Bobby Jindal signs Ebola executive order
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed an executive order requiring that state officials monitor travel to and from the countries most affected by Ebola in West Africa.
The Republican governor, one of first major political figures to call for a travel ban from Ebola-stricken countries, issued the order on Monday in response to what he called insufficient action from the federal government.
“[T]he federal government, to date, has failed to implement protections at the national level to prevent the entry of the Ebola Virus Disease into the United States of America,” Jindal said in the order.
In the executive order, the governor called for all state departments and agencies to develop mechanisms to monitor travel to all countries identified under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Ebola travel guidelines. The CDC currently has listed Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as Warning Level 3 countries and Nigeria as a Watch Level 1 country.
The executive order also issues restrictions on certain activities in Louisiana — including commercial travel and visiting public spaces like grocery stores and restaurants — for 21 days upon return, the incubation period used by the CDC and World Health Organization.
Monday’s notice warns of a potential “public health emergency” from Ebola and the ability for one person to pass the virus onto a large number of people. But the governor writes that “such a threat can be reduced with the implementation of precautionary, common-sense measures.”
Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has pushed back against the Obama administration on several issues, including Common Core educational standards. In early October, he criticized President Barack Obama for saying that it was “unlikely” that Ebola would reach the U.S., and said that the administration’s resistance to a travel ban “defies logic.”
The president and administration officials contend that a travel ban would most likely only exacerbate the threat from Ebola by making it harder for public health officials to make inroads in West Africa.