Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Friday said restricting travel between the U.S. and West Africa would likely “backfire” and put Americans more at risk of contracting Ebola.
Appearing on MSNBC, Frieden was asked about potentially prohibiting air travel between the U.S. and West Africa, where the Ebola outbreak is most widespread. He said that such a restriction would likely be ineffective and would make it harder for health officials to root out the virus.
“The only way we’re going to get to zero risk is by stopping the outbreak at the source” in West Africa, Frieden said.
“Even if we tried to close the border, it wouldn’t work,” the top health official added. “People have a right to return. People transiting through could come in. And it would backfire, because by isolating these countries, it’ll make it harder to help them, it will spread more there and we’d be more likely to be exposed here.”