By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Six months ago, Ebola was an exotic virus that lived somewhere in the wilds of Africa and which infrequently visited disease and death on some isolated African villagers in places few of us are ever likely to visit. That all changed (perhaps forever) this summer and our government and the world is struggling to develop a plan to address this change. Congresswoman Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) has been very outspoken about the importance of keeping the deadly disease out of this country. On Monday, October 27 the conservative congresswoman sent an email to her constituents detailing her recommendations on dealing with the Ebola crisis.
Congresswoman Roby wrote, “Like many Americans, I am seriously concerned about the effectiveness of our country’s response to the Ebola outbreak and how it will affect our ability to protect Americans from this threat. I recently wrote President Obama a letter calling on him to take more decisive action to prevent American citizens from further exposure.”
Representative Roby said that her plan would include: a temporary travel ban by immediately restricting travel visas for individuals from the West African counties hardest hit by Ebola; enhanced airport screening for all U.S. airports; and a mandatory quarantine of individuals who have been in direct contact with the Ebola virus.
Rep. Roby said, “We need to approach the Ebola outbreak like a mission and fight it aggressively. Several experimental drugs exist to combat symptoms and treat the infected. Health officials are making concerted efforts to expedite further production and to send available vaccines to the affected areas. The Department of Defense has deployed military advisors to Western Africa to oversee medical facility construction and provide medical expertise. Additionally, the CDC is working in conjunction with many other federal agencies to train officials to identify and prevent sick passengers from traveling internationally. These efforts include coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the Department of State.”
Rep. Roby wrote that, “Our state officials and hospital network are proactively preparing to handle cases, should they occur. I appreciate the leadership of the Dr. Don Williamson and his team at the Alabama Department of Public Health in keeping the public aware of the latest information. My office remains in close contact with the agencies involved in combating this threat. Federal agencies have a critical job to do in such times of crisis, and it is important that they get it right. As a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, and the Subcommittee overseeing the budget for the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, I am closely monitoring this situation as Congress considers agency funding bills for Fiscal Year 2015.”
As of Friday, October 24 the CDC released case counts updated in conjunction with the World Health Organization updates based on information reported by the Ministries of Health. There have been 10141 suspected cases of Ebola, 5692 were confirmed by laboratory testing, and 4922 persons have died.
Congresswoman Martha Roby is seeking a third term in the United States House of Representatives representing Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
Her opponent is Erick Wright (D). Congresswoman Roby has raised $1,036,214.35 in her campaign to this point and has $580,954 remaining in cash on hand. Wright has raised $3,676 in contributions and has reported just $441 in cash on hand.
Voters go to the polls to decide on Tuesday, November 4.