Obama Administration May Bring African Ebola Patients to U.S. For Treatment

( [email protected] ) Oct 28, 2014 01:51 PM EDT
A crowd enters the grounds of an Ebola isolation center in the West Point slum.

The Obama administration may allow non U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to be transported to and treated in the United States, claims a top Republican congressman.

Fox News reports that Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, revealed that his office has received "information from within the administration" that these plans are being developed. Thus far, only citizens of America infected with Ebola have been brought back West Africa to the U.S. for treatment.

"Members of the media, my office have received confidential communications saying that those plans are being developed," Goodlatte said Monday night, adding that expanding the policy will put U.S. citizens at risk.

"This is simply a matter of common sense that if you are concerned about this problem spreading -- and this is a deadly disease that we're even concerned about the great health care workers when they come back not spreading it -- we certainly shouldn't be bringing in the patients."

Goodlatte reportedly wrote a letter last week to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry asking if the plan exists, but has not yet received a response.

However, other sources have verified that such a plan is indeed in the works. Shortly before Goodlatte sent the letter, conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch also reported that the Obama administration is "actively formulating" plans to bring Ebola patients into the U.S., with the specific goal of treating them "within the first days of diagnosis."

Goodlatte warns that the government chooses to bring non-U.S. citizens to the country for treatment, U.S. citizens should be "very concerned.

"If you are concerned about this problem spreading... we certainly shouldn't be bringing in the patients," he said, referencing how the virus spread to two U.S. nurses from one infected patient.

According to the World Health Organization, 443 healthcare workers have contracted the virus worldwide, 244 of whom have died. More than 4,800 people have died from the virus in total since March, most of which occurred in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

The WHO stated that hundreds of thousands of Ebola vaccinations will be produced in 2015 with some heading to West Africa as soon as December of this year.