Ron Paul: Calls for Ebola travel ban 'politically motivated'

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) appeared to split with his own son, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle Fauci on Tucker Carlson vaccine comments: 'Typical crazy conspiracy theory' MORE (R-Ky.), dismissing calls for a ban on travel to Ebola-stricken nations as “politically motivated.”

"Right now I would say a travel ban is politically motivated more than something done for medical purposes," Paul said in an interview with former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) Monday on Newsmax TV.


He noted that there had been a single Ebola death in the U.S., pointing out that the flu had a much higher death toll.

That stance puts him at odds with his Sen. Paul, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, who is open to restrictions on travel from West African countries battling the deadly disease. 

Earlier this month, the senator said that "a temporary suspension of flights should be definitely considered," in an interview on CNN.

Travel restrictions on nations affected by the Ebola outbreak are favored by 73 House members and 15 senators, including some Democrats, according to The Hill's tally.

Asked if he shared his son's opinion on Ebola, the elder Paul said, "probably not exactly, but I haven't dissected every single thing."

It’s not the first time the father-son pair have split over the response to the disease. After the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the U.S. early this month, the elder Paul warned against an "overreaction." Meanwhile his son said the Obama administration was "underplaying" the threat posed by the virus.

On Sunday, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) accused the junior Kentucky senator and ophthalmologist of "politicizing" Ebola. Wasserman Schultz said Rand Paul is "a doctor who should know better" after he suggested that a patient could infect someone standing three feet away.

Ron Paul defended his son, dismissing the DNC chief’s criticism.

"I'd like to think that one was a medical opinion and expressed in sincerity and [the] other was pure demagoguery coming from a politician who pretends that she knows how to run the Democratic Party," he said.