In his weekly address Saturday morning, President Barack Obama reiterated his opposition to restricting travel to and from West Africa, the center of the current Ebola outbreak, saying, "We know how to fight this disease," and claiming that a travel ban could actually make the crisis worse as people from infected regions work to avoid screenings:
We can't just cut ourselves off from West Africa, where this disease is raging. Our medical experts tell us that the best way to stop this disease is to stop it at its source-before it spreads even wider and becomes even more difficult to contain. Trying to seal off an entire region of the world-if that were even possible-could actually make the situation worse. It would make it harder to move health workers and supplies back and forth. Experience shows that it could also cause people in the affected region to change their travel, to evade screening, and make the disease even harder to track.
Obama also stressed that, "Ebola is actually a difficult disease to catch," saying he has personally "hugged" doctors who have treated Ebola patients and met with a survivor of the disease.
"The United States will continue to help lead the global response in West Africa," the president pledged. "Because if we want to protect Americans from Ebola here at home, we have to end it over there."
He also admitted the possibility of more Ebola cases in America, but denied that the U.S. was suffering from a full-blown "outbreak" of the disease.
"Before this is over, we may see more isolated cases here in America," Obama said. "But we know how to wage this fight."
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