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Harris joins GOP in calling for travel ban

Rep. Andy Harris speaks in a file photo.
Rep. Andy Harris speaks in a file photo. (File photo, Baltimore Sun)

Republican Rep. Andy Harris, the only doctor in Maryland's congressional delegation, called Thursday for the Obama administration to impose "some level of travel ban" to limit the spread of Ebola.

"The administration should impose some level of travel ban pending the creation of protocols that will protect healthcare workers and all Americans," Harris said in a statement. "Because current protocols are not working, we must limit the ability of individuals traveling from infected areas to enter the United States."

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Congressional Republicans pressed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden on the possibility of a travel ban during a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill. The Obama administration has generally argued against such a ban, but Frieden did not rule one out.

Harris, a Hopkins-trained anesthesiologist, also called on the Food and Drug Administration to speed production of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests for Ebola. Some of those steps are already underway.

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"We can stop significant spreading of this disease, but it is going to require protocols that actually work being put in place and all health care workers remaining incredibly diligent," Harris said.

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