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U.S. has no plan to stop Ebola from crossing southern border


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(NaturalNews) More Americans are calling on the Obama administration to shut off travel to the U.S. from the three West African nations currently being ravaged by the Ebola virus, but a U.S. Border Patrol agent has essentially said that wouldn't be enough.

A press release by the White House said government agencies are currently monitoring such travelers at five airports, but that won't stop someone infected with the virus from simply walking across the country's northern or southern borders or arriving at another airport.

The press release stated:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security's Customs & Border Protection (CBP) this week will begin new layers of entry screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

That leaves about 6 percent of travelers from Ebola-afflicted nations free to bypass screening before entry into the U.S.

'I'm not a doctor'

Gabe Pacheco, spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, a lobbying organization that represents Border Patrol agents, said personnel at the southwest border are not equipped to identify symptoms of Ebola.

"I'm not a medical physician," said Pacheco. "I'm not medically trained to identify these things."

Customs and Border Protection (CBP), one of 22 agencies within the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement that customs officers and border patrol agents have indeed received training to identify signs and symptoms of the deadly virus, and are also equipped with protective gear. But Pacheco denied those claims.

"We have not been trained," he said. "There are no protocols in place and we haven't seen any protective equipment. We haven't had anyone tell us these are the protocols you're going to be using."

Fox5 in San Diego reports that about 60,000 people a day cross the Otay and San Ysidro border entry posts. And sources within the CBP told Fox5 that those agents and officers have recently been overwhelmed with people claiming political asylum.

In a recent week, 300 people were detained by the CBP, but the agency can only handle about 180 people, sources told the local TV station's news team, adding that not a single one of them were screened for the virus.

"I know we are getting overflow from the San Ysidro Port of Entry," said Pacheco. "Could something slip through? Absolutely! We don't know what's coming across right now."

In recent days, Marine Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, or USSOUTHCOM, said, if the virus strikes in South America, it will be a disaster for Mexico and the United States, especially the U.S., because panic will cause a "mass migration" north.

"If it breaks out, it's literally, 'Katie bar the door,' and there will be mass migration into the United States," he said, in comments published by DoD News. "They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment."

'They could have made it to New York City within the incubation period'

Kelly made his comments at a National Defense University forum in Washington. He added that "there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa." He made his comments Oct. 7 -- the day before the first Ebola victim in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, died of the disease. Since then, two nurses who treated him -- Nina Pham, 26, and Amber Vinson, 29 -- have tested positive for the virus.

The four-star general also said the disease can be ferried into the United States compliments of smuggling rings, as he recalled what one U.S. embassy worker told him about a trip that the ambassador made to the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. There, the diplomat saw a group of men "waiting in line to pass into Nicaragua and then on their way north." Kelly added that the embassy official inquired about where the men were from and where they were going, DoD News reported.

"They told him they were from Liberia and they had been on the road about a week. ... They were on their way to the United States -- illegally, of course," Kelly said. They "could have made it to New York City and still be within the incubation period for Ebola."

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com







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