Jeff Hulbert from Annapolis, Maryland, dressed in a protective suit and mask holds a poster demanding for a halt of all flights from West Africa, as he protests outside the White House in Washington, DC on October 16, 2014. Top US health officials faced a grilling Thursday by lawmakers infuriated over the nation’s fumbling response to the Ebola outbreak, as the Obama administration scrambles to contain the disease’s spread. (Photo: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (WNEW/AP) — House Republicans demanded a travel ban from Ebola-ravaged West Africa Thursday, calling it the only sure way to protect Americans from the virus’s deadly reach. Administration officials resisted, as anxiety over the disease raced through the country and rattled the White House and Capitol Hill.
At a tense congressional hearing, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered assurances that Americans are safe and there will be no widespread Ebola outbreak here. A day after a second nurse was found to test positive after treating a patient in Dallas who later died, Dr. Thomas Frieden defended the government’s response, even while acknowledging that protocols evolved as the nurses fell ill.
“There’s zero doubt in my mind that barring a mutation which changes it —which we don’t think is likely — there will not be a large outbreak in the U.S.,” Frieden told members of the Energy and Commerce Committee who’d returned from the campaign trail for a specially convened hearing less than a month from Election Day. “We know how to control Ebola, even in this period.”
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