U.S. embassies in Ebola-stricken countries are still processing visas for non-US citizens

October 2014 AFRICA Despite the outbreak of Ebola, it is still possible to get a visa from the three West African countries at the heart of the outbreak, and a key congressman is demanding to know why. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, sent a sternly worded letter to Secretary of State John Kerry about the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Royce said he was “deeply concerned” U.S. embassies in those countries were continuing to process visas for non-U.S. nationals despite the outbreak of the deadly disease. An estimated 100 people per day are applying for U.S. visas at the three embassies, according to Royce. “Of course,” he added, “once these individuals are issued a visa by the embassy, they are free to travel to the United States.” In the letter, Royce urged Kerry to contain the Ebola virus “at its source” in Africa before any additional cases reach the United States.
“I was surprised that the Department of State has not already exercised its authority to suspend consular services, which is standard procedure in countries experiencing a major security disruption,” Royce wrote to Kerry. “This would be a prudent measure to mitigate the risk of Ebola exposure and contain its spread—a bedrock principal (sic) of health crisis management.” Royce recommended the State Department stop issuing visas for non-U.S. nationals in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as a “containment measure that may help mitigate the risk of further translocation to the United States.” That idea has drawn criticism from experts. The Heritage Foundation’s Steven Bucci and Ellen Prichard wrote for The Daily Signal last week that banning travel is the wrong approach: Ebola presents a major challenge to authorities for managing and protecting U.S. citizens. Sealing off the borders from these countries is not feasible and does not present the best solution for dealing with the virus. America must resist the urge to react out of fear and use wisdom instead. A prudent additional step of increasing screening will help. A panicked overreaction will not. –Daily Signal
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6 Responses to U.S. embassies in Ebola-stricken countries are still processing visas for non-US citizens

  1. Judy Clarke says:

    Are these official brain dead or simply ignorant, uneducated idiots. NO ONE should be travelling to USA from Africa, no one. Air travel full stop should be employed regardless of the monetary consequences. No one knows how to treat or handle Ebola or how it spreads or how to prevent spread, so why on earth would they be issueing Visa’s for Goodness sake DUH!!!!!

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  2. Why is sealing our borders not feasible? Other countries are sealing theirs and there is no panic. Its not panic, its common sense. Unless of course, you intend to spread this virus and cull the “useless eaters” as we have been called by the powers that be. Do most people even realize that the U.S. does not even have a Surgeon General? He was fired months go by BHO and we do not have a new one appointed as yet. Why? Cause a Surgeon General would be calling for our borders to be closed to these countries.

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  3. Joseph Sonny Skies says:

    How can you screen someone who has the virus in them but has not developed the symptoms yet? Idiots…But God uses the foolishness of the world to get done what HE wills.

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  4. Janice says:

    America, UK, Europe & China should send everything needed to stop Ebola in Africa. 
    But…”out of an abundance of caution”, I want to see comprehensive, proactive, preventative measures by any means necessary to minimize Ebola risks.

    Why won’t America ban travelers arriving on connecting flights from affected countries from entering the US pending immediate quarantine for 21-30 day observation.   Personal & business travelers from Ebola Hot Zones risked Ebola contact & possibly spreading the virus.

    *Do as Belize did.  It didn’t give a rat’s pa-too-tee.  Those Americans were NOT permitted to even disembark to catch an emergency helicopter back to the Texas. Even though their country depends heavily on tourism…Belize closed it’s port to Carnival Cruise Line & passengers.  THAT is an abundance of caution.

    *Do as Saudi Arabia did for their annual Hajj.  It banned all Muslims from Ebola Hot Zones (7,000 Africans).  Provided separate, isolated airport waiting areas for any arriving African traveler granted entry.  Provided screening at airport before continuing on to Hajj destination.    3 million attended this years Hajj.  THAT is an abundance of caution.

    *Do as African countries bordering Ebola Hot Zones did….closed their borders.  Africans banned their own neighboring countrymen from crossing borders.   THAT is an abundance of caution.

    *Do as Liberians in America are doing on hearing a fellow Liberian has returned from the Ebola Hot Zone.  Returning Liberians are shunned, no visits, gatherings & all contact is avoided until the 21 day period passes with no symptoms.   Liberians are canceling holiday travel plans to go home to Liberia.   THAT is an abundance of caution.

    America the lead player in Russian Roulette  hoping to dodge the Ebola bullets.  America too stupid for its own good?

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    • Janice says:

      Sorry…the above Belize port closing reference was from some earlier “misinformation” . In article correction: passengers were allowed to disembark. The 2 Americans on board were not.

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