $6.9 billion. The House actually authorized more funding than the White House requested and this figure is an 8% increase from 2013.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding: For FY 2014, NIH received $30.14 billion. The appropriated funding for NIH has nearly doubled since 2000.