Schumer applauds Coast Guard decision to inspect ships for Ebola

Schumer applauds Coast Guard decision to inspect ships for Ebola
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) is applauding the Obama administration’s decision to inspect cargo ships that are coming to the United States from African nations that have are battling Ebola for signs of the deadly virus among passengers. 

“The administration continues to take thoughtful and straightforward steps in protecting Americans from Ebola, through stronger screening at our ports of entry,” Schumer said in a statement. 

“I am pleased that the U.S. Coast Guard will ensure no cargo ship passengers are displaying symptoms of Ebola before allowing those ships to enter ports in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and I look forward to the details of additional airport screening expected in the coming days,” the outspoken New York senator continued. 

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The decision to inspect cargo ship passengers follows an earlier announcement by the Obama administration that it would be increasing Ebola checks for airline passengers following the first domestic diagnoses of the disease in recent weeks. 

The additional screenings are being put in place by the Obama administration in an effort to calm fears about travel between west Africa and the U.S. that have grown since Thomas Duncan became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. 

Obama said Monday that he was confident the virus could be prevented from spreading, citing the administration’s efforts to increase airport screening for Ebola. 

“We’re…going to be working on protocols to do additional passenger screening, both at the source and here in the United States,” Obama said after a meeting on Monday with his Cabinet.  

“All of these things make me confident that here in the United States, at least, the chances of an outbreak, of an epidemic here are extraordinarily low,” the president continued. 

Lawmakers like Schumer pushed hard for the additional airport screening, with some calling for a complete ban on flights from countries battling the Ebola virus.

Obama administration officials have argued that it would be impractical to close off flights between the U.S. and countries affected by Ebola because doing so would make it harder to move relief supplies and health workers. They say that would hamper the international response and put more Americans at risk.