By Ferdous Al-Faruque - 08/05/14 06:22 PM EDT
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) fired back at media reports that said he suggested unaccompanied children who have crossed illegally into the United States from Central America might have Ebola.
In a Tuesday statement, the Hoosier congressman said his comments, made on the "Garrison" radio show on WIBC in Indianapolis, were drawn out of context.
“The sudden spread of Ebola in Africa is merely one example of how we must take deliberate care to prevent an outbreak of any type of disease inside our borders,” said Rokita. “Actually listening to the interview I gave, in the context of the questions I was asked, makes this point clear.”
"He said, look, we need to know just from a public-health standpoint, with Ebola circulating and everything else — no, that's my addition to it, not necessarily his — but he said we need to know the condition of these kids," Rokita was quoted as saying.
Rokita argues he wasn’t speaking just about children from Central America, however.
“Also, reports exist showing that our porous southern border is attracting children and adults from over 75 countries, not just 3 Central American nations,” he said. “So far, it's been said that the United States has found over 70 people from Ebola-stricken African countries entering our country from the southern border since January of this year.”
Rokita says his “larger point” is that authorities should know the medical condition of everyone who crosses the border.
“The flood of illegal immigrants at our border must be screened and immunized and should not be relocated around our country while they wait to determine their legal standing,” he added.