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Poll: Majority want flight ban from Ebola nations

By Elise Viebeck – 10/09/14

A majority of Americans want flights from countries with large numbers of Ebola cases banned, according to a new poll.

Fifty-eight percent agreed with the idea as a way of stopping the spread of the virus, particularly to the United States. The survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey and reported by NBC.

In response to public pressure, the White House announced new steps to screen passengers at five U.S. airports on Wednesday. Travelers arriving from West Africa will fill out a medical report have their temperature checked.

The Obama administration disagrees with the idea of a flight ban, saying it would further isolate West African countries and make the Ebola response effort more difficult. Officials like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden have spent the week pushing back on the idea in media interviews.

Nonetheless, the public appears to agree with the handful of Republicans who have called for stopping flights.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Thom Tillis are leading that charge. At least one Democrat lawmaker — Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) — agrees with them.

The survey shed light on how the public is coping with news of the first U.S. Ebola case and actions to stop the epidemic abroad.

Americans disagreed with sending U.S. troops to fight the epidemic by almost a two-to-one margin, the poll found.

Fears are still high when it comes to the virus, with a slight majority (51 percent) expressing concern about a possible outbreak in the United States and roughly one-in-three worrying their families would be affected.

Still, it appears that efforts by the government to provide accurate information about how the virus spreads have succeeded.

Seventy-two percent correctly said that Ebola is spread through bodily fluids, not through the air or through skin.

The survey was conducted Oct. 7 and has a margin of error of 4.6 percent.

Source: The Hill

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