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House Speaker Boehner Says Obama Should 'Consider' Ebola Travel Ban

Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said the president should consider a temporary travel ban to West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday said President Barack Obama should “absolutely consider” a travel ban to the West African countries experiencing an Ebola outbreak, after one patient died and two nurses became infected with the deadly disease inside the U.S.

"In a September 16 speech in Atlanta, President Obama said the 'chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low.' Since that time, several Americans have been diagnosed with the virus and untold more potentially exposed to it," Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said in a statement. “A temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries afflicted with the virus is something that the president should absolutely consider along with any other appropriate actions as doubts about the security of our air travel systems grow.”

A nurse who contracted Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas flew from Cleveland to Texas while she had a mild fever, a trip the Centers for Disease Control said Wednesday she should not have taken. In a speech Wednesday, Obama didn’t say anything to indicate he is considering a travel ban to the West African countries hardest-hit by the outbreak, Liberia, Sierra Leona and Guinea. Federal officials have said they oppose a travel ban, saying cutting off those countries could destabilize governments and make it harder to combat the disease’s spread.

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— Phil Helsel