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Palmer Says Travel Ban From West Africa Should Have Happened Weeks Ago

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Republican candidate in the Sixth District Congressional Race, Gary Palmer, told the Alabama Political Reporter that he supported calls by Speaker Boehner, Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne and others to ban international travel from countries with active Ebola epidemics.

Palmer said frankly, “I think it should have done weeks ago.”

APR asked: the head of the CDC says that a travel ban would make the situation worse? Palmer said he didn’t know how it could make the situation in West Africa any worse. Palmer said that Most Americans are concerned about Africa; but they are more concerned about keeping the American people safe.

APR asked: Did the President make a mistake when he did away with the Bush Administration’s Ebola epidemic plan? Palmer said that he has not seen those reports; but if the administration did jettison a plan to protect the country from Ebola then that was “unconscionable.”

Palmer said that if you ask those two nurses they would think that we should have kept Ebola out of this country. Palmer said that there are hundreds of people in Dallas, in Cleveland, on the Frontiers airliner from Cleveland to Dallas who were potentially exposed to this disease, “We don’t know who is exposed.”

Palmer said that he talked with a retired flight attendant. When people are hired as flight attendants they sign away their rights to talk to the media. The current flight attendants are telling their retired former comrades that the flight attendants are terrified and are asking them to get the word out.

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APR asked, “Is President Obama taking a risk by putting 4000 troops in West Africa to fight Ebola? Palmer said that based on the facts at this time yes we have put those troops in harms way. The chances are pretty high that they will be exposed to Ebola. Palmer said that regular troops for whom fighting infectious disease is not their specialty should not be deployed into West Africa.

Palmer said that he is all for fighting Ebola; but it should be done by the best trained, best equipped people in the world to do so.

APR asked: the Pentagon has said that troops returning from Africa will be put in isolation. If that is o.k. for U.S. troops, why is that not o.k. for immigrants from Africa? Palmer said that it is a great question. We shouldn’t be allowing people from Ebola infected nations into this country.

Palmer said that the incubation period for Ebola is 21 days. Palmer said that we should isolate the disease, eradicate it if we can and contain it

APR asked: Since we already have two infected American nurses and potentially more people infected, is the U.S. an infected nation and there is a risk of other nations imposing a quarantine on American travelers?

Palmer said that other countries will do what they do.

Palmer said that Thomas Duncan took a flight from Africa to Brussels. From Brussels he went to Dulles and then went from Dulles to Dallas. Palmer said that the family Mr. Duncan was visiting were illegally here because they had over stayed their visa. Palmer emphasized that we have to get control of our borders.

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Palmer warned that there is a high probability of there being more Ebola cases

For 24 years, Gary Palmer led the Alabama Policy Institute (API) as the group’s co-founder and President. API is a research and education organization that is dedicated to identifying, developing and promoting public policies which emphasize limited government, free markets, the rule of law and strong families.

Gary Palmer was appointed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to the Alabama Commission on Improving State Government. He was appointed by former Governor Bob Riley to the Governor’s Task Force to Strengthen Alabama Families and served as an advisor to the Alabama Aerospace, Science and Industry Task Force. Palmer was appointed by Alabama Governor Fob James to the Governor’s Welfare Reform Commission. Palmer is a founding director and past president of the State Policy Network.

Gary Palmer grew up in the North Alabama town of Hackleburgh, the son of a small logger. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Management and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Mobile.

Palmer’s opponent is Dr. Mark Lester (D). He was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He and his family have lived in Homewood for the past 23 years while teaching history at Birmingham Southern College. Lester attended Rhodes College, received a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. He has a Ph.D. in Modern British Economic History from the University of Oxford. After finishing law school, Mark Lester was appointed Assistant United States Attorney where he prosecuted drug dealers and white collar criminals. He later formed a small law firm, specializing in commercial litigation.

Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District is currently represented by Republican Representative Spencer Bachus from Vestavia who is retiring after 11 terms in the Congress. Congressman Bachus served the District as an Alabama State Senator before going to Congress after defeating Congressman Ben Erdreich (D) in 1992.

The General Election will be on Tuesday, November 4.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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