McConnell wants to stop flights from nations with Ebola outbreaks, supports sending U.S. troops to Africa

10/15/2014 04:34 PM

MURRAY — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that concerns about the global spread of Ebola are great enough that the United States should halt flights from countries affected by the disease.

“I’m not an expert on this, but it strikes me that it would be a good idea to discontinue flights from that part of the world,” he told Pure Politics on Wednesday before he attended a meeting with leaders at the Briggs & Stratton plant in downtown Murray.

McConnell also said he agrees with President Barack Obama’s decision to send 3,000 troops to Africa to help fight the disease and contain it.

About 1,400 U.S. troops, half of whom are based at Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, are headed to Liberia this month, according to the Leaf -Chronicle in Clarksville, Tenn.

McConnell said he has been briefed on the troops’ safety.

“I have been told this can be safely done. And we all know we have a huge stake in containing this disease where it is,” McConnell said.

In the last week, a man died in a Dallas hospital after contracting Ebola during a trip to Liberia. Two health care workers at the Dallas hospital have tested positive for the disease, including one nurse who recently was on a domestic flight, raising fears about spreading the disease, according to ABC News .

McConnell said he has not spoken to the White House or officials with the FAA, which would have a hand in shutting down air traffic from West Africa. McConnell, who is in the last month of his re-election campaign, noted that Congress hasn’t been in session.

He said calling back Congress to deal with Ebola would be “up to the president.”

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